Pickpockets earn good money selling your identity to an identity thief. There is no firearm or other weapon involved, so even if they do get caught, the jail time is minimal. Forget about getting your Social Security card, credit cards and identity back, they sell it. Your identity is worth a fair bit of change. The same way the jewel thief knows who the jewel fence is, the pickpocket knows who the identity thief fence is. You have your minor league pickpockets and your major league pickpockets. The minor leaguers are just low-skilled opportunists and look for people who are not protecting their wallets and identity.
They go to crowded malls and other public areas where college students like to study and they get up close, sit down and eventually reach into the students backpack. These opportunists also hang out at public beaches to find someone who is sleeping or go to the airport and look for someone waiting around with their luggage. Be careful in crowded commuter trains and subways because everybody is bumping into each other and it is not an un-expected thing to have someone else’s body up against yours. These thieves will carry a newspaper or jacket to hide their hands.
Pickpockets also work in teams where you have your “pick” and your “stall”. You are walking along and suddenly the stall stops and you bump into her, but the pick bumps into the back of you, apologizes in his usual convincing way and your wallet is gone. The pickpockets’ best friend is distraction because we humans usually focus on one thought or action, so if you give us something that is interesting we stop paying attention to our money and identity. These thieves will work in larger teams where two of them will start a fight and the others will prey on the inattentive crowd.
There are children pickpockets as well. One will walk up to you and show you his cute little toy or drawing while the others sneak up from behind and do what they do. Another excellent distraction is sex. A beautiful woman, maybe acting drunk, will walk up and affectionately touch you. Others will play on your good nature and accidentally drop their groceries or change and you respond by helping her while the other team member removes your identity. More dramatic is the team at the beach where one pretends to be drowning while the rest of the thieves help themselves to whatever is on the beach.
Picture yourself at that busy commuter train station or subway station and suddenly someone yells out “somebody just stole my wallet”. Everyone pat’s the area of their clothing where their wallet is and now the other team members know where your wallet and identity is. These heartless beings will also stake out the ATM machines and cash registers to find out where your wallet is. These thieves know not to look like a common criminal and will dress like businessmen, others will carry babies and some will act and dress like tourists. Tourists are a favorite target. Fanny packs, backpacks and purses are easy targets so protect your money and your identity. Perhaps consider buying a money belt. Carry your purse under your arm and don’t look confused or lost (even if you are) because these thieves love people like that.
Do you want to learn about Identity Theft Prevention & Identity Theft Protection. Stop Identity Theft with LifeLock. LifeLock can guarantee identity theft never happens to you. To see how lifelock identity theft protection works