How it works:
- Version 1: they work in a gang – one onlooker, one blocks, pushes, distracts, or engages you, one grabs and the final hides the loot under a cover (e.g. jacket/newspaper) and escapes.
- Version 2: another distraction tactic is to force his leg in between yours like a soccer move.
- Version 3: petition charity scam.
Places to beware:
- Antwerp: Central Station, Berchem, MAS – Museum aan de Stroom, Central Station, Town Hall (Stadhuis), Antwerp Tram
- Bruges: Historic Centre of Brugge, The Markt, Basilica of the Holy Blood, Burg Square, Choco-Story – The Chocolate Museum
- Brussels: Gare du Nord, Brussels Central Station, Gare du Midi, Grand Place, Place du Chatelain, Autoworld, Le Botanique, Atomium, Manneken Pis, Central station, Rue des Bouchers, St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Mont des Arts, Place Ste. Catherine, Brussels Christmas Market, Rue Neuve, Avenue Louise, Marche Aux Puces de Bruxelles
- Ghent: Gent-Sint-Pieters Railway Station
- Liege: Gare de Liege-Guillemins, Marche de la Batte, Place Saint-Lambert
- Mons: Grand Place
- Ostend: The Kusttram
What to do:
- Passport: carry a photocopy instead of the actual one.
- Valuables: wallet in front pocket, small valuables in a money belt/hidden pouch, large valuables in an anti-theft bag.
- Travel insurance: get a good one that covers theft – check out the various travel insurance comparison platforms to find the best deal that works for you.