This didn’t happen to me, but a good friend I made while traveling in Barcelona. We were both staying at the same hostel and she arrived a day ahead of me. I ventured to Barcelona as a tourist, but my friend planned to stay in the city for several months for schooling.
I have heard of a lot of horror stories about pickpocketers in Barcelona. And this one is right up there with the worst. Upon my friend’s arrival, she decided to take public transportation into the city. Lugging around 3 heavy suitcases didn’t make navigating the metro system any easier. While leaving the metro, a man approached her at the top of the escalators offering to help carry her luggage.
As a well-seasoned traveler, she knew the signs and refused, hurrying on her way. He continued to pester her reaching out to grab her bags. She became more forceful backing up to get away. That is when she realized someone was behind her rummaging through her backpack. She whipped around only to see a woman running off. The man, of course, long gone.
She lost her passport and wallet. Thankfully she had backup documents and someone in the city whom she could get money transferred through from back home.