Wallet theft can be a very scary experience, especially if you are somewhere on a trip and have your whole spending money in that wallet. It’s not just about the cash, you also lose a lot of important personal documents along with the cash.
Luckily, you can prevent theft easily by applying a couple of tips for wallet safety.
How To Prevent Wallet Theft
Using a wallet with an attachment point, tracker, or hidden pocket are great ways to keep your valuables safe. Your wallet’s safety greatly depends on where you place it, so make sure to keep it in a good place such as a secure bag or briefcase. Keeping your wallet slim and tidy will ensure that it’s not that attractive to thieves. Finally, when you travel be extra cautious and careful with your belongings since tourists are the easiest targets for pickpockets.
What type of wallet is safe for traveling?
At first, you might think that your everyday wallet will suffice for this purpose, but chances are, you will want a good traveling wallet to prevent theft as much as possible.
There are a lot of models out there that offer a hidden cash compartment that could come in handy. If you keep your cash bills in that compartment your wallet won’t catch the eye of a thief when you take out your wallet to pay for something.
On that note, try to choose a traveling wallet that can handle a decent amount of cash, but you don’t need to go overboard with the number of cash bills you place in it. The smart way to go about this would be to keep some of your spending money in your wallet and some of it safely stored somewhere else.
What are some wallet features that can help you better protect your wallet?
There are a couple of wallet features that would offer you better wallet protection.
My favorite feature that offers wallet protection is a wallet attachment point.
A lot of sporty minimalist wallets come with this feature. You can use the attachment point to strap your wallet to your pants or to your bag. This way even if someone tries to steal it, you will immediately notice.
Hidden pockets are always a neat feature to have. They usually look like a piece of extra fabric that covers the upper part of the pocket. Thieves get attracted to wallets that have a decent amount of cash in them and usually they decide to steal your wallet after seeing what you carry inside it. In this situation, a hidden pocket will help you cover the contents in your wallet so that a thief won’t be able to see them.
This is a feature that can be used right after your wallet has been stolen in order to find it. In case you want to stay extra safe with your wallet, you should search for one that has a wallet tracker inside it.
What do thieves usually do with stolen wallets?
In the best-case scenario, your thief will only take your cash and throw your wallet somewhere where it can still be found. This doesn’t cause too much harm since you’ll be able to get your cards back.
Another type of thief is someone that want’s to specifically steal your personal documents. These types of thieves are more troublesome since you have to go through a whole procedure of canceling your cards and making about a dozen phone calls to ensure that the thief won’t use any of the cards.
Is it possible for someone to steal your identity with your stolen wallet?
A thief can use the personal information from the cards inside your wallet to do identity fraud. They can make financial purchases in your name which is the same as literally taking your money and buying something for themself.
Thieves can also use your checkbook if they have all your personal information available to them. They can easily take over your account this way or do purchases as they please.
Is a metal wallet safer from theft than a leather wallet?
For one, most metal wallets have RFID protection so your personal information will stay safe from RFID scanning.
In my opinion, metal wallets have a smaller chance of getting stolen due to a couple of things. They are small and compact, so most of them won’t be noticeable in your pocket. You can’t really carry a lot of cash bills inside them, so they might not catch the attention of a thief. Also, some of them have attachment points that can be used to strap your wallet to yourself, thus lowering the chance of wallet theft.
Is there something that can increase your chance of getting your wallet back?
Obviously, keeping an ID document greatly increases the chances of getting your lost or stolen wallet back, but keeping some sort of a name tag in it does the same. Even if your wallet is stolen, chances are, thieves are not interested in your ID documents, and will simply take out the cash and throw out the wallet with most of the cards inside it. If someone finds your wallet later, they might see your information and decide to contact you.
Interestingly, increasing your chance of getting your wallet back has a lot to do with the type of pictures you keep in it. Some psychologists in the UK have determined that you have a higher chance of getting your wallet back if you keep a baby picture in it. Baby pictures seem to bring out an emotional response in people which makes it more likely that they will return your wallet.
Best and worst places to keep your wallet
Some places are much better for your wallet than others. If you want to protect your wallet from theft, you should pay attention to where you keep it.
Worst places to keep your wallet
Try to avoid keeping your wallet in these places.
In the back pocket of your pants
For those of you who just can’t get out of the habit of keeping your wallet in a pocket on your pants, you should at least try to avoid placing it in your back pocket. This doesn’t only cause back problems, it also makes your wallet an easier target for thieves.
An overstuffed bag
An overstuffed bag in itself is an item that easily catches the eye of thieves. Not only is it very impractical to keep your wallet there, but it also raises the chance of it being stolen.
In an outside jacket pocket
People who carry their wallets this way are the easiest target for pickpockets. If you’ve watched any movie involving a pickpocket you already know that this is the worst place to keep your wallet.
Best places to keep your wallet
These are the best places for your wallet.
A secure bag that isn’t filled with unnecessary items is an ideal place for your wallet. Specifically, this is a good choice if you are somewhere on a trip and want to keep your stuff safe. It can also be practical if you choose to take the bag with you every day.
Inside coat pocket
My favorite place to hold my wallet is the inside pocket that most coats have. I feel safe when I know that my wallet is unreachable unless someone tries to take my coat as well. Just be careful not to leave your coat somewhere unsupervised, since a thief can literally take it along with your wallet. Also, make sure that you rarely wear your coat unzipped in crowded places, as that makes the job of the pickpocket much easier.
A briefcase is a great place for your wallet. Some even have some sort of code that you need to put in so that you can open it.
The front pocket of the pants
This is the most common place where people choose to place their wallets. Out of all the options, keeping your wallet in your pants isn’t the best one, but if you really have to, you should try to keep it in your front pocket instead of your back pocket.
Tips on how to prevent your wallet from getting stolen
These are some of the tips that could help you prevent wallet theft.
Try to keep your wallet in the safe place
One of the first and most important steps you can take to keep your wallet from getting stolen is to pick a safe place where you can keep it. Previously I mentioned all the best and worst places to keep your wallet. Overall you should avoid keeping it in places that will make it very visible and easy to grab.
The ideal place for it would be somewhere where it’s fully covered and protected like in a secure suitcase or a bag.
Get a designated bag for essential items
The way that I go about keeping my wallet safe is that I have a specific bag for all my essentials.
What’s important here is that you have to try not to put unnecessary items inside it. This might seem like something easy to do, but we all tend to put a receipt or an unneeded business card inside our primary bag. A well-organized bag is easy to close and keep safe. You also won’t have to scramble through unnecessary clutter when you search for your wallet, so you will easily find it if you get scared that it might have gotten stolen.
Strap your wallet onto something
When you have to carry a lot of money with you, for example when going on a trip, you might want your wallet to be extra secure. You can achieve this by strapping your wallet to your pants or bag. If you strap it to your bag be sure to keep your bag with you at all times. There are a lot of wallets nowadays that come with an attachment point for this purpose.
Slim down your wallet
When I say essentials I really mean only take the essentials. If you have a lot of cards for paying, you don’t have to take all of them with you. Most importantly try to limit the number of cash bills you carry, and only carry as much as you need.
Carrying only your essentials will ensure that your wallet doesn’t stand out to thieves. If you aren’t quite sure how much money you should have with you, you can read my article on how much cash should you have in your wallet.
Don’t keep all your valuables in the same place
This might be a little hard to do in your everyday life, but it’s a lifesaver for when you travel or you have to handle a large sum of money. The whole idea is to divide all you have so that you don’t lose everything in the event of a theft.
For example, when traveling you can keep some of your spending money in your wallet, while some of it can stay somewhere safe in your suitcase. Even your socks are not a bad idea for keeping a few bills hidden in there.
Get a wallet with a wallet tracker
Some wallets come with a wallet tracker.
Now, this isn’t something that will help you prevent wallet theft, but it can be of great help when it happens. You can react very fast and activate the tracker to find the thief. Even in a worse scenario, you might be able to at least find your wallet with your personal documents, so that you won’t have to go through a whole procedure to replace them.
Organize your traveling money
Chances are, wherever you go, you will need to handle a lot of cash. Sometimes you might need to convert cash into the specific currency of the country you are visiting.
When handling so much cash it’s only natural that a pickpocket or two will show up. I mean, tourists are usually the people that suffer from pickpocketing the most.
This is why it is very important to organize, divide and protect your money. Even if some of it gets stolen, it’s always good to have a part of your spending money tucked in somewhere safe.
Get a wallet with RFID protection
Information theft can occur without the thief ever touching your wallet. If your cards get scanned, someone can end up obtaining your personal information, which can then be used to access some of your payment cards. This is where RFID blocking comes into play.
RFID protection helps prevent information theft and this is a feature that most modern wallets now have. It’s good to get a wallet that has this function so that you won’t have to worry about your card’s information safety.
Be careful when in a crowd
Crowds are a supermarket for pickpockets. With so many busy strangers bumping into each other, you won’t even notice if someone goes for your wallet.
When in crowds, try to get a harder grip on your wallet or bag, and be extra cautious with it.
Use your cards
The more cards you use, the fewer things you need to carry in your wallet. If you use cards to pay you won’t have to carry a lot of cash bills with you. A wallet that only has a couple of cards inside isn’t that attractive to someone who wants to steal cash.
A couple of things you should know about pickpockets and how to stay safe
Pickpockets are something that has existed forever, so it’s only natural for us to learn a thing or two so that we can better protect ourselves.
Top locations for pickpocketing
Believe it or not, there are some locations where a pickpocket is more likely to show up. Mainly it’s places where there are a lot of happy tourists walking around such as:
- tourist attractions
- public transportation
Next time you are a tourist and in one of these places, keep an eye out for anyone that might be suspicious.
Keep your best things at home
To be honest, the best way to keep your most prized possessions safe is to leave them at home. You’ll be a sitting duck if you take a golden bracelet or watch on a vacation. It might not be the jewelry that they go for, since it’s harder to steal, but it could still make you a potential target, as being flashy suggests that your wallet might be full of cash.
Your clothes say a lot about you
Your clothes are the first sign that you aren’t from the place you are visiting. You shouldn’t try to look exactly like the locals, but it might be a good idea to research what they wear so that you don’t stand out too much.
Another thing you can do is choose accessories that will help you better protect your belongings, such as a good wallet for traveling or a bag that has strong straps that can’t be cut off.
Use your hands
Public transportation and crowds are some of the most crowded places that create perfect opportunities for thieves. These are the places where you should get a strong grip on your belongings and keep them safe.
In public transport, you can spot a thief by looking for some warning signs. It can be someone who moves a lot so that they can cause a distraction while they try to grab a bag and run. You should especially keep an eye out for individuals with no baggage of their own since they will need to have their hands free so that they can quickly get to a wallet or a bag.
Protect your personal zone
If you know a thing or two about body language, you must know that we all have personal zones that usually stretch five feet from our bodies.
A pickpocket will try to enter this zone which is usually reserved for people who we are closer with in some way. They might say you dropped something or that they would like you to help them with something. Not everyone who will do this is a pickpocket, but just to stay safe, if someone tries to enter your personal zone be very aware of your pockets or any place where you keep your valuables.
Best anti-theft wallets
These are some of the best anti-theft wallets currently available:
- Dango T02 Titanium Tactical 3-Pocket Bifold
- Bellroy Card Pocket
- Dango D02 Dapper
- Bellroy Travel
- Dango A10 Adapt Titanium Bifold
- Secrid Slimwallet
- Andar Denner