France

Readers reveal the worst places in France for pickpockets… and tips to avoid them

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We asked our readers who know France well to tell us where else in the country you need to be that extra bit cautious about your handbag, wallet or phone and for any advice on keeping possessions safe.

Unsurprisingly many of the places mentioned by readers were in cities with high levels of tourism.

One of the places that came up again and again was the eastern French city of Strasbourg, with readers noting that thieves tend to operate around the train station, old town and the very popular Christmas markets.

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"I was targeted by pickpockets in Strasbourg walking near the old town. Two women – a 40-year-old woman with a 20-year-old girl — walked very close behind me, as I was walking very fast, and tried opening a small shoulder bag," said Greg Moore from the US.

Another reader said that they "watched a group of girls working the crowd at the Christmas markets."

The beautiful southern French city of Nice was also highlighted by several readers as a place where it is wise to keep a close eye on your belongings.

One reader noted that there are "pickpockets in abundance" and that the city in general "is horrible for pickpocketing".

"My credit and debit cards were stolen and used when we visited there a few years ago," they said.

Lyon, the capital city in Frances Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, is very popular with tourists who are drawn to the city for its architecture, culture – and of course the world famous cuisine.

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But while it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security by beautiful surroundings, Lyon was also highlighted by readers as a place to be cautious.

Linda Martz, who has lived in the city for three years, told us that a pickpocket stole her wallet while she boarded a train.

And another reader Sandra Beard told us that drivers should be particularly careful due to "scam artists" targeting people with cars.

There are "scam artists who “help” you at parking ticket machines while they palm (and take) your credit card (and tells you the machine took your card)," she said.

"They have your PIN after looking over your shoulder," she said, adding that when this happened to her the man "withdrew €5,000 from three banks before we froze our account (within 10 mins)."

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It might not be so surprising that the resort town of Cannes on the French Riviera, which has a reputation as a bit of a playground for the rich, was also on readers' lists, with one saying that his brother was pickpocketed as he stepped onto a train at Cannes train station.

Meanwhile reader Leslie White, who lives in Paris, said she and her husband were "hit with the 'bird poop scam'" while strolling in the grounds of the Domaine de Chantilly in northern France.

"A plop of green goop landed on my head. A helpful couple walking behind us helped to clean us off with disposable wipes. My husband somehow had some on him too. They also cleaned out his wallet and of course it was they who had thrown the 'poop' at me in the first place. We didnt figure it out until the next day," she said.

Other readers mentioned Tours train station and tram stop, the market in Read More – Source

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