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Pickpockets Tips (86)


I was walking along the shopping street and never stopped, but my wallet was stolen from my back bag. I live in a smaller city in the Netherlands and never lost anything over the years, but lowered my guard in Amsterdam. Now i have to renew all cards and files, cost a lot of time and money in the Netherlands. SAD!!

TIP, always watch out your wallet and bag!!

Dec 01, 2015

Petty Crime Against Tourists

In the time it took my beloved Proserpina to raise her chipcard and swipe it while exiting the 2 tram, a pickpocket accessed her zipped and momentarilly not tightly clutched pocketbook and made off with her wallet and a pair of designer sunglasses. One swipe, two seconds, out the open door, and gone - an olympic class sprinter.

An immediate trip to the police station was a good idea - an attempt was made to use one of her two credit cards within hours of the theft. Fortunately, the kind and efficient desk officer personally called both credit card companies himself and put a hold on the cards, so no further damage.

Our official report was taken by a young female officer working overtime to process all the minor crimes of the day. Visibly exhausted, she spoke with us as she typed. It appears that the Amsterdam police will make no effort whatsoever to prevent minor tourist-oriented crime much less to apprehend the miscreants, all of whom are well known. There are simply not enough police officers nor hours in the day. Well aware, the assorted pickpockets are increasing their activities with no fear of arrest, much less punishment. Depressing, realistic. Forewarned for the future - no pocketbooks, no jewelry, no nothing.

nicolaitan's Profile Photo
Jun 01, 2013

Never let your guard down in Amsterdam

I was traveling around Europe with my family and despite umpteen warnings from close friends, i got pick pocketed in Amsterdam. Amsterdam was my last stop and i thought we were lucky that nothing happened throughout the entire trip. We were in a shoe shop (Sacha shoes) in Amsterdam and while my sister was trying out the shoes i was just sitting there with my bag behind me. There were quite a lot of people in the shop and i totally let my guard down. I was just sitting there waiting for my sister to be done. Until one of the girls working in the shop asked if the glove on the floor belonged to me. Bewildered, because i never used it and i remember keeping it in my bag. I realized my bag was left open and my wallet is gone. Everything happened in an instant and i didn't even feel anything. There was a woman trying on shoes sitting behind me and she kept getting closer to me but i moved away. I guess at that instant she could have already took my wallet and went away. Never let your guard down even if you're with family in a shop or walking along the streets or in a hotel. These crafty pick pockets are everywhere. I got to make a police report in Amsterdam but the shop keeper and the policemen said such things happen very frequently in Amsterdam. Whether in shops or restaurants and even hotel lobbies. You really got to be very careful, carry your bag in front of you, guard your things and always always be wary of the people around you. Too bad for me, it was gone.

Apr 04, 2013

Amsterdam Central

Just got out of a small restaurant near by Gauchos Grillre around 7pm (Nearby Amsterdam Central) and some man claimed to be a Dutch came up behind me and my colleague yelling some racial slur (We are Asian). We tried to walked away when he started demanding money from us and threaten to have his people come after us if we do not cooperate. Luckily we were able to walked away without getting hurt. The person is white, around 5'10, skinny build and appears to be a bit drunk. People traveling in this area please be careful.

WeiBertJ's Profile Photo
Jan 28, 2013
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Like most of big cities, in Amsterdam there are pickpockets, they use to be near the main sites. Ámsterdam is not a dangerous city but if you need the police or you have an emergency dial 112 is the emergency number.

Como en la mayoría de grandes ciudades en Amsterdam también hay carteristas, suelen estar cerca de las principales atracciones turisticas. Si necesitas la policia o tienes emergencia solo tienes que marcar el 112 que es el num de emergencias.

lina112's Profile Photo
Mar 14, 2011


There are Pickpockets! (also in the public transportation).

In the main shopping streets you are warned (see picture).

The top 5 pickpocket trics:

1) Cover. You will be surrounded by a group to cover the crime, using newspapers, coats etc. to cover the actual happening.

2) Broken glasses. Somebody drops glasses on the ground and steps on it. You will be accused and in the events that follow you will be pick-pocketed.

3) Back-to-Back. Very popular in Hamburger restaurants. While your coat is hanging on your chair and you finally start enjoying your food, the person that sits back-to-back with you starts his search.

4) Stain. Somebody stains your coat and offers to clean it. The moment you give your coat away..... well you get the picture.

5) Peeking at the ATM. Cover the keyboard when you punch in your pincode.

Besides these 5 there were cases people personating as fake policeman and asking for pasports and more.

Be aware!

Recent Amsterdam crimes map

A safer Amsterdam

pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
Jan 03, 2010

Fake policemen with fake police id's

Some time ago i was walking in the streets with my father and two cousins and suddenly a guy was asking me for directions and i just refused beacuse i noticed he wasn't a real tourist. My father told me not to be rude with him and i stopped walking when two other guys approched to us and told us they were police and aks us to show teh money we had in our pokets, so when one of them showed us his id i realized it was an french id ( by the time i was living in France) and told my relatives to show only the travelers cheques because they didn't speak english so i don't know what happened but they left and so we realized they were robbers and later i spoke with a police woman and told that it happens.We were lucky not to be robbed.So beware when someone asks you something and if you do see if there aren't others around observing you and ready to act when you are distracted.

75Antonio's Profile Photo
Feb 11, 2009

safety in using ATM machine

Yeah. I agree! I have used the ATM machine in Amsterdam Central many many times and I never worried too much. There is always police around. But I think in general it is just common sense.

Cover your hand when you input your pin number. Take only what you need for a day or two and don't take too much. (like more than 150 euros). Don't count your money in the public place. Put your wallet in a safe place.

It is nicer to have smaller bills in Amsterdam than 50 euros bill as they always asked you whether you have smaller changes for your small purchase.

I think you need to be cautious in most tourist city. Most of the theft is coming from out of town/countries and they are gathered at the touristy area.
My friend's wallet was stolen while she was shopping in a souvenir shop and someone try to grab my friend's carry-on when he was taking the train from the airport to Amsterdam.

simonli625's Profile Photo
Nov 21, 2008

Top 5 Amsterdam Writers

pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo


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jo104's Profile Photo


"God made the Dutch, but the Dutch made Holland"
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"Amsterdam - I love it!"
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ATLC's Profile Photo


"Amsterdam, is it real?"
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Pavlik_NL's Profile Photo


"Amsterdam, where the Dutch money is spend"
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Amsterdam. Vehicle Robbery

If you are driving into Amsterdam, be EXTREMELY cautious. Lock all doors even when in immediate vicinity, don't keep any valuables within easy reach or particularly in trunk.

I was there this past weekend, had just arrived in town, got out of van w/wife and children still in the car to walk one block to check a hotel. The area looked safe, was in full view next to a boat tour dock. My wife got out of car to rearrange some things in the back of the van, shut the trunk and got back in the car. As she was getting in the car, an asian person(my wife is asian, this is descriptive, not intended to be aiming at race) opened the trunk. My wife thought the trunk had not been thoroughly closed, got out of the car to tell him to leave. As she was trying to get him away, another person grabbed her purse out of the front seat. Fortunately passports were in a different location and fortunately I had more cash in my wallet than I usually do, but all credit cards were worthless and bulk of our cash was gone.

Police were extremely courteous, allowed us to cancel all credit cards from their phone. BUT, they were misinformed, telling us that there was an agency in Amsterdam that took care of people where this happens, helping with lodging and more. They got us to the agency, but all this agency will do for you is let you use the phone to contact someone to wire you money.

The warnings: The police advised me that there is a very sophisticated (and common) theft ring in Amsterdam aimed at travelers in vehicles. They can tell tourists based on license plates, will first go for the trunk of the car as this is where most people keep their valuables, plus they work in teams. They will routinely break out windows, etc. to get into vehicles. Keep all doors locked, all valuables in difficult to get to places, and park only in paid parking garages, etc. where there is security.

I have been in many countries and in many situations, so my internal radar is usually pretty tuned. Amsterdam caught me completely by surprise. I don't think there is a lot of violence, but this is one place where you better be ULTRA careful with protecting your critical documents, cash, etc. The sad part of all of this is that my six year old triplets have never had anything like this happen to them and it is something they won't forget.

Sep 02, 2008


Don't stand near a door of a tram (especially at the back) and get carried away with the scenery. My purse was stolen and they jumped out of the tram when the doors opened and fled. This is a very common occurence. I lived in Amsterdam for 10 years and on one of these occasions my passport was stolen

susanandrews's Profile Photo
Aug 20, 2008


I live in NYC and Amsterdam.
The dangers in Amsterdam are plentiful but easily avoided:
The best way I've found to deal with "dealers" is to say "no thanks," or simply ignore them.
They don't hassle you if you "look local" - look around you for clues
- grow a beard
- dress down when out at night
- don't get cased by flashing jewelry or cash
- buy a local cel phone (they're cheap,) program in numbers for hotel, taxis, and the (always tardy) police
- pretend you're using it if you feel in danger or you're being followed
- take out small amounts of money from the wall, use a money clip and put it in your pocket
- just keep your id or passport on you at all times
- plan your route, don't pull out a map
- when in doubt, pretend you know where you're going or hail a cab
- pickpockets are everywhere and usually easy to spot, I'll avoid the stereotype
- don't get wasted and roam about aimlessly in obviously questionable areas

Amsterdam is safe and the people are nice, so be nice back.
It's easy to want to believe that they all have good intentions, but keep a calm guard about you.
People of all types flock there in the warmer months so know your spot.
There is some anti-American sentiment, so avoid politics at the bar, it only leads to a fight.

I hate to say it, but if asked where you're from, tell them a big city you're somewhat familiar with, they think we've seen it all and scam artists are less likely to try and gain your confidence.

Know that all these street scams are done in groups of 2-6 - they know the streets and the locals - and I wouldn't be writing this if my own street smarts haven't been tested. Stand back and take a look so you can watch it happen, especially in the RLD at night.

Don't bring tons of bags back from a store. Have it sent over or take a cab back.
The only danger in Amsterdam are the pickpockets and drug dealers.
Don't harass them or let them lead you into dark alleys - that's a good way to get mugged.

In general be cool, stand your ground, blend in, have an incredible time, stay safe, and don't be an obvious tourist.
You're sure to have a great vacation, there's really nothing to worry about. But the police are a laughing stock and intimidate nobody. If they catch you buying drugs, you're in for it, and if they don't, it's almost a sure bet you'll get beat, hopefully not hospitalized. I've seen it SO many times. Just think about any street a wise place to buy or sell drugs? If it's not legal in Amsterdam, don't buy it.

Jun 12, 2008

Finally became a 'victim'

After 7 trips to Amsterdam, & several other European cities as well, I finally got pickpocketed.

It happened Queens Night, while boarding an extremely crowded Tram from the Dam to Leidseplein. I distinctly felt a hand enter my right front pocket, and just as rapidly leave. I immediately announced that I had just been pickpocketed, but that the jerk will be disappointed because all he got was a useless (to him) hotel keycard. He didn't bother with the coffeeshop product in the same pocket though. He evidently thought he was getting a credit card of some sort.

You've gotta' be smarter than the pickpockets though. He could have emptied any of my pants pockets and still would have come up with nothing. When traveling in these type situations I where a pocketed T-shirt (for my wallet; which, on this day, also included an extra hotel keycard) under an overshirt; & a moneybelt for other valuable necessities (passport, extra cards, cash, etc). I also choose coats & jackets with internal pockets.

I'd suggest you do something similar.

danmcf's Profile Photo
May 16, 2008

Things To Do Near Amsterdam

Things to Do

De Krijtberg

Officially dedicated to St Francis Xavier, De Krijtberg is another Catholic church in Amsterdam. The actual elegant Neogothic edifice was constructed in 1883 by the architect Alfred Tepe. The church's...
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Things to Do

Flower Market - Bloemenmarkt

New Year's is certainly not the season to visit a flower market, so Bloemenmarkt was not super exciting when I was there in late December 2014. There were definitely flowers being sold along with...
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Things to Do

Begijnhof - The Wooden House

The Begijnhof - Beguinage in Amsterdam is certainly a pleasant and quiet part of the old city but as a beguinage I felt surprised by the architectural heterogeneity of this ensemble! Maybe I am too...
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Things to Do

Allard Pierson Museum

Allard Pierson Museum is the archaeological museum of the University of Amsterdam. The museum is housed in a nice classical building formerly from the Nederlandsche Bank. Allard Pierson was a...
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Things to Do

Bijbels Museum

Biblical Museum. Located on Herengracht in a group of stately mansions called the Cromhouthuizen. I was impressed by their collection of Bibles, and the model of the Temple Mount. "Archaeological...
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Things to Do


If you're into shopping, you might want to check out this street. There are plenty of shops here selling so many things for men and women. The only traffic here are tourists! Lots of them. In fact,...
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Getting to Amsterdam




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