1. Never keep your wallet or valuables in your back pocket, even if it buttons up—it's by far the easiest target.
2. Beware of the distraction tactic, such as dropping something near you, squirting something on you, or simply jostling you. Be on guard when in crowds, and secure your belongings.
3. Pickpockets often work in pairs or groups and it's not just the usual suspects. Be cautious with any strangers—sometimes people who don't look like they'd be a threat, such as children or the elderly, can be part of larger operations.
4. Stay alert in confined spaces and near passageways. Try to avoid standing near the doorways of trains as groups of pickpockets can rush at you when the doors open.
5. Before you set off on a trip, pare down the contents of your handbag or wallet – the smaller the bulge, the less likely pickpockets are to covet it.