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Barcelona pickpockets - advice what to do if it happens to you

You are here: » Barcelona » Facts about Barcelona » Pickpockets

What to in case of being pickpocket?
Watch out for pickpockets in Barcelona

Unfortunately, pickpocketing is a big problem in Barcelona. If this should happen to you, do the following:

1. Report your missing credit cards.

The most important thing is that you report your missing credit cards, don’t wait a day or even a minute. Most credit cards have insurance that protects you from any withdrawals made on your card since it got stolen. However, you need a police report to support this.

Report your credit cards - phone numbers:

Visa: +34 900 974 445
Mastercard: +34 900 971 231:
American Express: +34 915 720 320

2. Report to the Police

If you speak Spanish you can go to any police station in the city to report the theft. If you don't speak Spanish, go to the police station on Nou de la Rambla. It might be a bit chaotic since many thefts are treated there. Be prepared to wait for several hours before making your report.

3. Do I need to report to the police?

If you have travel insurance and you wish to recover your money, you usually need to make a police report in the country where the theft took place. If you only lost a small amount of money and you're traveling without travel insurance, it might be better to skip the police report as it's usually very time consuming.

4. Any chance that the police will find my belongings?

By experience, your chances are not very good. I've worked several years in a hotel in Barcelona and I've tried to help hundreds of tourists finding their belongings. I only remember one time when the police phoned the hotel, saying they'd found a wallet at the train station.

Other contact numbers:

British Consulate General
Avenida Diagonal, 477, 13a
08036 Barcelona

Telephone: +34 93 366 6200
Fax: +34 93 366 6221
Office hours: 07:00 - 15:00

Irish Consulate General
Gran Via Carlos III, 94
08028 Barcelona

Telephone: +34 93 491 5021
Fax: +34 93 411 2921
Office hours: 09:00 - 13:00

Unites States Consulate General
Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23
08034 Barcelona

Telephone: +34 93 280 2227
Fax: +34 93 280 6175
Office hours: 09:00 - 13:00 / 15:00 - 17:00

WARNING: How can I protect myself against pickpockets?

1. Leave as much as you can at the hotel. Ask for a Safety Box and leave your valuables, including your passport.

2. Be aware and careful when stepping on and off the Metro and in places where there are usually many tourists.

3. Watch out for salesmen who's trying to sell you newspapers. They're usually carrying a child and they cover your table with a magazine while taking what's on the table.

WARNING:  Common pickpocket stories I've heard through the years:

1. You're walking through town or Parc Güell and suddenly it feels like you are hit with bird shit. While you're standing there trying to understand what just happened, a nice English-speaking man stops and says he wants to help. He tells you he lives in the next house and you can follow him inside to wash off. He disappears with your wallet/purse while you're washing up.

2. You are stopped by two persons claiming to be police officers. They are carrying a headset and they show you their badges. They inform you that the area has had a lot of problems with drugs and that they just want to check if you're carrying any drugs in your pockets or purses. You give them your wallet, and they steal some of the money without you noticing. He gives back the wallet and they disappear from the site.

Have you experienced pickpocketing in Barcelona?

How did it happen? Please email us so we can publish your story to warn other tourists.
Write to: 

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