Greece is a lovely country, amazing views, super delicious food and very hospitable people. Sadly, though, like in any country you will find bad people.
Last December when I visited with a group of sisters we had a great time, it was fun we explored the city and we did enjoy the food.
However, during the trip one of the girls was robbed. We are not sure exactly how since one minute she paid in a shop and the next her wallet was gone. I do have my suspicions.
We were walking around Monastiraki and I believe that one of the shop assistants did it while we were waiting for the rest of the girls to finish their shopping outside. We were sat on the steps when she leaned next to my friend.
Next thing we know we sat for dinner and the wallet was gone. Since it was pretty deep in the bag there is no way a pickpocketer did this while we were walking
The following day we went to ask around and I can definitely say she was shocked to see us here, one day super polite and the next not so much. We weren’t rude or anything just asked if they had seen it around.
I have never had a case before where I was robbed while traveling but there is a first time for everything. Sadly it kind of spoils the trip of course as well as all the stress and hassle.
The next day we went to the police station near our hotel and while waiting there they told us we are in the wrong station. They cannot issue a document or report it to them. You have to go to the Tourist Police.
The Tourist Police in Athens is in Dragatsaniou Street near Panepistimio metro station, not far away from Syntagma and Monastiraki, you have to go there to receive a report for your insurance company.
Interestingly there was no sign saying the Police was there or anything else. And currently while looking to find the address for this post, I couldn’t find the location of the office we went to! Many times in Greece things change overnight and the internet doesn’t catch up fast enough.
I found this list below with the details of the other Tourist police stations in the government Police website.
The day we went there were protests so the metro along with all the streets in that area were closed. Police were everywhere and it was a totally surreal experience. Masks, guns, and vans totally out of a movie scene.
Even the Tourism Police had their shutters down as usually, they are the first to get vandalised. Oh, the Greek experience!
At the end, we received the paper as proof of the theft and we were done in 15minutes.
The officers were pretty chilled out and it was definitely an occurring case since apparently there are many pick pocketers around.
They won’t do anything to recover or investigate sadly as I feel they just know it happens and have given up.
Being pickpocketed is never a good experience but here are the tips I recommend when you traveling:
- Always have extra cash and card in another place other than your wallet. Many times I will have cash in my wallet but also in my in the front pocket of my jeans.
- Have a copy of your documents and card stored online with a password for protection. You don’t want to get it in the wrong hands but you want to be able to access it when needed. So extra secure encrypted apps can help.
- I usually never carry my passport with me and I leave some cash in the hotel room in a safe spot. At least I know I will have enough for food or other necessities.
- Use skype to call your bank and cancel the cards immediately. I always have extra credits in my skype account.
- Paypal can also be a good option if you need to buy tickets etc. You can pay via PayPal where you don’t need your credit card.
- Have travel insurance, I know some people are not keen on insurance but in emergency cases like this it can be a life saver.
- Many cards can issue you with an emergency new card within 24 to 48 hrs which is super impressive. My friend received hers in 24hrs, it is consolation at least.
No matter where ou travel taking precautionary measures for things like this is important. Be prepared but never let it stop you from travelling far and wide. 🙂