Toronto woman loses $4,000 to pickpocketing while visiting France

A Toronto teacher said she was looking forward to visiting a friend in France last July until she was pickedpocketed on the Paris metro.

“Once I got back to my friend’s house, I looked in my backpack and my wallet was gone. It contained around 200 euros and my debit and credit card,” Robyn Selvam said.

Selvam said she used her credit card to buy train tickets and had to enter her PIN into the payment terminal.

“I think someone must have seen me enter my PIN and then steal my wallet and credit card,” Selvam said.

Selvam said she called her bank, Scotiabank, but was put on hold for three hours trying to get through. Meanwhile, the thieves were able to rack up $3,932 in purchases and cash advances before the credit card was cancelled.

When Selvam contacted Scotiabank there was an investigation and they were told in a letter from the claims department that “we have determined that you (or another cardholder on the account) have been grossly negligent by failing to fulfill your obligations to protect your card, account, PIN or password.

Selvam was informed that she was responsible for the losses.

“It’s a huge sum to pay back, especially since I didn’t spend anything,” Selvam said.

Travel expert Loren Christine said when you travel, especially in Europe, you need to be on the lookout for pickpockets trying to sniff out tourists in busy areas.

“I think you need to be aware of that, hopefully it won’t cloud your holiday too much, but it’s something you always need to be aware of to make sure it doesn’t happen to you,” Christie said.

Christie said pickpockets often use distractions to try to rob people by creating a diversion or working with another person.

“If a stranger is approaching you and getting closer to you, it shouldn’t be happening, and there’s no reason for it to happen. It should be a red flag and you want to keep an eye on your valuables,” Christie said.

Christie recommends that when visiting a city, take only what you need for the day, put your wallet and phone in your front pocket, and leave your valuables and passport in a hotel safe or another safe place.

The 10 worst places for pickpockets in the world according to Money.co.uk are as follows.

1. Las Ramblas, Barcelona Spain

2. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

3. Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

4. Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic

5. Sacred Heart, Paris, France

6. Colosseum, Rome, Italy

7. Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic

8. Louvre, Paris, France

9. Notre Dame de Paris, Paris, France

10. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, ​​Spain

CTV News contacted Scotiabank on Selvam’s behalf and Scotiabank’s Director of Canadian Banking Communications, Elizabeth McFadden, said: “Scotiabank cannot comment on specific customer issues for privacy reasons, but we take cases of alleged fraud very seriously and will continue to work directly with this client.

“At Scotiabank, we have strong measures in place to help ensure the security of our customers’ financial transactions and the privacy of their information. We also encourage customers to help us prevent fraud on their accounts, which includes measures such as setting passwords to guess, not sharing their passwords with others, or writing them down in places easy to find, and protect the keypad, ATM or other devices when entering their PIN or other access information.

Selvam told CTV News she was contacted yesterday and told that the charges incurred by the pickpockets would be refunded to her credit card.

“I’m so grateful. Almost $4,000 is a lot of money for me, so it was a huge relief,” Selvam said.

Before you go on a trip, make a list of everything in your wallet and take pictures of your credit cards and passport and consider using a money belt or having secret pockets with zippers that are not easily accessible.

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