Yes, it’s that time of year (July & August) when Nice is packed with tourists, and so, the pickpockets, thieves, and scammers are actively in ‘business.’ Unbelieveably, my friend who had her wallet stolen on a bus, was on bus #9 and saw the same “serial pickpocket” with his modus operandum of a jacket slung over his arm — No way has it been eight months since we were in court (see linked article)!
As in any big city anywhere, petty theft occurs on unsuspecting tourists, and Nice is no differentv– the most prevalent crimes are:
1. Gold necklaces are yanked from ladies’ necks, since the price of gold is high. Best to leave your jewelry at home!
2. Gold ring scam: Someone will pick up a gold ring and approach you, assuming that you have dropped it; he suggests that you keep it anyway, since it has value, in return for a gesture of giving him money. The best thing to do is to just walk away or offer to contact the police about the lost ring.
3. Pickpockets – one man I know had just withdrawn 400 Euros from a cash machine and had his wallet taken from his pants pocket (no, he didn’t feel a thing!) Purses should be worn slung across your body, backpacks worn on the front in crowded areas, and wallets not in pants back pockets. Be especially alert on crowded buses and trams.
4. Vol à la portière – In heavy traffic, or at red lights, the target is a purse, computer, or camera that can be easily grabbed by opening the car door or breaking the side window. Best to keep doors locked and items out of sight. (The below link shows an unusually aggressive incident)
vol a la portiére (Video link)
Nice is generally a safe city with about 400 video cameras in place, so don’t be afraid to come enjoy the French Riviera — just be aware of your surroundings and be “city smart”!