What exactly do we mean by a fake wallet? It’s a decoy – and sometimes called a mugger’s wallet. The purpose of which is to fool a mugger or pickpocket into stealing the fake rather than taking your real wallet.
The theory is this: if you’re ever threatened and told to hand over your wallet, you give up the decoy but your real stash is hidden elsewhere on your person (like in your money belt).
If your fake wallet is pick-pocketed, then the worse that happens is that you learn to be more aware of your surroundings.
Tip: Brush up on your pickpocket facts before your next trip.
Actually, yes. Every traveler will benefit from carrying a travel wallet that’s a decoy. A decoy wallet is especially useful when you’re traveling – although some folks employ them all the time – because it forces you to keep only the minimal or a days’ worth of cash in the decoy and keep everything else safely tucked into your money belt.
The most common form of identity theft happens when someone uses another person’s personal information for financial gain. This is often what happens when a purse, backpack, or wallet gets stolen.
The theft of a wallet is unnerving at best, but it’s also a huge burden on the victim. The burden is even worse when you’re traveling and need to make a police report and notify banks, credit cards, etc.
Let’s start with what you should take OUT of your wallet before any trip. These are the things you should remove from your real travel wallet:
Now, let’s move on to making your decoy travel wallet.
When you’re putting together a fake wallet, it’s got to look real enough and yet prevent a thief from accessing your funds, selling your identity on the black market, and worse.
Here are the top components that make the best fake travel wallets:
Now that you’ve got your fake wallet and your real wallet, keep them far apart. Put the real wallet in a safe place, like a money belt, or an interior zipped or locked pocket.
Remember, a pickpocket is just looking for any wallet so make sure that’s the one in the back pocket of your jeans or the outside pocket of your purse or backpack.
A mugger wants something that looks like a wallet. Give it to them. You won’t be giving up what you really need, which is your travel cash, identification, etc.
Just don’t look smug or enthusiastic when you give it up! In fact, you should probably grumble, frown, and complain a bit.
We’ve recommended before that you leave expensive or precious things behind when you travel. The designer purse is a good example of this. By carrying a basic purse (it should be a bag that’s work across the body and in front), then the bag is less likely to be snatched from you by someone passing by.
If your fake wallet is also in that basic purse, but your primary travel cash, documents, and passport are in your money belt worn underneath your clothing, then you can hand the purse and fake wallet over without too much remorse. You might lose today’s worth of cash and some other odd items, but it’s likely worth it.
After all, you know the rest is safe. Your favorite lipstick? Put it in your coat or jeans pocket instead.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.