Instructions for preventing pickpocketing and what to do if a crime takes place

19There are pickpockets around particularly at mass events, tourist attractions and during the holiday season. You should however take good care of your personal property even when you are on the streets of your home city. Bags, wallets and mobile phones are typical subjects of theft. Pickpockets can be prevented in many ways. Preparatory action can reduce damages and make things easier, if theft takes place in spite of everything.

You can prepare for pickpocketing in the following ways

  • The pin codes of credit and debit cards are the key to using them. If possible, learn your credit and debit card pin codes off by heart.
  • Do not store pin codes in the same place with the cards.
  • Make sure that your phone’s pin code and any pin codes and documents required for online banking do not end up in the wrong hands.
  • Make a note of your mobile phone’s IMEI number, i.e. It’s serial number. You can find the number on your phone by dialling *#06#.
  • Avoid saving confidential information on your mobile phone, such as passwords of pin codes for credit and debit cards, so they do not fall into the wrong hands.
  • Protect your smartphone so that the phone can only be used with a passcode.
  • Only ever carry a necessary amount of money, necessary debit and credit cards and other documents, with you.
  • If you have to withdraw a large amount of cash at once, avoid carrying the money with you unnecessarily. Do not keep all the money in one place.
  • A wallet and mobile phone are good to keep with you in such a way that no-one can access them without you noticing. The back pocket of trousers is not a safe place, while your breast pocket is.
  • Avoid taking your wallet out in public and do not show how much money you have with you.
  • Handbags should be kept closed and securely in your hands, so it cannot be snatched in a crowd. Prefer a zipped handbag. Do not leave you handbag e.g. In a shopping trolley, unattended.
  • Do not keep your wallet or mobile phone, or anything else that is valuable, in a backpack.
  • Keep your insurance policy up to date. Check the coverage of your insurance policy and the related protection guide.

If you become a victim of pickpocketing

If your debit card or pin code is stolen

  • Inform the police of the theft and ask for any instructions.
  • Contact the banks’ closure service on 020 333, when abroad call +358 20 333 (24h). You only need your social security number for closing any cards.
  • Inform your account bank of the theft as soon as possible.

If your mobile phone is stolen

  • Inform the police of the theft and ask for any instructions.
  • Call your operator’s customer service as soon as possible so your mobile phone service can be closed. You only need your phone number to close the services. For preventing the use of the phone, you will need the IMEI number, i.e. The serial number.
  • Customer service numbers (24h):
    • Sonera: 0200 17000
    • Elisa: 0800 95 050
    • DNA: 044 144 044
    • Saunalahti: (09) 4243 0456
    • Tele Finland: 0404 123 123

If your wallet or ID is stolen

With your wallet, you often lose other important personal and other cards, which can be misused. With the information provided by ID cards (driving license, KELA card, etc.), a thief can try and take out a quick loan or other credit, or open a mobile operator service in your name. Other cards, which can be misused are, for example, your library card, store loyalty cards (may include credit or enable instalment agreements), travel cards and online banking pin code card.

To minimise damages, do as follows

  • Report the crime to the police so you can indicate irregularities.
  • Inform all parties about theft, when you renew your card.
  • Do not pay any bills, which have been made in your name, but instead contact the billing party first. For example, Quick loans usually do not need to be paid, if they have been acquired with false details.
  • If a quick loan has been taken or a mobile operator service has been opened in your name, you can report the theft by email to other quick loan companies / operators.
  • You can also find about applying for a temporary personal credit ban, which prevent any instalment agreements or taking out loans - more information from RIKU.
  • If necessary, contact Victim Support Finland, if you have any questions related to what has happened, which would like answers to or if you feel the need to discuss what has happened.