Most petty crime stems from opportunity. As an American abroad, you will stand out and thus some may target you. Being aware of your surroundings significantly reduces your chances of being a victim of crime.

Newly arrived travelers are often targets of crime because they:

  • Are unfamiliar with their surroundings
  • Might not speak the local language well
  • Are recognizable as foreigners
  • Have not yet learned the social norms or unwritten rules of conduct
  • Are eager to get to know new people and the local culture
  • Are naive to the intentions of people around them
  • Are carrying all their valuables with them
  • Wear headphones and/or talk on cell phones when walking around, crossing streets, and/or jogging. 

Some factors that you can control, which may place you under greater risk, include:

  • Being out after midnight
  • Being alone at night in an isolated area (travel with someone whenever possible)
  • Being in a known high crime area
  • Sleeping in an unlocked place
  • Being out after a local curfew
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Carrying excessive amounts of cash and/or valuable property
  • Wearing earphones while walking (as then you cannot hear anything going on around you!)