Phone robbery in Phnom Penh is an absolutely huge issue, and you are unlikely to not know at least a few people who the has happened to if you live in the city. It is particularly prevalent if you a have nice phone and go out drinking….
Is there violent crime in Phnom Penh?
Like any major city there is some, and no economy due to Covid has made it worse. Generally speaking though most of the crime (on foreigners at least) is opportunistic. It usually involved phones, and, or bag theft.
Street grabs in Phnom Penh
Walk around anywhere in Phnom Penh at night and there is always some danger. That being said particularly prevalent spots include the riverside. Opportunistic robbers are known to hang around hotels and bars frequented by tourists. We all use taxi-apps now. In some ways it makes us safer, BUT means we get our phones out on the street.
Tuk-Tuk grabs in Phnom Penh
Tuk-Tuk grabs happen a lot in Phnom Penh. Sadly you get the impression a lot of drivers are in on the act. Yes we get times are tough, but still. A bike will drive at speed and literally grab your phone as you’re on it. These are not amateur operations.
Bag grabs in Phnom Penh
There is no sexism with robberies in Phnom Penh! Again a bike will come at speed and try to grab your purse. If you have it wrapped around your neck, this is where it can get dangerous. The bike will not stop because the bag is chocking you.
Avoiding phone robbery in Phnom Penh
Sadly don’t walk about with your phone out in the city at night. Aka do your calls and do your texts when inside. Be this your house, bar, restaurant, or whatever. If you are one of those phone addicts, tough, suck it up, or lose your phone. You do not need to be checking your phone on the street, period.
Book your taxi from the restaurant or bar you are at.
Again most phone robbery is opportunistic, so if they see you in a restaurant they might wait for you. Call your grab and wait for it to arrive. Get in tuk-tuk, pay when you get home, nice and simple.
For example Jungle Cat has an area right by the front of the restaurant. You can order your ride and wait there.
ONLY use taxi-apps
A lot of tuk-tuks are not on apps like Grab, or Tada. This has to make you wonder, why not? They will often approach you and offer you the “same” price. That usually doesn’t work out as “same price”. More importantly though is that they stand to lose a lot if caught ding anything bad. Would you get into a random car at home? Usually not, so again keep that in mind.
To read about the best Taxi Apps in Cambodia click here
To install Grab click here
Use a headset
Wireless, or otherwise, you can still talk, or listen to music if you have a headset. Spend the money to save the loss. Nice and simple.
So, phone robbery in Phnom Penh is not going anywhere and will likely keep getting worse until the economic situation improves. Just don’t mess about on your phone in public, particularly at night. Or have a backed up cheap phone you don’t care about losing.
You can currently buy and iPhone 5 for $50. It might sound crazy having a “going out” phone, but it is worth considering if you like a drink.. Only you know what kind of “drinker” you are. Can you be trusted drunk with a $500+ piece of kit?