Alarmed by alleged cases of pick pocketing in their vicinity, some money exchange houses in Doha are advising clients to be extra cautious while visiting their premises in order to avoid any untoward incident, it is learnt.

In particular, such cases see a spike during weekends, when a large number of people head to exchanges to remit money or conduct other transactions.

The cases of pick pocketing are coming to light even as many residents complain of fraudsters trying to rob people after spitting on them along Doha's streets, as reported in Gulf Times recently.

In recent weeks, a number of people have allegedly been victims of pickpockets in and around areas where money exchange houses are located. These areas generally remain crowded, especially on weekends, residents say.

Most of the complaints, according to sources, are coming from the Al Ghanim area while another area of concern is the Najma-Mansoura-Bin Dirham belt, which too houses a number of exchanges.

Besides those in Doha, exchanges in other places - such as Al Khor - see big crowds as well on weekends.

An employee of an exchange house said while they are repeatedly asking customers to be more cautious while visiting them for different transactions, there are still complaints of people losing their wallets to pickpockets in the vicinity of their premises. Such cases increase on weekend evenings, he adds.

One exchange in the city has put up a board warning customers to be more careful during visits, it is learnt. "We are aware of this alarming trend and have asked clients to exercise due caution," said a staff member at another exchange.

"Those who are robbed of their wallets not only lose cash but also vital items such as ID, debit and credit cards, driving licences, etc," said a source, adding that the pick pocketing cases are in addition to the "spit and rob" incidents taking place in the city.

Meanwhile, more people are coming forward with allegations of "spit and rob" cases. Recently, an airline employee said he lost more than QR1,500 while entering an exchange to remit money.

He recalled that somebody spat on the lower half of his body and then started apologising for the act. "By the time I realised that my pocket was picked, he had already vanished," the resident said.

Similar cases have also been reported from areas where ATMs are located.

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