On the whole, Romania is a safe country. Expats will rarely come into contact with crime, and if they do, it will likely be of the petty and non-violent variety. Corruption remains an ongoing concern, however, and is an unfortunate reality across many aspects of life in Romania. Despite this, expats who familiarise themselves with the country will feel secure in their new home.
Crime in Romania
Like in most countries, crime does occur in Romania, but it's generally opportunistic in nature and is therefore often avoidable. The most common forms of crime in Romania are petty theft and pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas and on public transport in the larger cities.
Sometimes organised groups of criminals work together, one person distracting the target while another lifts their purse, wallet or jewellery. To avoid becoming a target, don't wear flashy valuables, always stay aware and don't engage with strangers in known target areas.
Credit card fraud is an ongoing problem in Romania, with foreigners being specifically targeted, and ATM fraud can also occur. Although most shops and services in urban centres accept card payments, many expats prefer to use cash when making purchases in the countryside. If paying by card, don't let it out of sight, and when entering the PIN, be sure to cover the PIN pad. When drawing cash, use ATMs in well-lit public areas.
Corruption in Romania
Institutional crime, such as corruption, continues to be a problem, and new arrivals are advised to be wary of officials demanding bribes or issuing fines.
The Romanian government has tried to crack down on all forms of crime, including corruption and institutional crimes. Although the anti-corruption measures have not always been effective, there is evidence of some high-profile arrests in recent years.
Are you an expat living in Romania?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Romania. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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