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Do Not Be A Victim of These Popular Scams Targeting Tourists In These Holiday Hotspots

Posted by Marius Fermi on 13/07/2016
Do Not Be A Victim of These Popular Scams Targeting Tourists Throughout the World

We’re flying towards the summer travel season and so the day dreaming begins; the beach, the sea, the cocktails and the fun! Unfortunately, this is where those daydreams get a little dark, there are scammers out there targeting tourists and tourists are never more approachable than when they walk out of those airport doors.

But do not fear! This article is here to keep you wise and aware to situations that may well be a scam. Below is a list of just a few but common scams that can be witnessed throughout the world, some are more popular than others but understanding how these scams work will allow you to recognise a potentially expensive situation.

The Found Ring (Hard to believe this works!)

Commonly Found in: Paris

It seems hard to believe that this scam works but I imagine that it must do, otherwise people wouldn’t be doing it. It all starts with a woman dropping a ring right in front of you, she’ll pick it up and ask if it happens to be yours.

Reply no and the woman will start to inspect the ring in the attempt to prove that it’s real gold (this is never the case) and then try to sell it to you, for a massive premium.

The Thrown Baby

Commonly Found in: Rome

As absurd as it sounds, this is an actual trick. A woman will walk up to you and throw their baby at you (generally speaking this is just a doll) causing you to panic and catch the baby. In the meantime, your pockets or bags will be furiously picked.

Stain on your Jacket

Commonly Found in: Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro

There’s two methods to this scam, the first one will start out with someone purposely spilling something on you, the second will involve something being thrown at you. What ends up on your clothing can range from drink to fake bird poo. At this point someone will notice the stain, point it out to you and then offer to clean it up.

Once your jacket is off the good willed person will take it and whilst cleaning it will take stuff out of your pockets.

The Dropped Wallet

Commonly Found in: Rome, Ukraine

What looks to be a stolen and dumped wallet is placed on the floor which when a tourist walks passed will instinctively check their wallet. This is all being watched by onlookers who make a note of where you just checked and patted yourself down. A little later down the road you’ll come across this onlooker who will try to then pickpocket you.

The Shoe Shiner

Commonly Found in: Istanbul

There will be a man that drops a shoe brush in front of you, he will be ever so thankful to the point that he will then start to shine your shoes. It looks and feels like a good gesture but once he is done there’s going to be a demand for money, making a scene if needed.

Room Inspectors

Commonly Found in: Barcelona, Madrid

Generally, two people will knock on your door, both of which will be dressed in a hotel uniform, to complete a routine inspection. Whilst one of them is talking to you, distracting you, the other will be stealing your stuff.

The Map Seller

Commonly Found in: Barcelona, Madrid

A number of people will approach you trying to sell a map, which they will unfold in front of your face showing you stuff on the map. Whilst you’re distract their accomplice will be there to pick pocket you. This is quick and simple for the scammers so divert groups of people selling maps, or at least avoid multiple ‘sales’ people.

Closed Hotel

Commonly Found in: Europe

This scam starts nice and early in your trip, the taxi driver is always in on this scam too so always be cautious right away. What will happen is that the taxi driver will spend the entirety of the drive trying to convince you the hotel is closed (it generally isn’t but always phone ahead) but will know of another place you can stay.

What you will get as an alternative is an overpriced hotel which is in a horrible area, the taxi driver will also get a fat commission from the tourists they bring.

One more to note – check the names of the hotels. Often the overpriced, shady hotels will have the same name as the normal hotels, hoping to confuse the tourist.

Cashier on the Phone

Commonly Found in: Barcelona

Another cashier trick – when you’re having your items scanned up the cashier will pretend to be on the phone. Unfortunately, there’s generally no one on the end of the phone, what’s happening instead is the cashier is actually taking photos of your credit card which can be replicated later.

The scams above are a nuisance when trying to relax and enjoy your holiday so always have your wits about it and again, if it’s too good to be true – it probably is.

Marius Fermi – UK Marketing Manager at AirHelp where we understand that flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. By taking care of all the legal paperwork and procedures we take the stress away from you and help airlines achieve better customer service.