In yesterday’s tip, a scam at an NFL game showed the value of setting up credit card fraud alerts. These alerts, which you can usually set up online (if you have trouble, try calling), are a huge help. But that aside, it still helps to know what scams are out there. Last month, SmarterTravel rounded up a few “Europe travel scams every tourist needs to know about.” Here are a few of them:
The stripping shoplifter
“Gelato in hand, you’re strolling down a street in Italy when suddenly, a woman starts loudly arguing with a street vendor. A crowd gathers as he accuses her of shoplifting. To prove her innocence, she starts to strip: Once she’s down to her underwear, the vendor apologizes, the woman leaves, and the onlookers disappear—but so have their wallets, thanks to a team of pickpockets who were working the show.”
Fake tourism police
“Just because someone looks official doesn’t mean they are. In Italy, “Tourist Police” may stop you on the street, flash bogus badges, and ask to check your wallet for counterfeit bills or “drug money.” You won’t even notice some bills are missing until after they leave.”
“Cashiers, and even bank tellers, thrive on the “slow count,” dealing out change with odd pauses in hopes that rushed tourists will gather up the money early and say ‘grazie.'”
“Some thieves hang out at train-ticket machines, eager to assist you in buying tickets with a pile of your quickly disappearing foreign cash. And skip the helping hand from official-looking railroad attendants at the Rome train station. They’ll lead you to your seat, then demand a ‘tip.'”
More European travel scams
The whole post is incredibly helpful. See all the European travel scams (there are at least 20 on the page) in the SmarterTravel roundup here.
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