Train Help Scam
Each Friday, we’re featuring a reader-submitted tip as our Travel Tip of the Day. This week’s tip was inspired by Monday’s tip about pickpockets (where it was left as a comment), and it comes from reader Don K. Says Don:
“Good tip—this is a real problem. My wife and I just returned from a cruise trip that left from Civitavecchia, Italy. It’s quite common for cruisers to take a train from Rome to the cruise ship port of Civitavecchia, which makes that train quite a target.
The scam we witnessed: Finding that train can be a very long walk/run through the Rome train station and you will find many people willing to help direct you and carry your bags. They will go through both your own pockets and all outside pockets of the bags if they get their hands on them. Secondly, they will have accomplices standing just inside the doors of the train ‘helping’ you get the bags through the door and into the train. They will create a panic by waiving you in, and acting like they are trying to hold the doors open as if the train were leaving—but they are actually causing the doors to close on top of you and your bags, creating as much commotion as possible. As they are dragging you and your bags into the train, they will, again, skillfully go through all open pockets on everything. They’ll stay in the doorway and repeat this until the train is REALLY about to leave, and then they hop off, and prepare for the next one.”
A great tip, and one that’s applicable to more than just Rome. There are plenty of travel scams out there, many of which I talked about in my appearance on The Social TV show (check out my interview, with scam tips, here), but you can avoid falling for them by being prepared and simply traveling smart. Thanks, Don—and Happy Independence Day, everyone!
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