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How Can I Avoid Getting Scammed In Tourist Cities?

Reprinted with Permission from the Travel Blog: SerendipityTravel.net

world cities

New York, Paris Rome, London, Brussels?

Scammers have derived a variety of ways they used to scam people, so preventing a scam will depend on the particular scam they’re trying to run. But there are some general steps/tips you can apply to prevent being scammed.

  • Stay focused when in a crowded place

The most likely scenarios are when you exit the train station or looking for a street or a particular building. Update your travel guide and know exactly where you need to be and how to get there. If you must check your maps or itinerary find a quiet place where you can concentrate.

  • Ensure that your bags aren’t open

Yes, I know this is quite basic right? Who would close their bags, but you’d be surprised how many people lose their wallets and ID because their bags are left open.

  • Avoid anyone that randomly approaches you

This is always a two-man job. The person approaching you is always doing that just to distract you while the other one tries to get close to you to steal your stuff. So, even if you must talk to some random person be very cautious of your surroundings

  • Don’t leave your bag or phone on your table or seat next to you

For no reason at all should you leave your bag or phone on the table or seat, you’re joking asking someone to come and take it away. The best to do is to keep the bag under the table with the strap wrapped around the leg of the chair.

  • Refuse anything offered to you by strangers

This one is pretty self-explanatory, doesn’t really matter what it is, money, food whatever at all, refuse!!

 

Pickpockets

An age-old practice pickpocketing. There’s rather numerous pickpockets in Paris and lots of things get stolen daily. Okay, calm down, there’s no need to get all paranoid not everybody walking the streets of Paris is out to scam you. These pickpockets usually depend on crowded areas to operate, places where there’re many distractions, for instance, a pack, popular tourist destination, on the bus, etc. pickpockets aren’t very conspicuous, that just lurk and wait for an opening, so your best bet is to be very conscious of your belongings and surroundings.

pickpocket

 

Where does this scam happen?

Unfortunately, a scam can happen virtually anywhere and at any time. So, you have to stay sharp round the clock, especially when in crowded areas.

How can this be avoided?

You just have to take better care of your stuff, be vigilant of your surroundings, and keep your things safely stored away. There is also a lot of anti-theft equipment out there on sale, to help you keep your items better secured.

Stealing Cell Phones in Train Stations

This one is a well-known scam on trains, and they happen virtually every day to both tourists and locals. While on the train people are usually using their phones for all sorts of things, some to read news others are either chatting on social media or just playing video games. Off your guard and distracted the phone thief uses this to his advantage. The thief just moves closer to you and waits for the alarm that signifies the doors are closing then he/she grabs your phone and jumps off just as the doors are closing and your phone is gone with no way of chasing the thief. The safest way of avoiding this is by not bringing out your phone on the train at all, or you could just get one of those phone cases with the extra grip attached to the back of the case to have a stronger grip on your phone if you must use it in the train.

Where does this scam happen?

There’s really no specific place, anywhere from trains to buses even in the street.

How can this be avoided?

Keep your phone in your pocket or bag at all times when in public/crowded areas.

cellphone

Fake Airport Taxis

Upon arrival at the airport, someone will approach you to inquire if you need a cab and a private car. Most times you do need one, and you’d be so happy that you can get one immediately you got out of the airport. Though that person will deliver the services as advertised, they’re not legal cab drivers. In Paris, it is illegal to approach passengers directly, so every time some ask you if you want a ride they’re breaking the law. Also, bear in mind that these illegal cab drivers can charge you whatever they want because they’re not regulated. When they approach you, just quietly walk by or politely refuse their offer. Legal cab fares are between (53€ and 58€ from CDG, and 32€ and 37€ from Orly) just follow the signs at the airport to get to the designated taxi stands.

I’m the event you do not want to ride public transportation, you can hire a private ride before you arrive, and depending on how many you are it may be much cheaper than following regular public transport.

Where does this scam happen?

These scans are usually at airports and stations, though they can happen at other places too

How can this be avoided?

Do not accept rides from people who come to you asking if you want a ride.

And one of the ways they try to get women to maybe trust or go with them? Madam, Miss  your pants are ripped. I live near here. If you want I can shield you and then take you to my place. You can mend them there. Or I can shield you, and you can, I protect you by walking behind you.

 

Worthy Of Note!!

Most of these scammers work for much bigger syndicates and are rarely alone.

So if anyone approaches you to support a petition with some coins, his/her partner might just be around the corner observing how much you have on you and where you keep your wallet.

Preventing all these scams come down to how observant and careful you are. Like I said earlier scammers don’t create opportunities they just wait for you to slip up and try to make the most of your distraction.

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