Latest Scams in Europe 2018 please

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trevor hislop

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Thought I was fairly immune to scams after some previous experiences but got caught in Istanbul in June. Faced with long queue to visit a palace I asked an 'official' - or someone with an official badge - how long it took to get in. An hour he said. But if you want to do a tour you can buy the tour and go straight in and then meet the guide here again at 11am for the tour (it was 10:30). The tickets were legit and got us in. We came back outside at 11am - but no tour guide. We tried to go back in again to do our own tour but found the tickets were once use only. The amount he made from the scam was only $20 but what bugged me was that we spent $46 in total and only had 15 minutes in the palace grounds. We would have to spend another $46 and join the queue to get back in again!!

Someone also tried the money swap scam in Istanbul - a so called money collector in a quiet tourist spot starts a conversation about something reasonable and then asks to see what Australian money looks like. He then offers to swap a note from another country for your note. The overseas note is real but from some valueless African country. In Vietnam this was done with such class and fun over about 20 minutes of various proposed swaps that we let him keep the $5 - it was more like a game as we realised he was on the con and he knew we realised - the Gypsy one in Istanbul was crudely done and we backed out immediately.

Athens is full of pick pockets - almost a major industry at the moment - but we survived. We had a phone nicked in Bucharest through being a bit careless (unzipped bag) - however the pick pocket was very skilled as we couldn't remember any occasion when anyone came close enough to nick it.
 

Jo145

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Yes you're right about that, hence why we haven't been back in 6 years. Was so peeved last trip, especially in Nice then. I refuse to go to Paris this trip, told Mr KLN, nothing has changed since i was last there in 1990, except for more scams.
Switzerland staying with friends, Monza F1, and then visiting Lille and Villiers-Brett, something else in between, but want to stay not in the big capitals...... relaxing!

Spent 10 days in Paris this year and wasn't approached once. Perhaps because I travel in the winter months? Have never been approached with a scam. And I'm in my early 60s and travel on my own.
 
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We are currently travelling through Europe, so far we have been in Paris, Eastern France, Luxembourg, and arrived in Cologne last night. The only things seen so far are beggars on the streets ( less than normal ), one lady begging on the metro, far less than normal. The clipboard girls were on the prowl around Notre Dame, but a frown, “Non” and a horizontal cut of the hand gesture sent them away instantly, off fir easier pickings. There was one attempted pick pocket on the metro. Fairly packed carriage space standing room only, and one well dressed guy seemed to slam into us at one corner, seemed he was the only one off balance so a bit suss. We shifted at the next stop after many people got off. Checked pockets and bags, seemed ok. As we left the train we stopped in a quite space to double check, the zip on my wife’s small handbag was fully open under the cover and latch. Easy to do by sliding a hand in. But we lost nothing, so very lucky, , if he did take anything it would have been a tiny dollar amount that we keep in that bag just for easy transactions, there was nothing more important in that bag. We are seasoned travelers and it just goes to show just be careful.
 

Walter_Plinge

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Spent 10 days in Paris this year and wasn't approached once. Perhaps because I travel in the winter months? Have never been approached with a scam. And I'm in my early 60s and travel on my own.

I'm a little older and strongly prefer solo travel. Never had an issue. Being 187 cm helps, I think. A couple of times I've travelled with late 60s American friend. He seems to attract trouble.
 
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KLN

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Thanks everyone for all the updates, informative and funny. Have returned now and will do some updates very soon. Have a couple of new ones for you all. Standby!
 
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KLN

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Ok, so finally had some spare time since we got home.
Scam 1 - Bellinzona Switzerland. young couple approached me in the main street and asked me if i knew where they could by a sandwich. i pointed up the street where we had been having lunch. then they did the whole, it's too expensive thing with their hands. i just played dumb, and said no they were fairly reasonable prices in the food court and walked away.

Scam 2. Villiers Brett Petrol Station France.
left my husband alone for 5 mins (big mistake), came out and he's talking to someone........husband explains to me that this irish man had is wallet stolen in Paris, and he and his brother didn't have enough money to drive to Calais to get home. he had a Irish drivers licence (see link for the same name) was well dressed. my husband had already handed over 180Euro (idiot) and told me the story, and said to him my wife has the rest of the money. dude said he would transfer the money tomorrow, and would ring us for our bank details. (hahaha)
i said to idiot husband if he's irish why is he talking in a french accent. all of a sudden the dude change to an irish accent and started the whole sob story again.
told idiot husband it was a scam, and told the dude to f&*^ off and go and scam someone else. the dude left politely, after trying one more time to beg at my heart strings. said no impolitely again. told idiot husband to get in the car and drive before we got robbed.
of course he never rang......................... husband didn't get much more cash out of me after that!
Irish Confidence Tricksters Arrested in France

Scam 3. ( i actually loved this one)
attempting to get on a train carriage in Milan with heavy suitcases behind a group of teenagers, an older man checked out tickets and said come with me. got our suitcases on the other end of the carriage, bashed past everyone else in the carriage and took us to our seats after getting the suitcases thru all the teenagers. did a great job. then wanted cash of course. was very happy to give him 5 euros. he did a splendid job.
 

Walter_Plinge

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Scam 2. Villiers Brett Petrol Station France.

Surely the oldest scam going. Three years ago in Salt Lake City a reasonable looking young man said he'd lost his wallet and needed to get back to Texas urgently for his graduation. Could I lend him $25 for the bus fare?

A few minutes later I came across him trying the same thing on a pair of naïve looking young girls. They looked like they might bite. I walked up to them and said loudly, "Don't look at him. Walk away now. He's a scammer". He was mightily pissed off.
 

vetrade

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Surely the oldest scam going. Three years ago in Salt Lake City a reasonable looking young man said he'd lost his wallet and needed to get back to Texas urgently for his graduation. Could I lend him $25 for the bus fare?

A few minutes later I came across him trying the same thing on a pair of naïve looking young girls. They looked like they might bite. I walked up to them and said loudly, "Don't look at him. Walk away now. He's a scammer". He was mightily pissed off.

..........and he's still mightily pissed off 'cos he missed his graduation. ;)
 

Ausbt

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my husband had already handed over 180Euro (idiot)

Seriously? Wow, what's the deal with hubby - generous guy. Milan train station also one of the dodgiest places I've been, some very unusual types getting around there. Also one of the cafes there - I go to the counter I buy two espressos, pay and get a receipt then take it to another counter. No kidding the barista looked at the receipt and then tapped the tip jar with a spoon, and said without a smile "ok, but first you must ting ting ting". Really Gesuppi? Yeah really.

On the score of idiot husbands, at a bus station in Tangier a lengthy argument between the driver and some bloke who appeared beside me as I was loading a bag into a bus. After a lot of gesticulating and carry-on he went away I got the job done. Shortly after my wife said to me "you idiot, the guy wanted a tip and that's what the argument was all about".
 
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Agree. We didn’t see anything new in May, in fact the gypsys weren’t around much except near the Eiffel Tower and when approached and asked if I speak English I replied No in German and walked on. Agree not to engage. They aren’t complimenting you at all.
I actually invented new language of gibberish when approached and spoken to in Europe this summer. They soon go frustrated trying to keep up with our walking away and my gibberish :) :)
 
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Hi There everyone,
off to Europe next week, Switzerland, Italy, France.
what are the latest scams regarding gypsy's, thieves etc. like the old "oh you've got bird poo on your shoulder", just wondering what's doing the rounds this summer

thanks

Kathe LN
One of the things we were warned about by a guide in Italy was to be aware as you get off trains. There are signs on stations warning of pick pockets. She told us when we saw the signage not to touch our pockets, check bags etc; (an instinctive response). She said a pick pocket will see you, signal to a co-hort nearby, indicating you and where you have checked in your belongings, and hey presto! when you get outside the train station to pay for your taxi, bus etc; your wallet will be gone!
We did get pick pocketed but not because of that :) :)
 

drron

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I actually invented new language of gibberish when approached and spoken to in Europe this summer. They soon go frustrated trying to keep up with our walking away and my gibberish :) :)
Back in the 60s we always used "pig Latin".Very simple.Put the first letter of a word last and then add a suffix agreed upon.
 

vetrade

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I actually invented new language of gibberish when approached and spoken to in Europe this summer. They soon go frustrated trying to keep up with our walking away and my gibberish :) :)
Yes, gibberish is one of the languages I've used with success too. My gibberish is a mangled combination of Russian and German sounds because they are two nationalities gypsies seem to give a wide berth to.
 

vetrade

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Why do you think that is?
Russians and Germans are perceived as being no nonsense sorts of people who are not as gullible to con artists as Westerners and I think the phonetics of those languages also convey a sense of "don't mess with me". "Nein" (especially if spoken abruptly) is the perfect example of that -.
 
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Russians and Germans are perceived as being no nonsense sorts of people who are not as gullible to con artists as Westerners and I think the phonetics of those languages also convey a sense of "don't mess with me". "Nein" (especially if spoken abruptly) is the perfect example of that -.

Perfect, I'm off to learn some German and Russian words before the next trip :) :) :)
 

Milboo

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I am confused - what was the scam in the Switzerland example? Only seemed to be people asking directions or am I missing something?
 

Happy Dude

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I am confused - what was the scam in the Switzerland example? Only seemed to be people asking directions or am I missing something?
That's what I thought too! Not sure if the luggage guy was a scam either. But Scam 2 sure was funny.
 

JohnK

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I am confused - what was the scam in the Switzerland example? Only seemed to be people asking directions or am I missing something?
Food too expensive and needing money for the food.

Not quite a scam but the homeless in Brisbane are getting more and more in your face and I don't like this sort of harrassment. "Can you spare some change?" and when you say no "how about a smoke?". Surely if you were homeless you'd give up smoking right?

On Saturday I was walking down Edward St and see 2 sitting outside Commonwealth Bank. As I walked past one approached me and asked me for $3. Not change but specifically $3. It makes me feel uncomfortable.
 
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