40 Major Tourist Scams

Jul 24th, 2014, 12:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,672
40 Major Tourist Scams

Interestingly, the two i fell for are not among these.
But I have heard from friends and read many posts on Fodors and TA of people who suffered from at least one of the below.

it sure helps to be prepared

But, please do not be paranoid AND if you are, do not exhibit the sighns of being paranoid because that makes you an easier mark.

otherchelebi is online now  
Jul 24th, 2014, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,575
I've lived a charmed life and never been exposed to any of these scams. (Knock wood.) I've been mistaken for a local in a few places, and my husband doesn't look like a typical American. And we don't travel in high season. All of this probably works in my favor.
Jean is offline  
Jul 24th, 2014, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
I responded on the other thread.

adrienne is offline  
Jul 24th, 2014, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,013
Thanks OC, nice to see you.

Fortunately, I haven't seen most of these & am a hard-hearted Hanna who lets thrown "babies " fall; hisses at swarming kids.

I did see the rosemary selling ladies in Spain, but from a cafe across the road as they worked their "magic" on people passing in & out of a church.

Good warnings but really, most things are stolen because people do stupid things like putting their wallets in their back pockets & handbags on chairs, the floor & generally not using common sense. I can't imagine buying a gold ring from someone in the street here - why would I do it elsewhere?

I'm also fully aware that in the right circumstance a good pickpocket could remove my watch & I wouldn't even miss it.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2014, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,575
Bokhara2, we once went to dinner in a restaurant where a magician moved from table to table performing various tricks. Although my husband said he saw it happen, the magician removed my watch without me seeing or feeling anything!
Jean is offline  
Jul 24th, 2014, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,551
There's some real gems here! Thanks for the heads up.
worldinabag is offline  
Jul 24th, 2014, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 62
I've definitely seen the baby one in Rome, as well as the rosemary in multiple cities in Spain.

Perhaps the list should have included the legal scam that is dynamic currency conversion. Which I was almost taken in by in both Spain and Scotland. Particularly at one hotel in Spain I had to forcefully decline being charged in USD.
travelingaunta is offline  
Jul 24th, 2014, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,486
Over the years I have seen of them, participated in a couple, but never had any damage since I had nothing of value within easy reach. Just have to be alert.
fmpden is offline  
Jul 26th, 2014, 03:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,766
I never encountered any of these, but in May in Paris I was accosted by an INSISTENT young man to sign a "petition". He was practically in my face, as well as his two young female partners. I practically had to scream at them to get them to lay off. This happened on a bench near the Orangerie. I think that area (near the Tuileries) is very popular for that sort of thing.
Sue4 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2014, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,404
So OC, which are you going to perpetrate on American tourists? (Relax folks, OC is a friend.)
IMDonehere is offline  
Jul 27th, 2014, 12:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,672
IMDonehere, I included my former repertoir here to put the marks at ease. you did not think I would advertise the new ticks?

However, you can add some of the above to yours in New York. Just one warning, the shoeshine scam will probably not work because everyone walks with sports shoes or they are rushing at NYC.

A question : How do you wxpect people to relax by discovering that we are friends? For all I know, they may start coming up with conspiracy theories regarding ukraine , Russia, syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. upon finding this out -
otherchelebi is online now  
Jul 27th, 2014, 03:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,404
Most people here never relax, they look for grammatical and spelling errors as if they were in charge. Some would rather disagree with you first and then read what you actually post.

The biggest scam in NYC is the hotel tax of almost 15% and a surcharge for allowing to you stay in our wonderful city. No criminal enterprise can match that.
IMDonehere is offline  
Jul 27th, 2014, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,715
OC i have to admit that years ago in Tunisia, when i was green in more ways than one, we fell for a variation on the "please help, we've got a puncture" scam, in that this time we were asked to take this small boy [who was indeed standing by the road by a car with a puncture] to the house of his uncle who would send help. Of course they asked us into the house to thank us, and co-incidentally, it transpired that his uncle owned a carpet shop, and would we like to see the carpets, no obligation of course, but they would give us a very good price, etc,etc...

I'm sure that YOU would never have fallen for that trick.

we didn't buy a carpet, BTW.

Sue4 - the "will you sign my petition" people appear to be everywhere. My italian friend thought they were genuine and was surprised when I said that I didn't speak english and walked away from them, and even more surprised when these supposed charity workers started swearing at me.

to the list I can add the people who walk up and down italian trains handing out pieces of paper telling us in excellent english why they need our money, the incredibly pregnant woman who was begging outside the Vatican museums, the so called musicians who use very small children who ought to be at school to beg for donations...and I'm sure that there are plenty more.
annhig is online now  
Jul 27th, 2014, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 26,390
A woman approached me with the rosemary on my first international trip, to Spain.

It was interesting and I wanted to see what she wanted. As she was telling my "fortune" she mentioned that, "you will have many children."

It was her turn to be scammed when I thrust the rosemary back into her hand and said, "OMG NO!" and left in a huff.

She really should have known...
LSky is offline  
Jul 27th, 2014, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,878
Many of these scams that are supposed to be local are instead worldwide; the spot-on-your-jacket scam is also practiced in New York. A lot of them are just outright theft rather than scams.

There are many more that are missing: the fake designer who asks for directions and then offers to sell you a piece of designer clothing for peanuts; the box switcheroo, when you thought you were buying an iPad; the taxi driver banknote switcheroo; the people who watch you buy your metro ticket and then signal to an accomplice where you keep your wallet; The people who call out "Thief!" in a crowded bus, so that everyone will check their wallets; the amazing toys that don't work after you buy them. I could go on and on.

I've never been a victim but I know people who have, and I've seen some of these people in operation. I was once walking with someone who almost fell for the box switch. The seller implied that the TV was "hot", and my gullible and dishonest companion was ready to buy it until I dragged him away.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 03:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 5
Great information. Here are some other common scams: http://www.wikiadult.org/wiki/Common_scams

I have got scammed many many times on my first trips and still get scammed every few years, but I travel pretty much all the time. I would really recommend people to read this and other articles on this site if you are not an experienced traveller.
It often takes only a while to learn about things that can save you big bucks. Street smartness is very important.
bambuman11 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,724
It used to be that taxi drivers taking tourists from JFK or LGA to Manhattan would charge exorbitant rates. Now there's a law of what charges are allowed.

Otherwise, except for three card monte, I've never seen the other scams in NYC. But then, I'm not a tourist.
Dianedancer is online now  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Sep 30th, 2000 09:13 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:33 PM.