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Have you been Scammed while traveling in Europe? Share your stories.

Have you been Scammed while traveling in Europe? Share your stories.

Mar 30th, 2009, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Well, recently in Rome I guess one could call it a taxi scam. The driver took us to Piazza Navonna on a roundabout route that was about 7 euro more than it should have been. However, his English was good and he was pointing out interesting sites along the way so we just considered it a cheap guided mini tour.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Mar 31st, 2009, 05:06 AM
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Hi again; Our first time to Rome, my daughter and I were walking towards the 'Roman bridge' and a car stops beside us. Where are you from. The US we said. I love Americans. I'm going to do something for you and give you this suade green coat. WOW. Could you give me some money for gas? We offered a very little. The next thing I know he has his hand going into my daughters pocketbook. I did take a 'little' action. He drove of and we had a good chuckle. A half hour later, we saw this couple walking across the Roman' bridge with the 'green' suade coat and they were happy. We had another louder 'chuckle'. iris1745/dick
iris1745 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 05:12 AM
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Last week I called the police on a scammer I saw operating outside our offices (we are in a town centre). Nothing aimed at tourists, but this sort of thing makes me really mad. I hate to see people being ripped off. this was the 'designer wrist-watches' scam.
nona1 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 06:03 AM
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Another SCAM I recall reading here is regarding car rental - something to do with a deliberate minor crash (like a tiny scratch), and when you get out of the car to check, the scammers come around and steal your purses/valuables from the unattended front seats and take off in their getaway car.
yk is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 06:25 AM
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Only once (in numerous times in Europe), in Rome - by a taxi driver. It was before euro, I gave him something like 50 thousand lira, when I turned my head, he had five thousand in his hand and said that was what I gave him.

I was tired and not sure. Later, I realized I was scammed.
It was a legitimate taxi , I spoke Italian with him
- made no difference. Crooks are crooks.

I am going to Prague this summer ,any advice...?
I speak one of the Slavic languages and will try to learn a few phrases in Czech... may not make a difference.
danon is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 06:38 AM
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In Prague, if taking a taxi stick to AAA Taxi and City Taxi. Others are suspect. Ask your hotel to arrange an airport transfer - it is nice to have someone waiting for you and usually doesn't cost more than a taxi.

Beware of pickpockets, particularly on the trams and metro.

Beware of "inspectors" on metro who want to "fine" you for ticket and other infractions.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Mar 31st, 2009, 06:47 AM
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Yes, danon. One piece of advice. Take StCirq with you!
CherylNBob is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 10:32 AM
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I would think one would know if one were being scammed or not.

Major scams are obvious.

Minor scams - adding a euro onto an illegible bill - well I suppose anyone could do it - but I do look at bills - and have never found one oddly large. I once lost some coins in a coffee machine - does that count as a scam. (The same thing has hapened to me here in the office when I didn't get a water for my $. I figure it was just a broken machine- not a scam.)
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:09 AM
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thanks for the info. basingstoke2.

"Yes, danon. One piece of advice. Take StCirq with you!'

I would love a company of a seasoned traveler like her since I am going alone ( Prague, Dresden, Berlin).
Does she speak German?
I can manage in several languages rather well but don't know a word of German.
I assume I'll be o.k. in Berlin? Anyone ?
danon is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Not all Athenian cabbies are crooks!

A friend and I took a cab from Syntagma to the Acropolis for 3 Euros. My friend was so surprised he asked, "Each?". "No, just 3 euros", said the driver.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:39 AM
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Once in Paris the ring scam - gypsy girl on one of the bridges. Played along but didn't give her any money and even let her keep the ring. Once in Paris the taxi ride from CDG to the 5th - I thought the guy was trying to take the "scenic route" because he took us the other way on the ring road and came down the Champs Elysees, but it was worth the extra couple of euro to see the Arc de Triomphe at morning rush hour, and he probably saved time not coming down the usual route anyway.
tejana is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:49 AM
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I accidentally scammed some kids when I was in Florence. But it was self-defence.

My 83-year-old Mum insisted on carrying a purse in Italy as she had everywhere for decades. When we were mobbed by the usual gang of little urchins with the cardboard, I saw red and was determined they weren't going to get their hands on that handbag. I moved fast, grabbed one by the sleeve and held on. She wriggled away from me and ran but had to leave her sweater behind.

In the pocket (inside, sort of stitched in) was 20 Euro.

I guess that makes me a pick-pocket.

At least, Mum stopped clutching that darn purse for the rest of the trip and we donated the money to the St. Paul-within-the-Wall fund for Romany families in Rome.
LJ is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Ja, danon, Ich habe Deutsch in der Schule studiert, aber vierzig Jahre seit!
StCirq is online now  
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:59 AM
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In Paris, a young woman was dabbing paint on some cute paintings of Paris scenes near the Arc de Triomphe. We paid 30 francs for one, then the next day saw another young woman dabbing paint on the same cute paintings near the Eiffel Tower. The "painting" turned out to be a cheap color print, with the only paint on it being the highlights that the young woman was adding while appearing to be just finishing the "painting."

Other than that, no scams in five trips to Europe. Not only have I not been overcharged for anything (that I'm aware of) I've even been the good guy and pointed out two instances of being undercharged in Paris restaurants when the waiter forgot to write down all the food we ordered and had been served.
Don is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 12:09 PM
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thanks StCirq

it looks like ' I studied in school but many years ago?
( from English and German movies)
Do you think I'll be o.k. in Berlin with English only?

I could learn a few phrases ,I tried before going to Vienna a few years ago , but German ( unlike Spanish, Italian, French) is just not my cup of tea.
danon is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 12:13 PM
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sorry, I mean movies in German with English subtitles.
danon is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 01:08 PM
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You'll be fine in Berlin with minimal German.

Pretty much correct, but not many years ago, rather 40 years ago. If you can understand that, you'll do just fine.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 31st, 2009, 01:37 PM
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I guess we got "scammed" by a local in the only parking lot at the top of Arcos de la Frontera--a white village in southern Spain. After working our way up some very tight and narrow lanes to the top of this village, we encountered a very tight and mostly full open air parking plaza. An older man was directing traffic and assisting parking, which was backed up and waiting. We waited and went as directed and paid the fellow 5 euros as requested. We then made our way down to our hotel and upon remarking about the limited parking and uncertainty of time limits--were informed that parking was free!

It bothered me for a while but my DH told me "To let it go" and I did. I later encountered the "parking attendant" and he pretty much blew the encounter off--so did I. Oh well!
macanimals is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 01:41 PM
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My wife reminded me of our most serious "scamming". We were in Isle sur la Sorgue for the famous Sunday morning market 2 years ago. It was not our first visit and I knew there were ATM kiosks in the outer ring. Upon inserting my card, the machine hesitated and the process got hung up. There was a fellow nearby who offered assistance and began a conversation. I was leary of distraction and after 3-4 minutes, my money and card came out as expected. All seemed normal and I left.

Upon our return to the states, I learned that my account was being debited the maximum allowed each day at various terminals in Marseille--all without my authorization. Contact with my bank cancelled the card. After filing affidavits with my bank, all funds were credited and I actually lost nothing. But the crooks got off with several thousand dollars.

It appears there was some sort of manipulation of the ATM allowing the retention of my card info and password, thus making physical possession of the card unnecessary. It was (and is) scary and I have no idea how to prevent it in the future. Maybe stay away from obvious tourist centers? I do not use ATMs in the states and have a separate account attached to it for use while traveling.
macanimals is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 01:49 PM
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macanimals - It sounds like the ATM kiosk you used had one of those "card readers" attached. Basically, criminals attach a device to the ATM (right where you insert the card), but those device tend to look okay to unsuspecting tourists who aren't familiar with the looks of foreign ATMs. When you insert your card, the device read off your information from your card and the criminals get hold of your # and PIN.

I think a "safer" option is to use ATMs inside banking centers; or ones just outside the banks but still part of the bank; instead of stand-alone ATM kiosks. At least the banking center ATMs get inspected by the bank employees and have a smaller chance being tampered with.
yk is offline  

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