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TRAVEL SCAMS TO AVOID IN EUROPE—PART II

European scams to look out for while Traveling

Although pickpocketing is a scam that’s prevalent in almost every touristy city, the ways in which European crooks operate surely deserves a mention.

The fake baby scam
Location: Rome, Italy
A distraught gypsy woman will just happen to drop her baby or put her baby in your hands. Now, while you think you are just helping her, she will grab your wallet or handbag and make a run for it. All this will happen so fast that you will only later realise that the baby was in fact a lifeless doll.
Bus 64 aka the Pickpocket Express
Location: Rome, Italy
From the Piazza Venezia to the Vatican, bus number 64 goes through all the major tourist attractions in Rome. It is hugely popular with the tourists, as well as the pickpockets. They sometimes work in teams, where one will try to distract you while the other robs you. Be very careful when travelling on this bus and keep all your valuables secured. Some of the thieves may even be dressed stylishly and you wouldn’t realise that it is a pickpocket. The crowded environs, thanks to other tourists, give the pickpockets ample opportunity to get close to you.
Turnstile robbery scams to avoid in Europe

Turnstile robbery
Location: London, England
At the London subway, while you are at the turnstile, you will feel someone pressing into you from behind. You’ll probably feel something around the pocket region, but by the time you realise what’s happening, the pickpocket will have already passed on your wallet to his accomplice and run away. You can’t do much as you are on the other side of the turnstile.

Gypsy kids selling newspaper or maps
Location: Rome, Italy
This thievery involves a group of pickpockets. While you’re walking through the streets, you will suddenly be surrounded by gypsy kids who are shoving newspapers in your face. You may think of them as over enthusiastic paperboys, but what’s happening is that your attention is being diverted, while the pickpockets take away your valuables.
Did you drop something top scams in Europe

Did you drop something?
Location: Paris, France
This is quite common around the Basilica de Sacre Coeur. As you are climbing up the stairs, you’ll hear a sound as though you have dropped something. As you bend over to have a closer look at the money or jewellery you may have accidentally dropped, the thieves will make a run with your wallet, handbag or phones/iPods.

Petition sign scam
Location: Paris, France and other European cities
You are out at some famous tourist hub in Paris and find yourself approached by a stranger—a gypsy or a child—with a paper in their hand talking about some ill family member, and asking for a donations to an orphanage or any other ‘worthy cause’. They will outright ask you for money by trying to make you sympathise with their cause. In some cases, they will make you sign a petition which is written in French and you may not realise that you have signed something which roughly translates to “I agree to pay you €100…” or something to that effect. If you want to make any donations, go through the right channels.

Written By : Nimish Uday

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