I was the one who told those stories.
I have learned the hard way. Taxi drivers are nororious for counting money out of sight and then saying you didn't give enough.
Another trick is that you will hand them a bunch off bills - say $60 in 20s for a $55 fare, they will change one $20 for a $10, hold up the $50 and say "you didn't give me enough."
In Turkey, back when they had really high demonination bills they actually had $5,000,000 bills and $500,000 bills (one worth ten times more than the other.)
If you gave them a $5,000,000 bill they would hide it and then show you a $500,000 bill and say "you gave me the wrong bill" That way they could get you for almost double the fare. It happened to me threet times in one day - and I didn't figure out the scam until I got back to the hotel & counted my money.
I was once in France and I made a deal with a local at a money changing place - he actually handed me a roll of French Francs rolled around tissue paper (this was in 1983). Of course, he was all "shh, shh, don't show anyone what we're doing, its illegal" and so he wouldn't let me count it until after he walked away.
I have also heard Gypsies carry "babies" will bend down to show you the baby, and meanwhile the baby is hiding their hand going into a lady's pocketbook.
I just tell Gypsies to stay away from me (Barcelona is bad) and I never let anyone touch me in a foreign land.
One new scam is to have kids rush you in the subway. They will swarm you like bees and just take everything by force and jump off at the next stop. This supposedly happens in South America and Eastern Europe.
Also - watch for attractive girls who come up to ask if you want any "action" - they will touch your pockets & stuff, looking for your wallet.
like I said - no stranger touches me in public, it always just freaks me out anyway.