Ripoffs used by island businessmento fleece cruisemates
I read with fascination the advice provided by cruisemates concerning a person who got ripped off by a Caribbean island jeweler. The advice to bring a jeweler's was very good I thought and it sure would stop the tricky jeweler. By the way how do you say cop in Spanish. I thought that this kind of advice was as sound as when I asked a friendly bartender why the ashtrays had a mouse hole cut in the side. He said that the customer didn't see the hole because the bartender kept it facing himself. After the customer ordered drinks, the bartender put the change on the bar. After a while the bartender would clean the bar surface and move the ashtray to funnel the change under the ashtray through the hole. After the customer left, the bartender would move the ashtray to the edge of the counter and dump the money in his hand. This reminds me of the story of the trick the cruisemate told about the customer handing the dealer 100 in twenties. The dealer recounts the money under the table and says the customer shorted him 20. I think these tips are always good because they can save cruisemates
money and an unhappy experience.
I hope other cruisemates will contribute their experiences to this thread.
Scammers seem to be getting smarter, in any port, as years go by, creating new and improved ways to seperate people from their hard earned sheckles.
When I went to Europe last year, I heard of this pathetic trick. Someone has, what appears to be a baby swaddled in blankets. All of a sudden, the baby is tossed in the air,and the people standing around, drop what's in their hands, to run to try and catch "the Baby." While people are running, the crew is running, to pick up, what the tourists dropped.
There are always slick willys around, we need to keep our antenna up.
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
Last edited by Trip; February 27th, 2012 at 08:08 PM.
Many of these scammers would liken themselves to a Robin Hood type character, separating the "rich" cruisers from the money to improve their own "poor" lot.
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What many people need to watch for and even the most experienced travelers have been victim to are pickpockets. Many of these people can get inside your pockets jacket or purse without you even knowing it.
One scam that works really well on tourists is using kids to either distract tourists or the kids themselves are pickpockets. I was almost a victim of these when a group of children came around an outdoor Cafe in Spain and were chasing each other and looked just to be "kids" playing. One boy, approximately 7 or 8, bumped into me and I felt his little hand going into my pocket. I caught him and they all ran. Luckily I had an amateur. There are other "kids" who are much less clumsy. It's a reason that many locals never carry anything of value in their outside pockets.
I have now "heard" that kids on the islands are doing the same thing. They rush the tourists begging for money or treats and then pick their pockets. It's always why it irks to see people giving the kids candy and coins. One time I even saw a woman, from the ship, with a bag of candy throwing handfuls of it and the kids were fighting over the candy on the ground. Now that's "The Ugly American" syndrome.
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"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
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.
In Puerto Rico all public access buildings - hotels, restaurants, etc. - are required under law to permit anyone to use their restrooms. I know you know this, but I thought it was an interesting factoid.