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Old July 23rd, 2014, 01:02 PM
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Default Common Travel Scams - worldwide:

BabaMail -40 Tourist Scams You Should Avoid This Summer

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Old July 23rd, 2014, 02:57 PM
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We were "almost" taken by a band of children in Barcelona. A group of about six kids (ages 5-10) came into a cafe, with an adult, and started running around playing "tag". They got closer and closer to our table and then knocked over a chair to distract us.

As I bent over to pick up the chair, right away, I felt a little hand going for my front pocket. I grabbed his hand and told him, and the adult, to get away from us. They immediately ran out of the cafe. The owner was grateful and comped our meal. My wife believes that he was in on it and did it so we didn't go to the police. She may be right.

The other thing to watch out for is in using ATM's. There is a BIG problem in Europe where they will put a false card slot on an ATM and a small camera, on the top ledge, above the keypad. With this they get your PIN number and can clone your card. Always put your other hand over the hand you enter the PIN number with. My nephew, who is an English Police Sergeant, told me about this scam. Also run your hand under the top ledge to feel if there is something there. If you feel something, go to another ATM.

The other is when withdrawing money from an ATM always make sure you watch the card slot and the money dispensary slot. Three years ago I was on the Carnival Breeze, Cruisemates Cruise, in Florence, and I was taking a few seconds longer than usual, at the ATM, because I was unfamiliar with the layout of the bank's ATM. The money dispensary slot was lower than I was use to and just as I saw the money coming out, a hand, that wasn't mine, reached in to grab the money. I brought up my left elbow and hit the person square in the face. The blood (not mine) and bruise on my elbow gave me the satisfaction in knowing I made good contact. He ran off down the street holding his face.

Overall, you are "reasonably" safe when traveling but you always have to keep your guard up and you can't be as "helpful" as you normally are because of the scams that perpetrated to get your money.

Take care,
Mike
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Old July 24th, 2014, 09:23 AM
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With regards to ATMs, and this applies anywhere, if you can use the ATMs that are inside a shop or bank as there is far less chance that these will have been tampered with, or that someone will make a gram for your money & hope to run away.

One potential scam that we avoided was in Spain where an immigrant wanted to show us some of his country's currency, and was really keen to see a 20 or 50 Euro note, and kept telling us that the 1,000 whatever it was note we had was worth a lot, so if he trusted us with that, then he must be a trustworthy character - yeah right & I arrived on the last boat - oh hang on I did ;o)

I am sure that if he had seen our money, he would have legged it, possibly grabbing my wallet at the same time, leaving us with a foreign note worth a cent or two - presuming it was actually real.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 09:49 AM
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The one I heard alot before I went to Europe was the baby one mentioned..There are many varaitions, one where the person drops the pretend baby,and when you run to help, eveything you left, is stolen,or gone through by the thieves.
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Old February 11th, 2015, 02:21 PM
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Thousands of International travelers, particularly from the US and Canada, have fallen victims of timeshare fraud while vacationing. Resort developers hire skilled salesmen to represent their timeshares as many different attractive packages, such as financial investments, deeded properties, or vacation clubs, just to increase their sales.
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Old March 19th, 2015, 12:28 PM
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We had a scam in Argentina where we were walking down the street and someone dropped something like flour on our heads from a window. We were looking around and seeing what had happened when someone else rushed up, saying he was sorry and trying to brush the flour off our clothes. We protested loudly instead of listening to him and he walked quickly away – my wallet was halfway out of my pocket when I checked it.
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Old March 19th, 2015, 04:10 PM
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Wow, good thing they didn't get your wallet.
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Old March 19th, 2015, 07:26 PM
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The only one we've personally witnessed was the 'Found Ring' routine in Paris. He put a 'gold' ring, which was obviously copper to me, and was told I dropped it. When I refused to take it, he demanded a founder's fee. I immediately laid it on the sidewalk and just kept walking. I had heard about this scam, so was aware of it, but wasn't ready to have someone walk up to me and blatantly put a ring in my hand.

But I did have a newlywed couple on their honeymoon get caught with the hotel scam where the 'front desk' called them right after they checked in and got to their room. The person on the phone sounded official and said they needed to verify their credit card information. Unfortunately they fell for the scam and had their credit card charged.

Bottom line is to be careful out there. Keep your valuables in a neck wallet or something similar. And always be aware of your surroundings and where your possessions are. This applies to everywhere, even in your local shops, not just while your traveling. Check your credit and debit card purchases online regularly as there are alot of unscrupulous people in the world.

Pete
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