Avoiding Common Scams

Avoiding Common Scams

Safety always comes first when traveling. Knowing that you are outside of your comfort zone, often in unfamiliar surroundings, will likely have you acting more carefully, naturally. But it can also make you a target for those who seek to prey on tourists.

 

To protect yourself, you must stay vigilant. It’s important to exercise caution with more effort than simply wearing a money belt. The following scams aren’t particular to Europe of course, but they are worth noting.

 

The slow count is a pretty clever technique whereby cashiers slowly count out your change, hoping you’ll lose patience and leave with whatever has been counted out so far (leaving you literally shortchanged).
 

Incorrect change is another common scam, especially since locals know you may be confused by an unfamiliar currency. Often times, coins or bills of different values look the same, so always make sure to count your change.

 

Some really rotten service people may even stoop so low as to do a bill change, whereby you hand them a larger bill, and they pretend to have received a bill of a smaller denomination.

 

Another common tactic to be wary of is the helpful local. While it is natural to rely upon the assistance of strangers when you visit Europe, you should always be suspicious of people who seem “too” helpful. A local thief for example, may pose as a good Samaritan telling you to keep your wallet somewhere safe, then turn around and steal it after they see where you’ve moved it for the aforementioned “safe keeping”.

 

Also be wary of anyone who offers you assistance in using an ATM machine. If you need help go into the bank or call your local bank branch abroad. You do not want strangers seeing your PIN code.

 

While there are plenty of other tourist traps out there, the most common scam you’re likely to encounter, however, is one you’re probably already familiar with from your hometown experiences – being overcharged, particularly by a cab.

Upcoming Events Across Europe

  • Rhine in Flames, Germany

    Germany’s most famous waterway gets lit up by fireworks displays every Saturday night in May. The illuminating spectacle takes place all along various points on the Rhine River each weekend. Each town along the river celebrates with events and festivals which include music, dancing, and great food. There’s no better way to brighten up your weekend German getaway.

  • Cannes Film Festival, France

    The Super Bowl of cinema, the Cannes Film Festival is arguably Europe’s biggest event of the calendar year. Tens of thousands flock to the French Riviera to catch a glimpse of some of the world’s top actors walking the red carpet steps. Glitz and glamour rule the day as films of all genres take center stage from May 11–22.

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    Put on by the Royal Horticultural Society from May 24–28, be prepared to be greeted by 11 acres of the UK's finest flowers, gardens, and nursery exhibits. You’ll surely develop a passion for plants as you stroll through the vibrant, blooming event grounds.