Crimes

What are some tourist scams in Europe right now?

Reading time: 2 minutes

Each year scammers and criminals come up with new and innovative ways to prey on the tourist masses who visit Europe. We’ve rounded up some of the scams doing the rounds now:

– The “there’s something on your shirt!” scam: A foul substance such as fake bird droppings or mustard is splashed on to your shirt, and while a “helpful stranger” cleans it off for you someone picks your pocket.

– The infamous “gold ring” scam: A passer-by stops you and says you’ve dropped something, and shows you a “gold” ring. It’s either a distraction technique — and your pocket is picked — or they insist you pay them a reward for finding it.

– “There’s something wrong with your car!” scam: As you’re driving a car pulls alongside and the driver indicates there’s something drastically wrong with the rear of your vehicle. You stop, and as you and the stranger go to inspect the problem an accomplice makes off with your wallet/purse from the front seat.

– Hotel rats of Paris: Gangs of thieves are disguising themselves as tourists and infiltrating hotels around Paris. Some of them are opportunistic and will hang out in the lobby waiting for luggage and personal belongings to be left unattended before swooping.Others are a bit more sophisticated and will actually check into hotels popular with tourists and then break into other hotel rooms to steal valuables. Luggage left unattended in a public place like a hotel lobby generally isn’t covered by travel insurance. If you have valuable items stolen from a locked safe in your hotel room you are generally covered by travel insurance. You just need to ensure you get a police report of the incident within 24 hours of the theft happening.

– Moped gangs of London: Groups of armed thieves are roaming the streets on mopeds and scooters mugging and assaulting unassuming pedestrians and motorists. This includes tourist who are seen as easy prey. These gangs have a propensity for violence and are usually armed with bats, axes, knifes and won’t hesitate in using force to get their way.

If you’ve had the misfortune of being a victim of one of these scams lodge a report with the local police as soon as reasonably possible and contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance if you are in need of help.

 

 

 


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