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Britons warned of the common ‘European scam’ targeting tourists | Travel News | Travel

Streets bustling with often have something sinister slipping its way through the crowds that could see you conned out of money or expensive personal belongings. Whether you’re in a busy seaside resort or soaking up the sights of a capital city, pickpockets and thieves are often rife.

According to Expert traveller James Smith from Learn Spanish with James, there are some “common European ” which often target tourists from around the world.

Last year, data compiled by Quotezone.co.uk found that France and Spain were the two worst European nations for tourist scams, with the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral ranking as the two worst spots.

According to James, one scam in particular seeks out “happy-go-lucky” tourists who are often caught off guard as they seem innocent enough at first. Tourists may find they are approached by a friendly local working for a restaurant or nightclub and, in some cases, these scammers may even pose as tourists themselves.

“Big European tourist locations like Rome, Paris, and Barcelona are full of people on the street who are asking for money, promoting clubs, trying to put bracelets on you, and even pretending to be friendly tourists,” he said.

However, these situations can often end up swindling tourists out of extortionate amounts of cash – sometimes for nothing in return. “The best way to not get sucked into street scams is to, in all honesty, be a little rude,” said James.

“If you ignore them long enough or say no very sternly, they won’t waste their time on you.”

The expert added that these scammers will typically seek out people who seem “excited to be there and aren’t on high alert”.

Often previous tourists who have visited the region will share tips on websites such as Tripadvisor, often warning of any common scams they may have run into.

One of the best ways to ensure you are prepared for your trip is by doing some research into local customs. This way you can tell whether something is genuine or not.

“If you research the top scams in the country you will be visiting, then you will know what to look out for,” said James.

“Researching things beforehand will also help you to feel less lost once you arrive at your destination. It helps you to blend in better to your surroundings and look less like a tourist.’


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