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Vacation Scams

Don't Let a Stripping Woman Ruin Your European Vacation

It would be tough to pass by a chaotic scene like a woman stripping down to prove her innocence against a shoplifting accusation, but in the name of your traveling cash, it's best to keep walking. MSNBC reports that one of the many scams used to trap tourists involves an attractive young woman versus a street vendor, and once she's in her skivvies, all is forgiven and the crowd disperses. The woman gets to put her clothes back on, while tourists might find their wallets have disappeared during the commotion.

When you're traveling, avoid any scenes involving scuffles (and stripping). Unfortunately, pickpockets can be found anywhere and are often disguised in garb like business suits or dressed as tourists themselves. Assume the worst in suspicious situations and keep walking, as much as you might be curious about the outcome. Chances are, the ending will feature you minus one wallet.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Manoukia Manoukia 7 years
If all of Rick Stevens tips are as "helpful" as those found at the link, he hasn't been anywhere near Europe lately. The most stupid thing is to lump all of the 25 EU countries with a population of ~ 425 million people together, make it seem like it's an awful place and then write it's safer than the US (it is) It's much easier to distinguish bills in Europe because they come in different colors and sizes, and I have no idea at what kind of bank he changed his money because everywhere I've been the money is provided electronically for each transaction, to have a record, and one can't tamper with that.
cg130 cg130 7 years
Woah, that's insane!! I've never heard of this!
Spectra Spectra 7 years
When I was in Ukraine, we went to this small restaurant for lunch and this guy with a briefcase walked in and sat at a nearby table with the owner of the restaurant. Pretty soon the guy was crying uncontrollably and shaking his head. Our translators told us the guy was with the Ukrainian Mafia and was trying to get the restaurant owner to give him some insane amount of money or they were going to take the restaurant from him and kill him. It was definitely hard not to stare, but I sure as hell wasn't going to be that dude's next target.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Me neither, Tidal. My biggest worry, as far as pickpocketing goes, is public transportation, both in the US and abroad.
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
I never gather around anything when there's a huge crowd like that.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 7 years
Wow, I have never heard of this. I've been reading those forum boards on the Rick Steves' websites about scams and am fascinated. I travel a lot and am usually sensible, but I can see how some scams can trick people.
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