European travel season is about to kick off; think river cruises and wandering the Rhine. While the cobbled streets are usually light on violent crime and heavy on history, there are some current scams which you’ll want to be aware of before you start exploring the charm of the continent. Pick pocketing and purse pinchers are rife across popular European destination and sadly – if you’re not constantly on guard, you’re likely to have something stolen.
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The first scam centres around the ‘do-gooder’ who offers you a free rose or CD or asks if they can take a photo for you. Unfortunately, these are not altruistic acts and if you take them up on their offer, the scammer could respond by demanding dollars for their deed. Some ‘voluntary’ pic takers will even take off with your camera.
Distraction is the next deviant con. While this trick is the oldest in the book, it’s still the most common on the streets of London. While you’re wowing over the magician’s sleight of hand, their sidekick will pick your pocket while you’re busy trying to work out how the trick worked.
In the poorest taste, there’s a scam that involves a woman throwing a baby (in most cases, just a doll) at you. While you scramble in your innate response to catch the child, her partner in crime will go through your pockets and bag.
Familiarisation is another technique used by scammers across Europe. Posing as a helpful local, they may go out of their way and even show you how to use the local ATM while making a mental note of your pin number to later use when they’ve picked your pocket. In the same vein, if someone warns you they’ve just seen a thief in the area; you’re probably looking at them. When they tell you to check your valuables, they now know where you keep them.
Even if you’re street savvy, there are always people that will take advantage of tourists. To take back your power, take some steps to stay ahead of the scammers and keep your possessions safe. Take photos of your crucial documents such as passport, rail pass, prescriptions, car-rental paperwork and your itinerary and email them to yourself. A snapshot of your valuable devices for insurance purposes will also serve you well. Lastly, don’t draw attention to yourself; leave your bling behind.
Our wide range of RFID blocking Metroshield bags and leather passport and travel wallets will keep your identity and data secure. Zoomlite’s trademark built in Zoomshield RFID blocking technology means our anti-theft wallets and bags are designed to deflect the digital deception where scammers use an RFID reader to obtain your secret statistics from up to 3 metres away.