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Any pickpockets or other tourist scams in Ireland in general?

I’ve heard a lot about scams and pickpockets in places like Paris, Rome and Barcelona but not about Ireland.

We encountered some scams and some attempted pickpocketings in Paris and London.

We saw smashed in car windows with stolen luggage several times in the UK.

Can we expect anything like that when we visit Ireland and Northern Ireland this fall ? Any bad experience you want to share so we can avoid them?

Thanks

Samantha

Posted by
5017 posts

There's really nothing new under the sun. The same scams that happen in Barcelona, Berlin or Bangkok can pop up in Dublin or Derry.

Just keep your wits about you, stay aware of your surroundings, take the same basic precautions you would anywhere, apply common sense, and you will be fine.

Posted by
20565 posts

I think it is smart to take reasonable precautions against all potential scams. Ireland is not free of petty scams or thefts. Whether Ireland is worse or better than other locations is probably a moment in time. In all of our years of travel you appear to have seen more problems than we have. Just don't carry anything that is easily stolen and you probably will not have any problems.

Posted by
23253 posts

We saw smashed in car windows with stolen luggage several times in the UK.

In all the years I've lived in England I've never seen that. Where and when were those?

Posted by
688 posts

Once was on the street in front of the Wallace monument in Sterling parking lot. The back windows were smashed out and there were 2 people were giving a police report.

Another was in the Lake District at a place where people park to go for a hike. We saw one with its windows broken in.

At another place in Cornwall, we saw broken glass in the parking lot but we were not sure what happened there.

We hated having our luggage in the car so much but since my husband is mobility challenged we parked in disabled parking a lot and that put closer to entrances a lot.

We also had cable locks through all our luggage handles and through parts of the car so it would have been hard to take our luggage.

Posted by
1504 posts

On a RS tour of Ireland, a tour mate had her passport and wallet lifted out of her backpack (it was in the outside pocket) at a busy market in Dublin. Just be aware of your surroundings and take care with things of value - the same as you would anywhere you travel.

Posted by
688 posts

I guess we can’t leave our guard down at all anywhere anymore.

Oh well, we use money belts and I have a Pacsafe purse so we should be safe. I just hate sightseeing with luggage in the car but we don’t have much of a choice on certain days.

Posted by
6012 posts

Thieves don't normally break into a car to steal clothes. It's usually because there is something enticing in view in the car - money, camera, phone, etc.. If you make sure everything is out of sight and take all valuables with you, you should be ok. Even if the car is broken into you most likely won't lose anything important.

Posted by
5163 posts

Remind me why you can't place your luggage in the boot of the car rental?

Posted by
448 posts

Hello Samantha:

I was in Dublin on the Easter weekend of 2016 to participate in the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Easter Rising. While riding the DART light rail on the way to Kilmainham Gaol I saw a poster above the windows in the rail car that warned about pickpockets. As bad luck would have it, when I departed the train and reached for my wallet it was gone along with my passport. My loss was about 20 euros and a multi-day transit pass (no credit cards). Fortunately my hotel was two blocks from the US embassy so on the first day that it opened after the long weekend, which was also the day I was planning to move on to Belfast, I went there to get a replacement. They were able to put one together for a price that was less than the published US passport price and they added an extra $60 for expedited service. I also get a lecture about not carrying my passport and keeping it at the hotel.

About two months later, when I was back home, I received an email from the embassy stating that they had recovered the wallet and passport, and they asked what I wanted to have them do. I told them to dispose of the wallet and to send me one page from the cancelled passport which was the one with the beautiful Turkish visa stamp. I never received anything from them.

The lesson from this is: Dublin has a significant drug problem so that addicts resort to crime such a pickpocketing to feed their habit. The area north of the river is especially dangerous.

Have a good trip.

Posted by
688 posts

For the question about why we can put the luggage in the boot of the car...... it’s not a car. It’s going to be a people mover so luggage can be seen from the outside.

Posted by
431 posts

Dublin and Galway city are large cities. I would just be aware when you are there. Pick pockets can be anywhere there are crowds.

Rental car companies put a sticker on cars in Ireland basically telling them it's a rental. Thieves aren't looking for clothes, they are looking for jewelry, lap top, ipad, phone. If we are traveling between hotels, and our items are in the car, I try to park in a well lit area, with plenty of foot traffic. I try not to leave anything in the car I am afraid of losing. I don't travel with good jewelry, don't even wear my wedding ring anymore. Most of the cars are hatch back. I rented a larger car thinking I would have trunk, joke was on me, got a large station wagon.

Posted by
2855 posts

A few years ago, a friend of mine had an experience with petty crime in Dublin. She and her husband drove to a park, where they planned to hike. They were doing a house exchange, so the car was locally owned, not a rental. Her likely mistake was to open the trunk and place her purse in it in full public view.

Someone was watching. When they returned to the car, the trunk had been forced; and her purse, with her passport was gone. They were to leave for home the next day.

When they reported the event to the police, they were told that such happenings were so common that the police and the U.S. embassy had devised a standard procedure for handling them. The police gave her documents which allowed her to board her plane the next day. Using those same papers, she had no problem re-entering the U.S.
The final chapter of the story was that a few months later, a package arrived with her purse and all its contents, except the cash. Apparently, it had been tossed into a garbage can, where a good samaritan saw it. She found the address of the Dublin exchange house in the purse, and took it to the the owner, who, in turn, sent it on to my friend.

Posted by
2347 posts

The prevalent scam in Ireland is usually found in pubs. A "local" man will start chatting with you while you're innocently enjoying a drink. He's usually older, bearded, wearing a wool sweater, with a cute hat on his head. He'll tell some stories, probably false. At some point after he's gained your trust, he'll sing you a song. There will be a subtle pressure to buy him a pint. It's called the "Danny Boy" scam. It's also used in Scotland, where I once fell for it.

Posted by
8293 posts

Well, why not buy the rascal a beer? You will have had a pleasant chat and a bit of entertainment.. Chintzy not to buy him a drink.

Posted by
2347 posts

Oh, we did. Also, we were awestruck 24 year old American girls, staring at him with adoring eyes. I think he enjoyed it.

Posted by
4855 posts

If the old man is really short, buckles on his shoes, a pipe, and a mischievous twinkle in his eye, don't believe him about the rainbow, and the pot-of-gold. Its a scam. And you've had too many Guinness'.

Posted by
440 posts

Keep an eye on your wallet and things as normal. The locals are friendly in Ireland and will talk to anybody, this does not mean that they are trying to scam you, return the conversation but keep your guard up as others take advantage of the situation.

Posted by
3214 posts

What's a people mover as opposed to a typical car rental?

Posted by
688 posts

Lo....sorry just getting back to you now. It's a 7 passenger crossover type vehicle so no enclosed trunk.

Posted by
42 posts

I love the description of the "Danny Boy" scam in which the unsolicited performer of a song expects some sort of payment. I had a similar experience when visiting the Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo, Peru. Three young girls approached me and performed a song without my asking. I suppose I was expected to gush "Oh how cute!' and give them money. Instead I performed a song. They looked confused, but if they were paying attention they now know how to sing "What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor?".
And to the politically correct who would insist that I should have given these cute kids money, realize that if they are making money begging, that is what their parents will set them to do always. That will be their future. Forget school or any other alternative.

Posted by
8293 posts

So, the “cute kids” did not receive any money from you for their little performance and you are pleased with yourself. At least, I think that is what you are saying.