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Athens Scams/Safety Concerns?

Hi all,

My mom is traveling internationally for the second time in her life, with my older sister and my nephew (the latter has been in Greece for some months now). I'm sure he'll keep an eye out for her, but all the same I'm a bit concerned.

I saw one item listed in here for Athens Metro Pickpockets, but I wondered if anyone could name off other routine scams that are common in the area? Other things that I can try to warn her of, or send her to this post for her to read up on?

Thanks in advance!
-Dave

Posted by
20599 posts

I don't know of any scams that are specific to Athens other than just be aware if approached by a stranger for any reason - request to sign a petition, contribute to a cause, buy a bracket, found a ring -- is it yours? etc. While there is a constant drumbeat on travel sites about pickpockets and scams the probability of any one person being scammed is low. And the key is not to have anything of value on you that is easily accessed by her or anyone else. If carrying a purse, encourage her not to have anything of value in the pursue. In fact, try to discourage her from carrying a purse.

Posted by
2446 posts

Frank, I'll excuse you for thinking like a man, but never tell a woman not to carry a purse if that is what she normally does, lol. While I agree that you should avoid carrying valuables in it ( passports, credit cards, cash in excess of the day's needs go into a moneybelt or neck wallet), I rarely go out without my purse in Europe. It's full of the things I deem necessary for the day- wallet, camera, phone or tablet, sunglasses, tissues, lipstick, phrase book, travel guide, etc, etc, etc.

But I'm not stupid about it either. Normal precautions - NEVER set it down. Anywhere. Even at a restaurant. Keep it closed- a snap isn't enough; it needs secure zippers. Keep it close to your body at your side or in front of you , with the flap (if it has one) against your body. I also use cross body rather than short handled purses. Never had a problem in 40 years of travel. DH, OTOH, has had 2 pickpocket incidents - one successful, both in Paris.

OP, I will agree that I don't think there are scams unique to Greece. Have your mother read Ricks warnings and recommendations on the most common ones that can be encountered anywhere.

Posted by
5637 posts

The above suggestions are good for any city, those in US included. I have traveled extensively all over the world. I think Greece was the safest country I have ever visited. Just act as you would in any city anywhere. I always use a cross body purse when I travel to any city and always do home in NYC. Any metro will have pickpockets.

Posted by
20599 posts

That is OK CJean. Norma has rapped my knuckles more than once on the same subject. However, old dogs can learn new tricks. It took my wife ten years, maybe more to ditch the purse. Went from big purse, to little purse, to fanny pack !!, to finally nothing. We have always carry a small day bag and that is not a whole lot different that a purse - I suppose. She does wear a money belt with critical money, ccard, passport. But now she is a big advocate of not having a purse and frequently preaches that point to friends. I know, I know, hard habit to break.

Posted by
991 posts

I'd love to be able to travel without a purse, but my cell phone and my Kleenex have to go somewhere.