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Barcelona - Bird Shit Scam

This is happening down by Museu Nacional d'Art Catalunya. People are walking in and around the surrounding park areas and feel a splat on their heads/shoulders/back. They look and see what looks like bird shit. A couple then come over and 'help' clean it off. The only thing they are helping themselves to is your belongings - pick pocketing to their hearts content. They are squirting fake bird shit and cleaning people out - be warned.

That's all the scams I have for now....

Posted by
11497 posts

The scam has been around for years, and not just in Spain.
The reminder is useful for anyone who hasn't heard of it, though.

Posted by
715 posts

I honestly opened this up thinking that Skycam had a Bird Shit Cam.

Posted by
15573 posts

Happened to me in Paris, but nobody came up and offered to clean it off or steal anything. Real bird shit. Lesson: Don't hang out under lamp posts in Paris where pigeons like to sit.

Posted by
5487 posts

Happened to to a co-worker in Frisco but it wasn't a scam. Don't walk under pigeons.

Happened to a friend visiting Argentina. Nice couple helped clean off his jacket. Then he lost his cell phone.

Happened to an English acquaintance in Barcelona. His bank was able to overnight a new credit card to him.

Posted by
30932 posts

This is a good reminder, but as others have mentioned, this one has been around for a long time. I encountered this in one of the rail stations in Brussels, when a "helpful individual" approached me and offered to help me clean the bird crap off my shoulder. It's often just mustard or some other concoction applied from a squeeze bottle. He looked a bit dodgy so I told him to "take a hike" and that I'd clean it at the hotel.

Posted by
20599 posts

.....That's all the scams I have for now.... If that is all, you haven't travel much. I could list fifty. Hang around this site for a few more weeks and increase your knowledge of scams.

Posted by
117 posts

Sam, the same thing happened to me in the Marais this past March. Fortunately, I was bombed after finishing my falafel sandwich -- whew! :)

As for actual scams, in our few visits, we've been entertained by the ring scam, the petition girls, and the bracelet scam -- all in Paris. And on our last trip, waiting in line to get into Notre Dame, my son-in-law had someone slip in alarmingly close behind him with her long flowing skirt, colorful head scarf, billowing coat, and large shoulder bag. I stared her down and she backed off. Might have been a coincidence, but I don't think so. She didn't seem interested in going inside. ;)

It's kind of fun to watch when you know what to look for.

Posted by
2 posts

To those of you who are "wise" or experienced enough to know when a scam has been around for a while...good on ya'. For those of us who've been lucky enough to not run into a particular scam yet, it's quicker to absorb the knowledge/experience imparted without weeding through your #metoo comments that don't add anything useful to an account of a scam.
As has been noted a good number of times, there are a million types of scams, not everyone can imagine them all, and hearing about how contrived they can be is quite helpful. I've traveled Europe a good number of times and have seen and been the victim / target of my share of schemes.

I enjoy arming myself with the useful knowledge and experience of others. Let's make it easier for others to do the same.

Travel safe!