[A handy visual aid for many tourist scams can be found here]http://www.quora.com/Scams/What-is-a-scam-that-everyone-needs-to-be-warned-about
Well! That should scare the bejeezuz out of anyone thinking of going to Europe for the first time. Could we also have a link to Wonderful Things Everyone Needs to Know About? Enough with the scam talk.
Norma, or it could just be a warning of the scams that people MIGHT encounter while over there.
I think most people would have the good sense to take the link for what it is: a warning, not a reason to lose it.
Kathleen, you might be surprised at how many people considering their first trip to Europe come on these boards quite obsessed with and fearful of scams. There are almost as many posts on these forums about scams as there are scammers. Well, that may be an exaggeration but not that different from the exaggerations in posts warning about scams. The evil ones are waiting for newbies in airports, railway stations, at ATMs, on buses and the Metro, at the Tour Eiffel and the British Museum, and at ticket kiosks. Of course, we have to be careful ... we all know that and if we don't know that we shouldn't be allowed out on our own.
As an "overly helpful local," I plead with people to stop thinking of Europe as a huge continent of swindlers. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Just use common sense and be nice.
And here I thought I was being helpful! There is an entire forum section devoted to scams, I thought this would make things easier than having to read through posts trying to figure out what the "ring" scam or "flower" scam is. I consider scam warnings and awareness just one more way to be prepared to enjoy the wonders of Europe! Of course nothing beats common sense and street smarts. Be aware of your surroundings, relax, and enjoy your vacation.
It's good for travelers to be aware of these issues, and prepared for them, but not scared about them. Try to develop good habits. It's second nature to me to keep my hand on my belongings and most valuables tucked away under my clothes in a money belt or similar device. Since I feel secure in this way, I don't need to worry about the distractions. See Rick's advice at http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/theft-scams.
I agree with you and thank you for the post. I have been victim of unscrupulous cab drivers several times and have had some of the other scammers approach me in Italy - luckily I had been made aware and walked away. I think it's good information to tuck away but I certainly won't dwell on it or let it keep me from travel.
Kathleen, your post is fine. Unfortunately:
1) These scams exist
2)There are people who never see any of this who want to believe it's not out there
The fact that this stuff does exist does not mean that "Euro...is a huge continent of swindlers." Actually, as long as I am aware of the games, I feel we are all much safer in Europe than here in the big city. As I have pointed out several times here previously, at least in Europe it's pretty much all petty crime, as opposed to the muggings, beatings, and shootings in our large cities, where the criminals go for their money by brute force.
There are many regulars here who have the awareness and common sense to avoid these problems. There are many new people here who have no idea how easily they can fall victim to these actions. The constant reminder of these problems is helpgul to them.
My husband and I just pretend we are German (We look like Franz and Grettle!) and say "Nein" 2 times and the scammers usually walk away !