What if?

Hello all.......looking forward to our first trip to Europe, but apprehensive about thefts and scams. We've been doing the best we can to read up on potential scams, pitfalls and other things that go bump in the night. We hope to be able to avoid any unpleasantness, but what if we do fall victim? What are we expected to do in case we detect a theft or scam in progress? In some parts of the US, a thief, even a petty one, could get shot for his trouble. We have been told in other parts of the world, to just let it go, since any kind of action on our part could lead to arrest, even though we are the wronged party. What should (and can) we do?

Posted by lindanjim
18 posts

We are going on the "Grand Tour", including London, Rome and Paris. One of the 14-day trips.........you know the kind.

Where are we reading about pickpockets, scams, strap cutting, bag slashing, short change artists and other miscellaneous mischief in every major city we are visiting? Why on this site and many others that feature tips on traveling in Europe. No one seems to offer any advice on what to do, though.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4751 posts

If it was me and I caught someone stealing from me, or I saw them stealing from someone else, they would sure know about it and so would all the other people around me. I have a loud voice and I am not afraid to get physical.

People do not carry guns around with them in Europe.

In all of my 27 years of living in Germany, traveling all around Europe, I have yet to have anything remotely scammy happen to me. I have never had anything stolen either. I wear a messenger bag that zips at the top and has a flap that covers the whole bag. Many people like wearing a money belt, so if it is your first time here, this would set your mind at ease. So, if they can't take your money, what else will they be trying to get? Phone maybe or i-pad? Keep them in your bag. Don't set them down on tables. Don't hang your bag on the back of your chair in restaurants and cafes.

Now in Milan, I caught 2 guys trying to get into my friends back pack while we were waiting to cross the street. I yelled, they stopped and slinked away. One more reason to NOT wear a back pack.

Relax and enjoy your visit.

Posted by MC
Glasgow, Scotland
18 posts

Crime is thankfully rare, which is why it gets reported. Simple precautions will prevent you being a victim, but if you are most people will try and help you.

What to do? If you see a something, make a noise. I did in Paris, got the evil eye, but so did the pickpockets. In many countries there is a good Samaritan law, all you need to know is to call the police. And if you need help, ask. Hint from a French friend - in France shout 'au feu' (fire) not 'au secours' (help)!

Do not ever carry a weapon. It will get you into trouble if caught.

Across the EU the emergency number is 112, including the UK where it also still 999 which is what we all remember in an emergency. Those scary gendarmes, carabinieri, etc are there to help - no one, especially the police, likes visitors to be harmed. We want you to enjoy yourselves and spend your dollars, pounds, euros, yuan etc as the case may be. Then go home and tell your friends to come over.

So to summarise, be prepared, not paranoid. If we believed everything we saw of the USA in tv programmes, in films, and in the news there is a gunfight on every street every day, twice on Thursdays. We know it isn't the case.

Posted by lindanjim
18 posts

Thank you all for the responses. We are anxious about some of the things we have read about, but are also sure they don't happen quite that often. When traveling in Mexico and the islands in the Caribbean we were warned NOT to attempt to detain or even slow the perps down if they were attempting to escape, even if they were carrying their booty in their arms. Apparently there are consequences for the victim who tries to protect his own private property in those circumstances. The perp is protected to the fullest extent of the law as well. Different countries, different laws. We try to be as situationally aware as we can, and have never been hasseled while out of the country, but it really pays to be fully prepared.

BTW: I had no intention of protecting myself with any kind of weapon while there. Don't even own one, but we hear about the "castle doctrine" around here an awful lot lately.

Also...........If I were to yell "FIRE" in French to draw attention, my accent is soooooo bad, it would sound like I was blowing my nose while imitating a bagpipe in a thunderstorm. But I'm sure the universal "NO!" would work as well. Thanks!

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10840 posts

Where are you from? You have been focusing on the wrong information. I am with Jo. We have spent nearly a year traveling in Europe over the past 18+ years with no problems in some of the great pickpocket capitols of the world. Not a single item lost or stolen. And to the best of our knowledge no attempt has been make on us. Doesn't mean something cannot happen on the next trip. We take reasonable precautions - money belt AND USE IT, no overly valuable looking items, no jewelery, and dress conservatively. You will not be arrested for defending yourself or protecting your property. With a couple of exceptions we haven't seen any pickpockets in action although some posters will claim to see pickpockets everyday and constantly removing hands from their pockets at least once a week.

There is no similarity between Mexico/Caribbean and Europe. Different world, different culture.

Posted by lindanjim
18 posts

Thanks, Frank. I think you and Jo are correct. As mentioned we try to be situation aware, and behave accordingly. Have never been bothered, even in some dicey areas, BUT............... We will just be on our guard and be as vigilant as we can, considering we're just hicks from Iowa.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1328 posts

welcome lindanjim ,

I had a couple scams done on me in Paris and one guy tried to pick pocket me in Brussels. For the scammers in Paris, i just blew it off and chucked since it was as if they read RS book and followed it as a script. They didnt get anything, so how could i say they "tried to" scam me. In the USA, trying wont get you much in the eyes of the law unless you can record or get them with the goodies. I would assume it could be the same in other places.

for the picket pocket. since he didnt get anything i would be in the same boat. If there was a cop around when it happened, i would have gone to them and told them about it, but as you know, theres never a cop around when you need one.

i dont worry about such things since its like breathing. The only thing "I" can do is to be aware of my surroundings and dont be a victim. If you read RS books, he mentions some of the local tricks and i believe there was a board on it too.

If you do get ripped off, you can report it. If youre going to do that, you better have information like, brand, make, model #, S/n, cost and such for the cops. Pictures speak 1000 words too. but if it was me i would bring any blingz on my trip. Buying and send back, yes, but carrying around is just not good sense to me.

you have to remember you are a visitor overthere and the rights/liberties you enjoy in the USA doesnt count.

happy trails.

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1959 posts

If you've read the warnings here and elsewhere about the ring and petition scams, you're ready. When in a crowded area keep your purse opening toward your body instead of facing out or pull it up under your arm. Keep wallets out of back pockets, etc. and you are good to go. I wear a small backpack, except in crowded cities, where I use a cheap canvas purse I bought at Target. The wallet is always buried at the bottom under the junk. That said, Jo's right about not using a backpack, although I still do. And leave your good jewelry at home and take cheap stuff for traveling.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10840 posts

Even hicks from Iowa should not be bother. (I am an ISU grad) One of the problems you have with reading any travel site/blog, even this one, is that mostly the discussions revolve around problems. The majority of travelers to Europe, even the un-enlightened ones, are never bothered. Who posts that they just spent 30 days in Europe with no problems? But if they were pickpocketed or scammed, they cannot wait to get on-line. So you need to have the perspective when reading travels sites that the problem discussed is a possibility but not necessarily a high probability. Most people are very poor about risk assessment. They will worry about very minor problems but not worry about the most dangerous part of their trip - the drive to the airport.

You need to be cautious about becoming over paranoid because it can really impact your enjoyment. Just because someone speaks to you, smiles, or offers assistance, it doesn't mean that they are trying to get inside your pant pocket. They may be truly a friendly local trying to be helpful. You need to judge each situation by itself. Unfortunately for new travelers that can be a little more difficult than an experienced traveler. But you can do little things to help yourself. Just be smart. When paying with cash make sure your call their attention to the bill - "Is this a 50?" Wave it in their face. That way no one is going to say you only gave them a 20. We always use ATMs attached to banks and not stand-alone.

We discourage using purses, backpacks (small day bags are ok) etc., because it is detached from your body. I know this is a controversial statement but try to ditch the purse. It took my wife about six trips to go from big purse, small purse, fanny pack to nothing. We do use a small, book bag size, of day bag for water, guidebooks, misc stuff but nothing of value.

Now some of this is just a learning curve. You next trip will be different based on what you learn and observe from this trip. You will do fine.

Former Iowa/Nebraska hick.

Posted by lindanjim
18 posts

We are honored to have received such wise advice from all of you. Even though we have been able to travel overseas (mostly Caribbean dive vacations) Europe appears to be a whole different ball game. We are excited and have high expectations and we would rather not have our bubble burst. Just trying to be as prepared as we can.

Thanks again, everyone. Maybe we'll see you there! Just keep an eye out for a couple of lost Iowegians stumbling around London, Paris and Rome. Wait a minute......I have always been told Iowa stands for "Idiots Out Walking Around". Sounds about right.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
954 posts

Hmm, Iowegians? I always thought they were Iowans - or does that mean you are Iowans of Norwegian descent. Kidding.

Posted by Emily
Vienna, Austria
292 posts

I blame this website for the urban myth that all European capitals are teeming with back alley thugs and lurkers in dark corners. Do people not realize that Europe has a much lower crime rate than the US, that violent crime essentially never happens and that it is really safe over here? I walk around alone at night, leave my baby's stroller outside a shop (with my stuff in it!), talk to strangers, use my iphone publicly, etc and have never had a problem in all of my travels (I have lived overseas for 15 years). Just don't carry large amounts of cash with you and you'll be fine.

Seems to me like a giant ploy just to get people to buy waist wallets and neck pouches.

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1518 posts

I wouldn't blame this website for spreading rumors about crime in Europe. Questions are asked here, and answered. Trip Advisor and other forums get the same questions. It is perfectly normal for travelers to wonder how safe they will be at their destination, be it Europe, Kenya, New Orleans, or Alaska. In fact, it would be foolish NOT to educate yourself.

I believe you, Emily, when you say you feel safe, and that crime is low. But if your wallet is stolen, or dropped into a sewer, you can still get home and eat dinner. A traveler anywhere should have some backup money stashed away so that a crisis is eased a bit. (No, I do not sell moneybelts!)

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2371 posts

It's always a catch-22 on warning people about pickpockets and scams. On the one hand, it helps to warn people to take reasonable precautions and be aware of what might be a scam or attempt to steal from them. But then people like our OP get nervous and start to think it will happen everytime they turn a corner. Few travelers ever experience crime on vacation.

I've never been a victim but I've seen plenty of attempts and know of people that have been pick-pocketed or had things stolen. So it certainly happens. But rarely - almost never - to people that take reasonable precautions like using a moneybelt and who never set their bag or camera on a table or slung over the back of a chair and know that swarms of kids flashing papers in your face is a method to distract you.

If you are approached or an attempt is made on you, a loud firm "NO!" is all you need. They will not fight you or get violent.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

Emily: First, when you write "Just don't carry large amounts of cash with you and you'll be fine" , doesn't that warning mean that street crime is a problem?
Second, you are a local. You are safe. Assume for a second that you are the person doing the ring scam, or part of a horde to overwhelm people for petition signatures while someone rifles their pockets and bags, or you are the person involved in tricking someone at a ticket machine, or the person who punctures a tire on a rental car so someone can raid the trunk while you are helping them, or - fill-in the myriad other theft annoyances that are reported. Who are you going to target? A local, who will be there to testify against you after you are arrested, or a tourist who won't know what to do and will never show in court? Not to mention the tourist likely not be able to immediately get the police. The last thing low-level criminals want is to be forced off the street for jail time.
Now that said, I do feel safer in Europe, because, for example, in Europe my wife will not be shot to death when she hangs on to her handbag one second longer than necessary while two street thugs twice her size walk up and grab it, something that has happened 3 times this past moth on the streets of Philadelphia. To local residents.

Posted by Emily
Vienna, Austria
292 posts

A few additional thoughts:

  1. Yes, I live in Vienna, but travel all over Europe and still feel safe. I have even been to (horror!) Barcelona, Rome and Paris; never had any problems (rode the metro, carried a purse, oh my!). I should also note that I am not a "local" as I don't really speak German and don't really look like the locals. In other words, I could easily pass as a tourist.
  2. I stand by my statement that this website perpetuates fear. If you go to TripAdvisor (I do and am a Destination Expert there), you will not see so many questions there posed by people who are freaked out by "scary" Europe. I believe that this website, with a "tourist scam" section, a money belt/neck wallet selling section and an audience of novice travelers, is responsible for continuing that fear, rather than squashing it.
  3. I think carrying a large amount of cash, even at home, is a stupid idea. It has nothing to do with street crime - again, there are not hordes of people on the streets of Europe waiting to rob people.
Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1328 posts

@ Emily,

I stand by my statement that this website perpetuates fear. If you go to TripAdvisor (I do and am a Destination Expert there), you will not see so many questions there posed by people who are freaked out by "scary" Europe. I believe that this website, with a "tourist scam" section, a money belt/neck wallet selling section and an audience of novice travelers, is responsible for continuing that fear, rather than squashing it.

I think you are way off base here. I for one WANT to know the scams just as i would want to know how to get from A to B.

happy trails.

Posted by Love to Travel
San Diego, CA
126 posts

I consider myself an experienced traveler, at least more so than most Americans, have been to 4 continents and 35 countries and I'm a few years older than RS kids. I take all precautions (no flashy jewelry, purse across body, hold purse during crowds, try to negotiate price for taxis and tuk tuks, etc) as best as I can but still have unfortunately been victim to "scams". Pickpocket in Barcelona on the metro, bracelet scam in Paris, scarf scam in Egypt, metro ticket helpers in Italy, cellphone taken right out of my bare hands in Asia and overcharged by tuk-tuk drivers. Honestly It's gonna happen, you can't prevent it. But don't let it scare you away from traveling or lose sleep over it. It's just the joy of traveling, the stories you come home with both good and bad. I don't remember the scarf scam in Egypt as much so the beautiful pyramids and Nile. I don't remember getting pick pocketed in Barcelona more than sagrada familia, gaudi, etc. I don't remember the silly tuk tuk drivers, but I remember Angkor wat, hoi an, and the beaches of Thailand. So you lost 5 euros to the ring scam or whatever. Better to be in Paris getting scammed than wasting that 5 euros on a latte back home missing out on life, right? You win some you lose some. The more you travel the more you get comfortable with this. Ironically As I write this I realized that every time I was scammed I was with someone else!! Rarely when I'm solo!!! No I'm not suggesting you travel alone, but when you are with others or a group you let your guard down. At any rate, no trip is perfect. Educating yourself on scams is important, but don't let that take over too much of your time planning to see all that this world has to offer. Happy Travels!!

Posted by Emily
Vienna, Austria
292 posts

The focus on scams on this website is over the top. Every 10th post is about a scam. It is a Fox News fear-mongering like phenomenon.

Love to Travel - I too have traveled to over 40 countries, lived on 3 continents and have never been scammed, mugged, etc. Sounds like you have some bad luck or are just very trusting.

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3192 posts

I agree with Emily. A tourist with common sense in Europe is pretty darn safe... a tourist in San Francisco on the other hand has reason to worry.

Posted by Jennifer
Carbondale
9 posts

Hi fellow travelers:

My husband and I are "hicks" from Colorado, and have been to Europe a couple of times now - Italy, Spain, Portugal and Czech Republic. I really have only felt even nervous one time - at rush hour on a subway in Rome that literally was so packed that bodies were pressed up against us. We happened to be next to a pole in the car's center, and though claustrophobic, we had a policeman right next to us. I simply placed my cross body bag between my stomach and the pole, and my hubby was behind me. He was wearing a money belt, so no wallet to pick. All was fine. The only time we actually lost anything was at a movie theatre in Prague....three of us were at the window and my husband had his wallet out paying. The worker handed him a handful of change rather quickly, and we think he set his wallet down on the counter to keep from spilling the change. He never even noticed it gone until in the theatre, seated. We'll never know if it was slipped away at the counter, or in the theatre. Unfortunately, that day we had broken a rule we usually adhere to - which is, if you have a safe leave extra credit cards/cash there. We'd been at my daughter's student apartment without a safe, so my husband had EVERYTHING in that wallet. He wasn't wearing the usual moneybelt. Fortunately, the passport was back at the apartment. After running to a cash machine with My debit card and withdrawing cash, we sat down and called and cancelled all the cards. We discovered that my debit card wasn't cancelled because they were different numbers, which helped. It was a huge pain when we got home to replace Drivers' License, etc., BUT we were never in any physical danger, and we had cash to get home on. From now on, we ALWAYS wear money belts (I carry a small crossbody bag that only has one card/a bit of cash and the rest goes "undercover" or stays in the safe. We USE any safe that we can to leave some cash/cards behind, and while we take two different kinds of cards, we always carry the same type on a given day so that if we have to cancel one card, the other type is still back at the hotel (safe). It goes without saying that we have copies of everything, phone #'s, etc., usually emailed to ourselves so we could access from the internet. Mostly, I think, one is in danger of getting robbed if one is distracted or not paying attention, so those types of situations should raise a red flag. Funny....you can know that and still get taken, like we did. If I were aware that someone had taken something from me, I most certainly would raise my voice and yell "no", "thief", or something similar. I refuse to give up travelling because of something like this....it could happen at home very easily as well. Take smart precautions like moneybelts and safes, and be smart about what you carry and where you carry it. Enjoy meeting and talking with folks in your lodgings, restaurants, etc. That's been the greatest travel gift.....the most interesting one so far was a man in Prague who was just sure that he had an invention in geology that would revolutionize things....and that while no one in his country (he was from Italy) would listen to him, if he came to the U.S., President Obama would surely see the wisdom of his invention! How could I dash a hope like that? Enjoy! JR

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17710 posts

linda,

I'd suggest not obsessing about the pickpocket / scam / strap slashers in Europe. I know people who have been victimized, but if you take reasonable precautions you shouldn't have any problems. For example.....

  • Wear a Moneybelt for storing larger sums of cash, Passport credit cards, etc. DON'T access it where others can see, and carry daily operating cash somewhere else.
  • Be vigilant for what's going on around you, especially any distractions. Be especially vigilant in crowded situations, such as when viewing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, on the Metro in various cities, when you're distracted by watching street performers, etc. One very well known "distraction" is the fake pigeon crap or mustard spilled on your jacket. If that does happen to you, tell those trying to "help" you clean it off to pi$$ off and that you'll do it yourself.
  • If anyone offers you a gold ring, friendship bracelet or whatever, tell them to "take a hike".
  • If you're carrying a purse / daypack / messenger bag or whatever, DO NOT leave it hanging on the back of your chair when having a meal at restaurants.
  • If anyone approaches you to sign a petition, tell them to "take a hike" also. Presenting a petition in English in a country that uses a different language is a bit suspicious in itself.
  • Try to use ATM's that are attached to a Bank and inside a separate room (rather than right on the street).

All of these points are covered in Europe Through The Back Door. If this is your first trip to Europe, you may find it helpful to read that prior to your trip. Check your local Library. If you're victimized, it's normal to file a Police report, however doing so is somewhat useless as it's not likely the "evil doers" will ever be apprehended, and even if they are caught it's unlikely they'll be prosecuted as the authorities know that tourists are not going to return to testify in court.

I'm sure the people leading your tour will provide information on what to watch out for. I've travelled in many of the cities in Europe that have the worst reputation for pickpockets and scammers including Palermo, Naples, Rome, Florence, Prague, Barcelona and Paris and so far haven't had any problems. If you take reasonable precautions, you should be fine.

Happy travels!

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1328 posts

I want to add.

Ive never been pick-pocketed here at home or has anyone tried. To me its a matter of perspective and how one feels about their safety. Some people are more concerned and some arent. Pick pockets arent that big here, you are more likely to get your car/house broken into than have someone temp to remove something off of your person. Yes, there have been people that will loose things if they put their coat or purse on an extra chair or somewhere thats not in front of you, but thats about it as far as my corner.

also as ken stated you have to exercise some common sense too.

If someone were to come to my little corner of the world and was to drive up the gorge and stop at all of places, i would warn them of the "smash and grabs". People will leave valuables in plain site in a locked car at the touristy spots. since its a long walk to/from, there are thieves that will lurk there and "smash the window and grab" the stuff in the car. Some people have had cars broken into with nothing in site, but the crooks saw them putting their stuff in the trunks.

any of my friends that want to travel up there i ALWAYS warn them of the possible crimes since i think its my duty to let them know. Its up to them to heed my warnings but i would feel bad if i didnt and something did happen.

happy trails.

Posted by Nicole P
Truro, NS, Canada
701 posts

I've travelled over to Europe three times so far, and have yet to have any major issues...but I take precautions, and it is nice to know what to look out for. A few times in Paris and I see people near Sacre Coeur falling for the 'bracelet scam' (my solution, keep my arms crossed). We talked to a Canadian couple who got tricked with the ring scam by the Louvre. The only time something almost happened to me was when we were on an escalator coming up from one of the subway stns in Paris - it was an early Sun morning, so there was not really anyone about. Hubby was a bit ahead of me...I turned around just in time to see two girls hit the emergency stop button on the escalator, and they were 'on me' in 2 sec flat to 'help me carry my bag'. It took about 3 sec for it to hit my brain that they had hit the stop button. Luckily, we travel light - only a carry on, and I kinda struggled with them to keep my bag in front. When I got to the top, they disappeared quick...and the top zipper front pocket was open. Nothing missing...but just don't keep important things within easy access to sticky fingers. I think I was very lucky that nothing got taken, and no, I don't believe they were trying to help me out of the goodness of their hearts. Maybe they were just going to ask for money for 'helping' me carry my bag...don't be afraid to raise your voice. But don't let worry about scams ruin your holiday. Just be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowds...

Posted by Rif
Paris, France
27 posts

You do not need to worry too much, Europe is safe generally speaking. People don't carry guns, violent crime doesn't happen much, and you won't get to places where there is drug trafficking and so on. If you're afraid of getting scammed, always ask yourself what you would do if you encountered a similar situation at home. Be aware of your surroundings, don't do anything stupid like showing off nice cameras, large sums of money (yes, I've seen people do that...) and you will be OK. If you don't feel safe with someone, trust your instinct and move away.
Remember it is always OK to call the police if you feel something is off or if someone tries to steal from you. The police will always be on your side, not the perp's. All european countries are democracies where the rule of law applies, you won't be arrested for calling the police. If you yell, some people might ignore you, but other will help and this will be enough to have the thief/scammer run away, they are cowards and don't want to be in trouble. On the other hand, the laws on self defense are much more restrictive than in the US, in France for exemple they basically apply only if there is an immediate threat to your or someone else's life or physical integrity, so don't get in a fight with a thief, you could have trouble if he got seriously hurt.

Remember, it is unlikely that you will find yourself pickpocketed or scammed, so don't worry and enjoy your trip!

Posted by Mira
Midwest
108 posts

One thing I always, always add when talking to people who are worried about this is to clarify that none of these scams are violent. A pickpocketing or somesuch isn't a mugging. The thief ideally doesn't want you to know he's taken anything. Pickpockets aren't armed. So the fear is really a fear of losing your stuff. The obvious answer is to keep your items safe (money belt, hotel safe, not carrying more than you need for a day in your purse or pocket). And just general awareness.

I've never heard anything about arrests from stopping a thief. I mean, don't be violent, but yelling at him to stop should work. I've had one pickpocket experience, a woman in Paris did the whole "come up to you with a petition" scam and had her hand in my purse. I yelled and probably looked insane, but she left, and I lost nothing. So verbally telling off a thief is perfectly fine in Europe.

That said, the fear is overblown and as pointed out, there's a double edged sword to discussing it.

Posted by jillpcan
Surrey (Vancouver), BC, Canada
4 posts

My husband and I have been to Europe 5 times. Common sense and caution have been our best defence against petty crime: We always use money belts for our passports, credit cards, and extra cash. We don't wear any flashy jewellery or obviously expensive designer duds. I used an anti-theft cross-body bag for my daily needs, as I carried my iPhone, and more recently, my iPad with me daily so I could connect with home while travelling. The locked zippers have saved my phone and tablet from being lifted when I had a newspaper stuffed in my face in Florence, and my bag being jostled on a busy escalator to Rome's metro (though my husband lost a coin wallet from his front pocket on this same escalator). We have politely but very firmly turned away petitioners, bracket-makers, ring-finders, etc. We avoid over-crowded street performances, or at least find a quieter place to stand and watch. Overall, I feel as safe in Europe as I do on the streets of Vancouver (maybe safer, as gun crime is almost non-existent in Europe). Use your common sense, and enjoy yourself!

Posted by lyb
1 posts

I've traveled quite a bit in Europe as a single female & feel safer walking around even at night than I do in my home town in California.

When people ask me about pickpockets in Europe I tell them to take the same precautions than if you were at home in a crowded area. Don't flash cash, don't leave a purse dangling from the back of a chair or just sitting on a chair where it could easily be quickly grabbed, don't leave your purse wide open & next or behind you in a crowded area.... Basically, don't make yourself an easy prey just you wouldn't in any city in any country!

It's plain common sense... Would you leave your camera on a chair & walk away in San Francisco or your home town? Then don't do it when traveling! Pickpockets all over the world don't want confrontation, they want it to be easy, don't make it easy for them.

Scams? Again, use your common sense! In Paris, by the carousel at the bottom of Notre Dame, there was a young man who tried the putting on my wrist a cord bracelet & then of course asking for money. He started to get close to me with the bracelet in his hands, I told him to back off & went he continued his attempt I yelled at him to get the hell away from me. Yes, I speak French but in any language he would have understood the tone. He actually looked a little scared of me 😊

Basically, don't be timid & don't fall for what you wouldn't fall for at home. Don't leave your brain & common sense on the plane & you'll be fine.

Have a wonderful trip, take lots of pictures & savor every moment

Posted by april43434
Texas
4 posts

I have run into scams and pickpockets in several major European cities over the last 20 years. In every case I only had to look the scammer/pickpocket in the eye letting them see I knew what they were up to and they went away. The intent is for them to take something from you without your being aware, as soon as they know that you know what they're up to they are off to find someone else.

I have to share a funny story about the pickpocket on the bus in Amsterdam. I had just caught him with his fingers sliding into my outside coat pocket where he would have been disappointed to find my chapstick (devoted money belt traveler here). I caught his eye and he moved away... to stand at the back of the bus next to my friend. When I motioned for her to come stand by me she smiled and said she was fine. I announced quite clearly half the length of the bus that the man next to her had just tried to pick my pocket. The look on both their faces was hilarious!

Posted by Audrey
Keizer, Oregon, USA
577 posts

Paris is the only city where we ran into major scams. Tell the women ( and yes they are young women) you are not interested and keep walking. Do not be afraid to be rude with a very loud and firm No.

My friend was pick pocketed on the Paris Metro. She lost a credit card and about €40. She knew immediately when we got off. I pulled up my iPhone and googled her card service. We called and in 5 minutes the card was cancelled.

Read and re-read Jo and Ken's comments. They are on target. Always use a money belt and keep money in it, passport, credit card, drivers license, medical cards, and important emergency contact info.

Posted by Audrey
Keizer, Oregon, USA
577 posts

Paris is the only city where we ran into major scams. Tell the women ( and yes they are young women) you are not interested and keep walking. Do not be afraid to be rude with a very loud and firm No.

My friend was pick pocketed on the Paris Metro. She lost a credit card and about €40. She knew immediately when we got off. I pulled up my iPhone and googled her card service. We called and in 5 minutes the card was cancelled.

Read and re-read Jo and Ken's comments. They are on target. Always use a money belt and keep money in it, passport, credit card, drivers license, medical cards, and important emergency contact info.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8724 posts

I was on a bus in Paris yesterday and saw the ring scam played out next to us outside a major store on Boulevard Haussmann. I watched the guy "pick up" the ring he took to the floor to "pick up" in one smooth move, and I watched the huge smile and laugh on the intended victim. The flourish was worth the price of admission alone. Needless to say, he didn't get anything from that guy. I'm sure he just waited a few moments for another chance to try his luck. It must work enough that the guy keeps at it.

I didn't get to see what happened next because the bus moved off.

Also, FYI, in most of a week in Paris I saw no gangs of kids approaching victims (too cold? too wet? they were bored? My guess is they had traveled somewhere warmer), and only saw the deaf/dumb girls near Laduree (thanks tons for those who suggested to spend my hard earned money there - and on Valentines Day to boot!!!) and a bit later saw the three of them finish their shift and walk hand-in-hand chatting to each other as they walked down the hill, then using a mobile phone.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2684 posts

"...a tourist in San Francisco on the other hand has reason to worry."

How true. I agree, potentially a much great chance of being a victim of violent crime with bodily injury or death as the result instead of a victim in a crime of stealth. Being alert and eye contact along with common sense is enough in Western Europe. At night I feel alot safer potentially walking in Vienna, Berlin, London, Paris, Munich than I would over here., eg, downtown Oakland or LA.. That sort of stuff I avoid.

True, I tend to agree that traveling solo you are more on guard/alert than you might be if you were traveling in a group.

Posted by Emily
Vienna, Austria
292 posts

People keep digging and the hole keeps getting bigger. No one is going to want to travel to Europe now - it is full of petition girls, fake rings, people throwing things at you, Eastern European gangs (that's not stereotypical at all) - yikes!

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

Really? We'd much rather go to Europe than 90 miles to NYC or 150 to DC (let alone 8 miles to downtown Philadelphia). Although the reports of pickpocketing are cautioning us about Rome, Paris and parts of Spain.

But the one we'd really like to know is, why is it not assault when someone grabs your person, attaches something to you, and will not let you go without payment?

If all the posts about the petty annoyances and problems are bothering Europeans, then maybe it is time for them to get their governments to take action on the specific problems, rather than ignore them. Seems to me the economics should be that increasing tourism receipts is more beneficial to the city/country/region than letting the lower rungs of the society who do not otherwise contribute economically take advantage of the tourists. Unless the actual local belief is that as long as these folks can be provided for by their enterprises then the state and taxpayers do not have to take care of them.

I don't see any hole being dug here. The problem exists and is well documented, not just on this site.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

"Just don't carry large amounts of cash with you and you'll be fine" seems a little simplistic. Is a potential thief going to know in advance whether you have a large amount of cash or not? In any event, I have traveled alone in Barcelona, Madrid, and other cities in Europe and never felt unsafe anywhere. I was with friends when approached by the women trying to give you sprigs of greenery, but my friend just said to ignore them, and we weren't bothered further.

Posted by Roy
Auburn, AL
797 posts

What scam are the petition girls trying to pull? I encountered several groups in Munich last summer, always groups of four and they were always pleasant and polite, never pushy, and they never ganged up on anyone that I saw. I see worse than that with the Girl Scout cookie sales outside our local supermarkets. Of course, this was Munich, not Rome or Paris. It has been a few years since I have been to those cities, but I never encountered anything like that in France or Italy. Am I missing out on a good scam?

Posted by Kristen
Chicago
258 posts

Emily, this whole website functions on the premise that there are thousands (perhaps millions) of people that look forward to European travel and DO want to travel to Europe. It is smart to be well informed when you travel. This includes knowledge about hotels, restaurants, tour guides, and yes, unfortunately, travel scams. Perhaps a small minority gets turned off about the possibility of theft or crime but I think that is more of a personality thing and not the result of this website.

I could fill a website with tourist scams and crime I have seen while living in Chicago (or travelling in New York, DC, Vegas). But I don't know how to build a website. I guess I could go post on tripadvisor or Lonely planet but their websites just aren't built the same way.

We all know theft is common here and violent crime way more common. But here is the difference-if I have my purse stolen while walking down the street in Chicago, I would walk into the first store I see. I speak the language. I can call my friends or parents easily. I can have my landlord let me into my apartment and change the locks. I can cancel credit cards easily. I can have a friend drive me to the DMV that day or the next day to get a new license. It maybe ruins my afternoon, an incredibly small percentage of my life in Chicago.

In Europe, it is much more daunting. I speak a small amount of certain language but I am certainly not fluent. It will be much more expensive and logistically difficult to call home and cancel credit cards. If a passport gets stolen I will spend, at minimum, a day dealing with getting an expedited replacement (assuming I am in a big city with an American embassy). So proportionally, more of my valuable sightseeing time is wasted.

So I don't think I am in more danger of having something stolen in Europe than I am in Chicago. But if it does happen in Europe, it can put a huge damper on a trip I have put a lot of time, energy, and money into planning. This is why people want to be so prepared. And to make them feel wrong about that, or to make people feel wrong for sharing their experiences, is just not fair.

Posted by Diane
Ottawa
1145 posts

For all the years that I have been traveling, in Europe (and other less-well traveled areas), I've never been particularly concerned about theft or scams. I'm vigilant, stay aware of my surroundings, take reasonable precautions most of the time, and just accept things as they are. Why obsess?

I caught a guy on a crowded bus in Rome try to get his fingers under the flap of my cross-body bag. He did not notice that it was velcroed shut and it tugged, alerting me. When I looked at him square, he shrugged, grinned and said "scuzi". I repeated "scuzi???" and burst out laughing... I then said in English "scuzi - my fingers just got caught in your bag by mistake??!". A couple of other people started laughing too and the guy got off at the next stop. At least he was charming.

My husband, and a couple of friends with whom we travel often, will never let me forget how I was "scammed" by a nun in Caceres, Spain - and a cloistered one at that! Bloody expensive cookies they turned out to be!!

For the entertainment value, and because she was * very good * at engaging me, I also let a woman pin a medal on me in France and paid a negotiated small amount for it.

The bottom line is that every trip has the potential for scams and thieves. I've had worse experiences outside of Europe (like all my stuff stolen off a train) and not any of it has deterred me from going anywhere.

Posted by Amanda
Dreaming of Europe
29 posts

In all of my travels, the only city I've had someone try to scam me was in Paris. I had known about the ring scam through this website. On a sunny afternoon while walking along the Seine, I watched a young man attempt the ring scam on a couple ahead of us. The couple waved him off and he went on his way. A few yards down the river and a lady approached us and asked if we'd dropped a ring. I laughed because she had picked the ring up a few feet ahead of us. She obviously needed to work on her craft. While walking through Tuileries Gardens, we were approached with the Petition scam. I hadn't read about that one, but didn't want to be bothered so I just to kept walking.

I agree with Emily that due to the amount of postings on this forum, many fear that Europe is a haven for theft, baby throwers etc. It is always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings, especially when it's so easy to get caught up in the beauty around you, but not to the point where you're paranoid and easily targeted because of your darting eyes. I for one have never worn a money belt or neck pouch only because I find it to be more of a hassle when getting money than its worth. I carry my purse ,but always make sure its zipped up, with my hand on the zippers end, holding the strap. I don't worry about being in crowded buses or metro stations because I walk everywhere. I've paid a good bit of money to travel, so I don't want to waste my time not seeing the city because I'm stuck underground. You never know what you'll find while strolling between destinations.

But to answer Linda's question, there is no need to worry. As long as you take the standard precautions, you'll be fine. Never carry more cash than you need for the day and always make sure that you keep at least 1 card in your hotel safe so in the event you are pick pocketed, you have another card handy while you cancel your other one. If you plan on carrying a camera, I've learned its best to keep it stored in a zipper pocket inside your purse (most always have 1).

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7812 posts

Emily you are wrong. Simple.
I have been on TA for ten years.. there are ALWAYS posts about scams and pickpockets in Paris.

lindanjim- I have in over 30 years of trips to Paris had two attempts on my bag. In both cases I caught them in the act and screamed obsenities that them and even swung at one guy. I am female.. and not strong.. but I was so angry. In both cases they ran away. Pulling guns is an American thing. Its dangerous in the States.

Common sense is needed, watch your money. I do use a purse.. cold day in h*ll before I start wearing a fishing vest or something weird like that.. a good purse is absolutely fine.. locals do not just shove everything in their pockets now do they?

"detect a scam in progress" well if you have read up about scams.. and I also deny that there is no information provided to you on what to do , I know I posted a thread on here that clearly tells you what to do .

IGNORE them.. WALK ON.. DON'T STOP.
Easy.

Use a purse that seals up and wear it close to you.

You will be fine.. I just got back from Mexico in November.. loved it.. but its far more dangerous feeling to me then Europe.

If you get pickpocketed you should only lose about 100 euros or less..since you would keep greater sums of money either in the hotel safe or in a moneybelt. ( Emily.. locals don't need to walk about with 500 euros on them normally so no bother comparing your situation,, and if YOU lose your bank card you can go to your bank and have it replaced not same for tourist ) so really I personally would not bother to report it to police. They will never get it back and you will waste HOURS filing a report ,, my time is worth more then that. I guess if you bring and lose expensive electronics you would need a police report for insurance though.. so in that case really keep those items close . I don't have that worry.

Linda.. many of us travel to Europe solo, or alone with our kids.. if it was that dangerous and scary do you really think I would take my 11 yr old there.. heck no.. we aren't crazy .. its basically an incredibly safe place.. just watch your stuff and don't worry about getting shot. thats one thing you can relax about !!

Posted by Diane
Ottawa
1145 posts

"don't worry about getting shot, that's one thing you can relax about"

Thanks, Pat, for going there.

When she was 12 and 13 years old, I took my niece to Disneyworld (staying in Kissimmee) and to Paris (6th arrondissement). I had to give her a very scary safety briefing for the Florida trip - but not for the Paris trip. That's life.

Posted by MC
Glasgow, Scotland
18 posts

Be prepared not paranoid. One of the key groups highlighting scams in Barcelona is the Mossos d'Esquadra, the regional police. In London the scams are highlighted by the Metropolitan Police. In Brussels, the Brussels local police. Notice a pattern? The reason so people, local and visitors, are aware. The authorities generally take it extremely seriously as tourism is a nice stream of revenue. But the overwhelming majority of trips are incident free. If you know what can happen, it is less likely to happen.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1328 posts

@ Emily,

Dont worry about whats being brought up on this board. I feel more safe in Europe, so far, than i do in the States and thats a sad thing to have to say. But it is what it is and its how we (USA) live, breath and work everyday in it. Same for you.

I think that these types of questions are asked due to the ignorance (not a bad thing either) of the soon to be traveler. Since they ASSUME that what happens over here happens elsewhere, its just the next logical step to ask.

And im sure you know that there are issues (thieves, pickpockets and such) where you live and play too, but its just second nature for you to accept it and protect yourself when the situation presents yourself. I know so, because being a male and walking in Europe, i have seen many females walking towards me move their purse to the opposite side of their body when i approach them.

it would be nice if there wasnt any of these issues globally, but you cant please everyone at this time in our lives.

by the way, im looking forward to Vienna this fall.

happy trails.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8724 posts

Petty thievery does happen everywhere, some more violent places and some less.

An account I have just read elsewhere shows that you don't have to be carrying the Blue Book to be scammed.

This is from a completely different group of people:

"We got scammed in the Paris train station at the ticket machine. We didnt even know it. However, a couple of very snazzy French plain clothes policemen came and threw the culprits to the ground and cuffed em. Then we got a high-speed ride in a police van with the dee daa going all the way to the cop shop. It was underground and we werent sure if we were being kidnapped. S.... had to give evidence as the cheats had offered to get our tickets out of the machine for us, took our euros and then gave us children`s tickets for one stop. Bad men! "

Posted by Emily
Vienna, Austria
292 posts

@Pat:
"Emily you are wrong. Simple.
I have been on TA for ten years.. there are ALWAYS posts about scams and pickpockets in Paris."

Does TA have a discussion forum called Tourist Scams? No
Does TA have a business selling neck wallets/money belts? No

I am also a destination expert on TA and rarely see posts about scams - on this site it is every third post. I think it is partially due to the fact that this site appeals to first time travelers who have never been to Europe.

I would also mention that, yes, I do live in Vienna but I don't look like a local. I also take 3-4 trips outside of Austria every year so I definitely can relate to being a tourist!

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7812 posts

Emily being a DE on tripadvisor means nothing to me.. after 10 yrs there I have seen them come and go.. lol

There ARE posts about scams and pickpockets constantly on the paris forums.. The fact that TA does not have a seperate forum for them means nothing other then the sponsors don't want to scare off tourists so TA does not want it highlighted.. so just as commercially motivated as you insinuate RS site is by selling neck pouches or whatever.

And Emily.. locals get pickpocketed too.. they are smarter about it, but they are also targets and victims. Some cities do have more of a problem then others.. anyone who denies that is also wrong.. but if they want to see the world through those rose colored glasses thats fine by me.

I do not think its "fear mongering" to tell people to learn to ignore folks who approach you with rings.. or petitions.. Since these sorts of issues are not a big problem in most north american cities the average tourist may simply be unaware and most of our instincts is to be polite to strangers that approach .. ( unless they have a gun,, lol which I think we have covered)

I do not think RS site does anymore to promote fear and paranoia then any other site, but I do think some travellers are more nervous types and take warnings far far too close to heart. Saying that in a city of millions there are some pickpockets does not mean every tom dick and harry on the street besides you is a pickpocket and they need to take "a chill pill" and take the information provided as only knowledge that can help them, not dire warnings of roving gangs that will attack you and take your stuff the minute you step off the plane.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2684 posts

Hi,

Yes, there is street crime in European cities but it's kindergarten compared to here. In Europe there is no possiblity if one were to be victim of crime that one would be "jumped" for one's assets. Here that is a real possiblity. The gun factor has been mentioned already. One aspect of American crime not existing over there: the drive by.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6820 posts

"...In Europe there is no possiblity if one were to be victim of crime that one would be "jumped" for one's assets..."

If you're suggesting that muggings don't occur in Europe, that's not so. With my own eyes I have seen four muggings happen across the pond. Once in Dublin, twice in Bern on the same day, once in Lisbon. All happened in broad daylight in busy areas, and the victims appeared to be locals. The bad guys appeared to be drug addict types.
A couple years back the British Government issued a warning to Brits traveling in the Barcelona area that the consulate was reporting in was a sharp increase in stong-armed robbery reports.
Europe is a great place to visit but it's not free of social ills. Use your money belt or hotel room safe and you have defeated the problem.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8724 posts

There must be some interest in this topic since it has made the rarified air of the big Five-Oh.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2684 posts

@ Michael....yes, you're correct on being "jumped" ie, the muggings. I mean to say that such happenings over there are much less frequent than here. It's obvious that all this depends on where one is at the moment, what time of the day, etc, ie, all the factors that increase the chances of a "mugging." I myself have never been a witness to someone getting 'jumped' not even from a distance, all the time I've been in Europe, ...came close once '92 in Hamburg on a S-Bahn platform at night where this punk-wannabe kept baiting and taunting this guy (presumably) by saying "Was gibt's denn?" over and over, (new expression for me in that context), the crowd was building up, you could feel the tension, and I had no intention to stick around, be caught in a rumble, and was glad that my S-Bahn car arrived shortly.

Posted by VS
Palo Alto, CA, United States
556 posts

Not to stir things up, but here is an article from TA from a few years back:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/PressCenter-i260-c1-Press_Releases.html

There is a very big difference between being at risk of pickpocketing, and being in danger of violent crime. Both are highly localized, and it's hard to generalize about entire countries. If we must generalize, without even Googling it, I have no doubt that violent crime is more likely in big cities in the U.S. compared to big cities in most of Europe. That's a very different thing than having your wallet stolen by stealth. I also have no doubt that it's much more common for pickpocketing to happen in tourist areas in large cities in Europe, than in similar cities in the U.S., even major tourist centers. (I guess if I had to pick, I would choose the nonviolent variety of crime.) My wife and I, a couple in ours 40s/50s, have done about fifteen Europe trips in fifteen years since we were married. She lost her wallet in Venice in 1999 on our honeymoon, and again walking away from the Prado in Madrid in 2005. The funniest thing, in Madrid the undercover cops were watching them, and we got our stuff back, but the police insisted that we go down to the police station and make statement so they could prosecute. It was like Miami Vice, they tried to get us to ride in their car to the police station, even showed us the siren in the trunk of the car. They were plain clothes cops, and how do I know what a Madrid police badge looks like? I insisted that we walk to the station at Calle de Huertas. We sat in the police station as victims of similar crimes walked in every five minutes, each with their own tale of woe. We love telling that story to this day! We also had two young men approach us in Barcelona slapping at a map, obviously trying to distract us from out backpacks, in 2005. When I clutched mine to my chest and warned my wife to do the same, they quickly retreated. In 2008 we witnessed a scene that was like something from a sitcom, an obvious group of pickpockets, on a tram frequented by tourists in Lisbon. In 2003 we saw a man who seemed to be a local paying lots of attention, over his newspaper, to a group of tourists snapping photos of the Manniken Pis in Brussels. I have more stories but you get the idea. On the positive side, in Barcelona in 2010 I had my backpack hanging open on the Ramblas, and a local man drew my attention to it -- very kind of him. The message is, not everyone is a thief but in major tourist centers be aware that you may be targeted. You just need to stay aware, keep your belongings close, and you will be fine.

Posted by Diane
Ottawa
1145 posts

According to published official statistics, Orlando's violent crime rate has consistently been over double the U.S. average over the last decade.

Not all our time was spent in WDW and we were staying off-site. My concern at the time was indeed valid.

Please don't turn this discussion into a "Canadian" vs "American" debate...

{walking away}

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1328 posts

@justkaren1964
........... I've been to Orlando and so have millions upon millions of other tourists with no problems so please stop the fear mongering.

there was a time when rental cars with tags/stickers on them depicting they were rentals were targeted by hoods. Knowing that tourist wouldnt be armed.

happy trails.

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1554 posts

Oh boy, here we go again, I thought she went away. Karen1964, please use this forum for what it was intended to be, not a political rant. Hope again the webmaster deletes the most recent posts.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7812 posts

Gail I will delete my last post.. but only because this IS a travel forum and its is going way off track. I do stand by what I posted and what I believe. You are FAR more likely to be a victim of gun violence in the United States of American then in most every other western first world country. The facts are the facts and whether certain people want to admit it is immaterial Can't change fanatics.

BTW.. The couple ripped you off for money Karen1964.. its a scam.. "mugged needing bus fare".. hilarious.. we have scams here too and you got snagged!! Teens will pull that for 5 bucks. Glad you helped them out. lol

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

Troll? You're not a troll Karen -just a ******* ******* (hope that gets the moderator's attention -I'd spell it out but I don't want to upset the normal people here. I'd say it to your face, but you still haven't even told us what homogeneous, exclusive, redneck,right-wing suburb or exurb you are from). We are all still waiting for the first piece of travel advice you have to offer, or for the first travel question you would like help with. Until you have something to actually participate in the forums, STFU.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

Not hysterical. We would ALL love to not read your posts, but you have come in and taken over our board. We can't avoid them. You are as bad as the clowns with the inundation of solicitations for fraudulent documentation. Ooops, sorry, that's probably "free enterprise" where you are from.
If you don't like my calling you out on your bullshit (or the others who are not putting up with this), then why don't you complain to the webmaster to kick us off? But I've been a valuable contributor here for several years, and I have many thank you messages from folks here to back this up. None of us have a clue what you are doing here. You've taken a topic here that had run its course to post your rantings, and attack members. Just like with the other topic where your stuff was pulled. See the link at the bottom of each topic - Community Guidelines.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7934 posts

The old Helpline had a dunking stool. Somebody go up in the attic and look for it.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7934 posts

' this is my last post ........'

Hallelujah!!!

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

So you are saying it's perfectly acceptable for you to read everything and sit in judgement on everything written here that contradicts your warped world-view and post your holier than thou self righteous platitudes, but you've a problem with someone else doing this?

I fully expect that by later this AM your posts will all have been deleted (and you will likely have been banished) by the moderators, as they were yesterday from the other thread, at which point you then jumped in here. But until then, I for one am not letting this bullshit go unresponded to, and not leaving your hate and your attacks sit here as "truth".

Posted by Nicole P
Truro, NS, Canada
701 posts

See...sometimes we need someone new to come on the boards and set us straight ;) ;) :0

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7812 posts

Karen you are the BEST HYPOCRITE ever.

You have called me "dense " and "thick" .. and I have not called you any names.

You did however call Diane names and were very rude.

You say anyone can say what they like and have different opinions.

Apparently in your limited world you call people names to win arguments.

Gun Homocides in US per 100,000

2.65

Gun Homicides in Canada per 100,000

.51

Yeah we are catching up on you..

Gun Homicides in France per 100,000

.06

You look kind of silly you know.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

Pat- chill - I think her last post meant "Niener, niener, niener, my word is the last because I won't read this or speak here again."
Let's see when AM hits PST if this stuff shortly disappears, I can't believe I am the only one who comnplained to the webmaster.
Or maybe we should start a Poll as a new Topic, like I see on a couple of automotive and electronics sites I frequent (For technical information only, no posting!) And the Topic is the question: "Poll - Should justkaren1964 be allowed to post on our forums?

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

Could it be we will now add a "She who is not to be named"?

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1554 posts

Folks, I hate to burst your bubble, but she who shall not be named said" this is my last post on this topic". I think that means, to quote Arnold, "I'll be back". Wonder which topic will be picked next? Money saving tips, packing light? Can't wait.

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
575 posts

Assuming she is not permanently banned.
Maybe SHE's the one selling the fraudulent documents.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4857 posts

It appears that justkaren1964's posts have been removed. Hmmm...I wonder where she will pop up next?