I’m all for helping people, especially the elderly, but next time I’m traveling around Europe, I’ll be on the lookout for a scam before I lend a hand. According to Rick Steves, there are a variety of distraction scams out there. I have heard of some of them but not all so this is a good, quick refresher. RELATED: Two Scams Currently Making the Rounds That Everyone Should Know About
Rick writes: “Oops! You’re jostled in a crowd as someone spills ketchup or fake pigeon poop on your shirt. The thief offers profuse apologies while dabbing it up — and pawing your pockets. There are variations: Someone drops something, you kindly pick it up, and you lose your wallet. Or, even worse, someone throws a baby into your arms as your pockets are picked. Assume beggars are pickpockets. Treat any commotion (a scuffle breaking out, a beggar in your face) as fake — designed to distract unknowing victims. If an elderly woman falls down an escalator, stand back and guard your valuables, then…carefully…move in to help.
GoBankingRates.com once wrote in detail how the falling old lady scams works but they have since took down the post. But here’s what they wrote on how it works: “A woman, typically an elderly woman, will make a huge commotion by falling down. Accomplices will then quickly move throughout the crowd, pickpocketing and grabbing purses. It’s important to remain as attentive and cautious as possible to avoid scams like this. If you see any suspicious activity and suspect a tumbling woman scam, step aside and keep an eye on your valuables.”
I don’t agree with the part about stepping aside in that situation. But if I see something like this, I won’t drop my luggage and will make sure my wallet is in my front pocket and that my wife doesn’t let her guard down with her purse.
It’s sad that there are some truly bad people out there who are happy to take advantage of those being kind.
More Scams to Watch Out For
–Don’t Fall For the Falling Lady Scam
–Is Your Hotel Scamming You?
–Don’t Fall For It: Scammers Are Pretending to be Customs and Border Protection Agents
–Cybersecurity and Fraud Expert Shares Tips on How Not to Get Scammed When Traveling
–How To Avoid Vacation Rental Scams
–Don’t Fall For These QR Code Scams
–7 Tips For Avoiding Black Friday Scams Online
–These Are the Latest European Travel Scams to Know Before You Go
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