How to Avoid Theft on European Trains

Train travel in Europe is efficient, comfortable and usually quite safe. Many tourists somewhere on their European adventure will travel by rail.  However, where there are tourists there are thieves. The theft of luggage from trains is an ongoing problem. The more stops on your trip the more chances of theft. So if you plan on train travel take a moment and learn how you can arrive at your destination with your luggage. You have two options when it comes to luggage storage on a train. You use the more convenient train’s baggage-check service, your bag is usually locked up in the train’s baggage car which is a separate car from the passenger cars, or you can take your luggage on board. While this allows you to keep an eye on your bags, it is more difficult and it too has risks, read on for advice on to avoid theft on your next European train trip. Where Does Theft On Trains Happen Most In Europe? Theft of luggage and bags from trains can happen anywhere, however, history shows that  theft is more common on trains in Italy, France, Spain, England, as well as many Eastern European countries.  Theft from train passengers has always seemed to be more prevalent on night trains – especially in Eastern Europe. Some train lines have higher theft issues than others. For instance, with Eurostar, there are few intermediate stops and those stops have good security where thieves cannot enter the platform area without a ticket. Video Showing Thieves Stealing Tourists Luggage on European Train Car in London Tip No. 1  Put Your Luggage On the Train Overhead Luggage Rack Across From You on European Trains As you saw in the above video, never, never, carry on your luggage and leave it in the train car luggage storage area.  You just saw how the thieves casually waited until no one was watching, picked up someone’s luggage, and walked off the train.  No one was there to...

Taxi Scams – Domestic and International

Taxi Scams – Domestic and International  Ever wonder if you got ripped-off a taxi driver, especially overseas?  While you hope that all taxi drivers are honest, law abiding citizens, who would never take advantage of an innocent traveler you know that is not case in many locations.  Travelers fall victim to overcharging by dishonest taxi drivers everywhere including here in the U.S. The following is information to help reduce your chances of falling victim to taxi scams including of some of the most common taxi cab rip off scams used around the world.  Note that these taxi scams are broken down by continent, but an overcharging scam that is known in Brazil might also be used in Barcelona, Spain, so have a quick read of all of the taxi scams, being an  inform traveler can only help you. Ask airport or hotel personnel general taxi questions You can also ask these same resources what is the typical price range to your destination and the appropriate amount to tip for the area. Some drivers will charge you a metered, per-person rate. Other cabbies will try to tack on surcharges for baggage, rush-hour service, or additional passengers.  Find out if these unusual fees are to be expected in the area you are traveling through before getting in the cab.  Also, be on the lookout for drivers in foreign countries who expect you to haggle over fares. In these cases, negotiate your price first. Independent, non-licensed drivers are not obliged to follow industry regulations, though they will try and tempt you with lower fares. If you can’t distinguish a legit company from a fraudulent one, inquire at the airport information desk or your hotel’s concierge desk. They might also be able to help you with any communication problems you may encounter–if you don’t know the language, have a local write down your destination on a piece of paper for the cab driver to read. Hotel staff or your host can tell you the typical...

Train Scams and Pickpockets – What to watch out for...

The following are few security tips to help protect your valuables when you travel trains in Europe.  These tips were sought out from train police officers, train conductors and tour operators who operate or work in and around passenger train/subway systems through-out Europe.  One thing to point out – thieves and scammers like to look for tourists at train stations and on trains themselves for a variety for reasons, including: Train stations are known as “ripe picking grounds” for thieves and scammers due to the natural congestion of people. The confusion of foreign travelers in chaotic environments make it easier to rip someone off. Thieves like tourists at train stations because they are almost always guaranteed to carry more money than a local. Victims will rarely return for a trial if the perpetrators are caught. The following are a few tips to consider before you head off on your trip that involves train travel. Train scams inside train station, at ticket machines and counter, and on train platforms Scammers find that ticket machines are a great location to take advantage of tourists, especially if someone is a first time visitor to the train station, as public transportation system can be difficult to get accustomed to on the first few tries. Typically scammer will look for travelers having trouble with a ticket machine. The scammers, both men and women, young and old, will offer to help the traveler out. They help you feed your money into the ticket machine, when after you place in several Euros, they press the cancel button and run off with your money. It might seem rude to refuse these seemingly friendly people just wanting to help out but sometimes, that’s the only way of avoiding the thieves. For your own safety, ask help only from the employees of the train station and don’t accept any help from random strangers. If you really can’t figure out how the ticket machine works, just go to the ticket counters. It might take a little longer, but at least...

Top Subway Pickpocket & Scam Prevention Tips

Subways are tempting locations for pickpockets to work. Subways with tourists and travelers are even more tempting.  Most people don’t think about how not to fall victim to a pickpocket or a scam when planning a trip. However, a little thought about how not to fall victim to theft in crowded locations, like subways, and a little clever planning about how to protect your valuables will help ensure your travels are bit more worry-free so you can enjoy the adventure. In reality, most travelers will return from a trip overseas without having anything stolen. The unlucky ones will spend hours, maybe days trying to get things straightened out like finding police stations with English-speaking officers, waiting in lines to make a police reports, cancelling credit cards, as well as going to a U.S Embassy if their passports were stolen. Theft by Pickpockets is Increasing While NPR reports that the crime of pickpocketing in the United States has declined steadily over the last several years – that is not the case in Europe, South America, or other parts of the world – as reported by ABC News report of the “top 10 pickpocket cities in the world.” Falling victim to theft in a subway can happen in most any city whether it has a higher poverty rate or it’s a metropolitan destination favored by tourists. How to Protect Your Wallet In the Subway  Subway pickpockets and thieves are always in search of their “holy grail”….. the wallet.  When stolen from a pocket, wallet, purse, or day-pack,  it can bring joy and happiness to a subway pickpocket’s heart – and with it your cash, credit cards, and other valuable items.  A subway traveler needs to be as committed to protecting their wallet or purse as much as the subway thief is committed to trying to steal it from you in the first place. Subway pickpockets always look for the weak and the vulnerable. If they had their way, they would prefer everyone to be blind and...

Deaf Mute and Fake Petition Scams in Europe

Tourist Scams in Europe Include “Deaf Mute” People with Petitions   Thieves and scammers make a living preying on the kind hearts and naivete of tourists.  Familiarize yourself with these scams and save your money. The Deaf Mute Scam and the Fake Petition Scam typically involves women or young girls as the scammers. Some are pregnant, but on occasion young boys may also use this scam. Women and young girls find this scam as a fairly easy one to get money from unsuspecting tourists. There are people who are legitimately disabled and may use this method as a way to obtain money. Scammers are exploiting sympathetic feelings of visitors. Sadly, the majority of the women who approach you and identify themselves as a deaf mute, or solicit you with a fake petition are simply trying to scam you and take your money. Fake Petition Scam and How it Works When it comes to the Fake Petition Scam, know that the majority of the time the petition the scammer shows you is not official. It is not even a petition.  The fake petition will be some type of official looking paper that is asking for some type of donation to a charity. The types of charities vary, but the ones that have the most pull on your heart strings works best for them – those include orphanages,crippled, homeless, deaf, and or blind children charities – it does not matter what is printed on the form. The most devious use the name of an official charity, but the money never goes to them. The petition is usually in English – which should immediately raise your suspicion as you are in a non-English speaking country. You are being targeted as an American tourist. French is the preferred language in Paris, so why is the petition in English? It is only a ruse to swindle you out of your money. If you give a small donation, many times the scammer will draw your attention to the clipboard...

Taxi Scams – See These Scams Caught on Video

Taxi drivers scam tourists all over the globe. The only purpose is to get the most money they can out of their fare, legally or not. The following are various taxi scams caught on tape. Watch a few of these to understand how vulnerable you can be if you don’t know the tricks dishonest taxi drivers can pull on you. Being informed can save money. This is a scam being pulled in Rio de Janeiro This is a taxi scam in Buenos Aires Taxi Scam in Brisbane Taxi Scam in Prague/Czech Republic – This is a scam that you really have to keep you eye out for – while the drive is in fact using the taxi meter, you will see a him push a hidden button which turns then allows you to fall for what is called the “turbo meter scam” this is ingenious – travelers to Europe – watch out for this...