Getting Something for Free - A Worldwide Issue

Scammed in Barcelona? Share your stories here.

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Getting Something for Free - A Worldwide Issue

Postby kwilke on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:02 pm

I've travelled all over the world for business and pleasure. I seem to attract those who want to get something for nothing - via theft, or scam, partially I believe, because I am somewhat disabled and walk with a cane. I've modified a few pieces of clothing which allow me to hide documents (in my underwear) and small amounts of money in several different locations, easy for me to get at with one hand (the other is occupied with the cane), but invasive enough that I know when it's not my hand reaching for the bills. Velcro closures on pockets, in purses, etc. are great because they make noise. They require large amounts of time and effort to open quietly - pickpockets want to grab and run and don't have time to fiddle with velcro
Money belts are fine, but experienced thieves can easily divest you of them, I've seen it time and time again.
Many tourists do not wear them properly. People get lazy and do not put the belt back under their clothes - too much of a hassle, when the shops await. I've seen many tourists with money belts worn like bum bags (fanny packs) - over their clothing. When I am out, I take a small over the shoulder bag and try to look as local as I can. Items in my bag include only those things I am willing to lose - inexpensive digital camera, change purse, tissues). I also travel with a rubber wedge style door stop, which I use inside my room to further secure the door.
I've seen all the scams listed from Vancouver to Moscow and from Helsinki to Capetown - surprisingly I had fewer problems in Barcelona than many other places. Travelling requires common sense - don't flash money or wealth, be aware of your surroundings, if a door has a lock - lock it, stay in well lit areas, do some research before you go, calculate risk - do you have money to lose, time to waste? If it looks to good to be true it usually is.
I carry a small LED flashlight/keychain with a piercing alarm (http://www.survivalstore.com/r6s14ldb4.html) - between that and my cane, I can usually persuade undesirables that I'm not worth their attention.
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Re: Getting Something for Free - A Worldwide Issue

Postby UnHab on Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:13 pm

Thanks for the advice, kwilke.
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Re: Getting Something for Free - A Worldwide Issue

Postby billgate123 on Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:03 am

They require large amounts of time and effort to open quietly - pickpockets want to grab and run and don't have time to fiddle with velcro
Money belts are fine, but experienced thieves can easily divest you of them, I've seen it time and time again.

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Re: Getting Something for Free - A Worldwide Issue

Postby TimmyPra on Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:25 am

All sound advice. But sometimes even when you're doing everything right bad things can still happen, like you said. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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