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Kovaks Street Scam Forums • View topic - Fake Tourist in Trouble & Carnations with a Catch

Fake Tourist in Trouble & Carnations with a Catch

Scammed in Barcelona? Share your stories here.

Moderators: UnHab, terrycojones, lenox

Fake Tourist in Trouble & Carnations with a Catch

Postby KOVAKS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:10 pm

Contributed by Dale E. Arrington:

My wife and I returned recently (June 8) from a two-week stay in Europe (Paris, Barcelona, Mallorca). Fortunately, I had scanned the web before going on our trip and came across your website. Other than being caught by the Spanish air traffic controller's strike which resulted in a 7-hour-plus delay at Charles DeGaulle airport our trip was relatively hassle-free. However, your information and that provided by Rick Steves (Europe Through the Back door) concerning various scams helped us out during our stay in Barcelona and Mallorca. In the Placa Reial in Barcelona I was approached by a tall, thin woman with long hair tied in a ponytail who asked, in unaccented English, "Excuse me, sir, but do you speak English?". I shook my head that I did not (I debated answering in German or Russian but decided not to do so) and she simply walked off. I turned around to watch her approach another couple but could not overhear their conversation. I took two photos of her, one from behind and a profile, using a telephoto lens and was trying to get a full frontal shot of her but she had disappeared by the time I was prepared (had to change film). Of course, she could really have been someone in trouble and with a legitimate concern, but I elected not to get started in a conversation.

The second incident, which was definitely a scam, occurred on our last day in Mallorca. While walking on the Paseo de Maritimo near our hotel (Hotel Mirador, an excellent hotel by the way) we were approached by two gypsy women one of whom attempted to put a carnation in my pocket, requesting a donation for "Santa Maria". I carried only a few thousand pesetas in my front pocket, which was deep and buttoned, but the woman was quite insistent (my wife was watching the other gypsy woman who had begun to work her way behind me--all of our other valuables and money had been left behind in the hotel safe so I was not concerned about an end run). She put the stem of the carnation in the left portion of my buttoned pocket while simultaneously putting two other fingers in the right portion (all this was done quite quickly, as you can imagine). I immediately brought my hand up and was successful from preventing her from taking anything out of the pocket, but I realize that had my pocket not been as deep as it was and buttoned, I could have lost a little money (I would have chalked it up to the tuition of life). In any case, having been alerted to such scams was a big help. The two gypsy women went on their way (my wife--who is fluent in Spanish-- threatened to call the police). Both incidents provided us with some amusement. I would also say that, as a general rule, we found the Spanish people very helpful and courteous. Many offered help without trying to carry out any scam. We hope to return. If you would like a copy of the photos I took of the "Barcelona Woman", let me know, but, again, she could really have had a legitimate problem. Perhaps next time, if there is one, I should hear her story.
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Re: Fake Tourist in Trouble & Carnations with a Catch

Postby fbarraza28 on Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:08 pm

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Re: Fake Tourist in Trouble & Carnations with a Catch

Postby fbarraza28 on Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:29 am

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Re: Fake Tourist in Trouble & Carnations with a Catch

Postby fbarraza28 on Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:21 pm

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