"Lost Person" Scam in Madrid

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"Lost Person" Scam in Madrid

Postby KOVAKS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:54 pm

Contributed by Shiranthi Fonseka:

Hi there, I have two stories which I thought might interest you, both occured in Madrid.

I was sitting in Madrid's Plaza Mayor with a friend when suddenly a man, who was clearly Spanish started asking my friend directions to Puerta del Sol (a very central point about 2mins away) in English. We thought this was weird, and my friend vaguely pointed in the appropriate direction, while he continued to look puzzled and keep on asking her. Meanwhile I glanced sideways to see a arm reaching for my bag which was beside me. Naturally I grabbed my bag and started yelling at the man asking for directions and his new found friend. They eventually left, meanwhile my friend couldn't understand my rage for a pair of strangers seeking directions!

On another occasion I was walking down the main street with my friend and heard the clasp of my bag open. This bag was slung over my body and I normally have one hand on the clasp. They caught me unaware! When I heard my bag open I spun around to see a band of about 8 gypsy women walking behind us. I shouted "What?" in Spanish to her and then she tried to tell me that her friend had simply dropped her lighter (to explain the noise, however this was very badly timed!!) I then proceeded to yell at her in my poor Spanish and they basically ran away!

Beware!! If you're a tourist, you probably stand out, so look after your property! You don't have to be paranoid, just very careful at all times!
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