Tourists warned to beware of common scam and how to avoid being a ‘prime target’ | Travel News | Travel

Unfortunately, tourists are often a target for scammers and pickpockets as they may be less aware of their surroundings.

While it can be hard to avoid pickpockets, luckily there are a few things tourists can do to lower the risk of being a target.

Kate Fitzpatrick, travel security expert at World Travel Protection, has shared her top tips for British tourists.

A common scam used to steal from unwitting tourists is the ‘Good Samaritan’ where someone pretends to offer a helping hand.

Kate said: “Beware of seemingly altruistic individuals aiming to distract you while their accomplices seize the opportunity to snatch your belongings. Vigilance is your best defence.”

Some scammers work in pairs or groups and may offer to help a tourist to distract them while an accomplice steals from them.

Pickpockets have been filmed pretending to help tourists at stations or offer directions in order to steal from them.

Kate added: “Flaunting luxury items can make you a prime target. Criminals work together, surveilling your every move, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Stay cautious even in seemingly harmless situations.”

Although it might be tempting to wear that new watch or pair of earrings, it’s best to leave valuables at home.

Luxury items could make a tourist a target for a thief so travellers who do need to take them on holiday might want to leave them in a secure hotel safe.

Kate added: “Fake police situations are becoming more sophisticated. Be wary of demands for fines or accusations of crimes.

“Depending on location and circumstance, try to verify the legitimacy of the officers and stay vigilant.”

Police officers should be able to demonstrate their credentials. Tourists can also ask their hotel or holiday provider if there are any location specific scams to watch out for.

Kate added that tourists should be cautious of sharing their personal information and research their destination carefully.

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