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She said she went out one night with so called friends they drank partied and bar hopped. You never know who is keeping tabs on you. Drinking too much in unfamiliar towns, putting all your valuables in one spot and being too trusting with unfamiliar people can cost you. Never keep your money plus credit cards all together. Also in this town we heard men dress up as women by the busloads ready to rob tourists. So be watchful of flirtatious women!!
We also saw this little boy try to steal a phone from a restaurant guest. The boy came up from the beach grabbed the phone and ran thru the restaurant catching the eye of almost all the waitstaff.
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We watched 6 or more staff members chase this boy down take back the phone then deliver him right to nearby police officers! Lesson to be learned. Because this is when there are tons of people in the cities much harder to be observant.
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People would bee-line to you if you were foreign to ask to pay for hospital bills. I even had a caucasian white man ask me for money for his hospital bill. I encourage anyone to give if they have the means to do so and want to help out, but make sure you know exactly who you are giving your money to! They go right around your stomach so you can hide it right under your shirt. Kinda like a fanny pack without the bulk and you wear underneath clothing instead of over. Someone would have to really be putting in extra effort to get to this! Definitely gives you peace of mind, now you can focus on your actual vacation spot!
The PacSafe bags are great, I agree. Just so you know, if you leave them on the beach to drunkenly go skinny-dipping at night, they will still be stolen from you! Just kidding here, but shame on my year-old self for that. The overpriced shoe shine. A nice old guy offers to shine your shoes.
In this is pretty common. He just starts in, no prices mentioned. I got taken by this my first visit to downtown Chicago. I saw this shoeshine guy and considered that I did have a dirt spot but realized it would be stupid to get it done on tennis shoes. I gave no personal info but appreciated the talk. Then he throws a dollop of some dubious cleaner on one shoe. He asks about the incision on my ankle and I get to yammer on about the crazy injuries of my youth.
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I felt a bit threatened and pricing was not discussed up front. This is what made it a scam. Live and learn…. In Iran: The fake police scheme. A cop in legit looking uniform and carrying an ID that may or may not be fake and asks for your passport. I luckily had my passport taken by the hotel front desk, but he demanded I go with him.
I was so lucky a kind, wonderful local intervened. He may have been a real cop and just having a bad day, but he could also have been a robber or rapist. I would call my guide or local male friend if I had one. If not, I would tell them to call my hotel and start walking quickly back to the hotel. If it was a real cop who was that concerned about my visa status, let him clear it up with the hotel staff. I was also annoyed at being way overcharged for a taxi back to the airport.
I should have negotiated up front.
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Next time. Mine was similar but could have ended very badly. In Nairobi, about 15 years ago. Beggar asks for some money- I give him very small coin. I realize this is a big bad scam. Luckily I really looked at the badge he flashed me, but had I not been in other cities like this before, I could have been killed or raped or both!
While living in Israel I would get delivery. Often I did not have the exact amount of cash that the total came to, so I would need to give the delivery man a larger bill and get change. My father in law had his wallet handed back to him by an… undercover policeman in Rome. In the Galapagos last September we went to a restaurant as a group and when we came to pay one of the notes was returned because it was fake, but actually it had been swapped.
Moral check the numbers on your notes before you give them if the money is taken away to get change. Our Intrepid guide sorted it. I experience taxi drivers trying to scam me more in the US than other countries, especially in Boston. They always try to take the longest route or sometimes they flat out try to go to the opposite part of the town.
So annoying. I have to tell them where to go and be super alert. Another scam I saw was at Notre Dame Cathedral. A gypsy lady older, looked homeless maybe was standing right next to the entrance begging for money because their home had recently burnt to the ground. She had this story about having all her grandchildren she needed to clothe and feed. I knew better, but she was convincing. As I was reaching in to my pocket to give her a few euros a cop came up and grabbed her and shouted at her to leave.
Glad I was saved from that one! Also helpful to carry the card of the hotel to show the taxi drivers where you want to go as they often do not speak English and cannot read the hotel map. Not so much a scam but when taking taxis in Bangkok get on the right side of the road for the direction you want to go. It can save time and money as traffic jams and not being able to u-turns can cause delays etc. Also try to avoid if possible taking taxi when the sky opens up with torrential rain as jams start so quickly.
I remember in France, our tour guide warned us about Gypsies who asked for a donation for a rose, while someone else pick-pocketed you around the side. A lady came up to me and offered me a rose. I had scammed the scammer in my year-old mind. Wow when you read this it is kind of hard to go travelling. Common sense! Most people who come from dense metropolitan cities have had their fair share locally and can usually differentiate a genuine thing from scam.
Yet, the differences in cultures and social acceptance can lead to letting down of the guard. It was a fair ground and while the main fair was over a good 3 months ago, it had been replaced by a smaller market of sorts. The overcharging rides are much too common and being aware of the actual distance is the only way to avoid it. I had the ring scam tried on me in Paris. I knew what was happening, so the girl left disappointed. In San Francisco, I had a guy try to sell me his bus pass for less than the going rate. I refused the offer because I knew the pass was probably expired!
I went on a four wheeler tour in Nicaragua. The guy at the company said not to worry about it.
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Our guide said that because we did not have licenses, the cop would have to take us to the police station to fill out some paperwork … or we could just pay a fine. When talking to locals at the bar that night, they confirmed that you do not need to have a license to drive these vehicles.
I was also told that if you do have a police situation that if you have money to offer you have a better chance of getting the situation handled. Nicaragua is a poor country and their police force is not paid very well. Often they will need gas money for their vehicles or whatever.