So there. There are a lo.. Hey TPTers! Welcome to another episode of Vins & Yosh! In this episode, we’re gonna talk about more scams in Europe! Yes, even more! So this is the second of our 2-part video series about scams. So if you missed the first part, give it a watch. You’ll find the link in the description below. In that video, we’ve discussed the first 8 scams, and these are very minor scams that you should still avoid, but they’re not gonna do that much damage. But in this video, we’re gonna talk about the Top 7 scams based on our opinion. And some of these, we have experienced. Yes. So again, we’d like to remind you that this video does not intend to paint Europe as an unsafe or dangerous place. We only aim to make our followers and viewers aware that these scams exist in Europe. Especially those who will be travelling to Europe soon. And these scams are not exclusive in Europe. You can find them in many other places around the world, but they surely exist in Europe because as Vins said, we fell victim to some of them. So we’re gonna discuss the Top 7 here, and 5 of them, we fell for. It hurts.
-So yeah, we know first hand. So before we begin, please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking the subscribe button and clicking the bell icon for instant notifications for our future uploads. Okay, game! Number 7! Bar or club scam So what is this bar or club scam? When we were walking around… We didn’t fall for this. Just to put it out there this early.
-Yeah, just a disclaimer. We didn’t fall for this, but we were approached many times. So for example, we were walking around in…Poland.
-Poland And some guy approached us and said Something like “sexy ladies”
-Sexy ladies Sexy show, things like that. And it’s quite common in some parts of Europe to invite tourists to a club or a bar. Usually it involves some sexy ladies, and they target men. You will be encouraged to order something. A drink or two.
-Food. Or some snacks or something. So where’s the scam there? So the scam is because you’re enticed by the sexy ladies, and then you’ll be encouraged to order a drink or two. Sometimes, the drink has something in it. So you’ll be drugged. Sometimes they’ll ask for your credit card, and you wouldn’t know they are charging it with huge amounts. Or if you’ll pay with cash, your bill will be very expensive. Sometimes, it could be up to more than a hundred euro for one or 2 drinks. It’s that bad. There are also reports…you’ll see snippets of news reports right now. Wherein tourists were charged thousands of Euro or Pounds or Dollars. They didn’t know because they gave their credit card and a lot of things were charged to it. According to those reports that was mentioned, there were times that even after the person has left the club, their cards are still being charged. There are still bills coming through. So I think, they also skimmed those cards illegally. Or they take pictures of the card. But you can’t do anything because you’re drunk or because your drink was drugged so you were very dizzy. It can range from a few hundred Euro to thousands of Euro. It depends on the credit limit of the card. They will max it out. So what will you do? Sometimes, you’ll think it’s easy to… to…it’s easy to… to get out of that situation. But it’s not, because you’re trapped in that club. And everyone is their accomplice. And sometimes, they even have bouncers. So it’s hard to get out of that situation. So just try to avoid those kind of…
–Offers. Again, if someone approaches you and offers, just walk away. Say no and then keep walking. Don’t entertain them. Because for sure, some of them has persuasive powers that can encourage you to try whatever they offer you. When it comes to that, when you’re in another country, especially in Europe, say no right away. Just walk away. ?Of course, there are still a lot of legitimate clubs. Because the clubbing scene in Europe is also nice, right? Europe is also known for that. So if you really wanna try, just make sure that the place has a good reputation. Yes, check it. If you really want to go clubbing, check the reviews online. Is it clear? Is that it? Number 6! Friendly tourist scam What is this friendly tourist scam? What is it? So…okay. It comes in many forms too. This one, we almost fell for. Actually, we always have a gut feel already, so it didn’t happen. But they attempted this on both of us. So when we were in Istanbul, I was taking a photo of the Blue Mosque and I was approached by a guy. Then, he asked me to take a photo of him. He handed me his phone then asked me to take a photo of him. So I thought he’s also a tourist, because he’s asking for a photo in front of the Blue Mosque. And then, after I took his photo, he asked me where I’m from. Things like that. The usual things. We’re a bit used to it because I’m used to hostels and usually, the conversations are really like that. So I thought “okay, the guy was just being friendly” And then he said…he asked me if I was traveling alone. That’s when I had a feeling. I had a hunch. And then, moments later, I met up with Vins. So at the time, Vins was taking photos of the Hagia Sophia. If you’re familiar with this area in Istanbul, they’re just right across each other, right? I met up with Vins in that area and he told me a story. His story is also like that.
-It’s the same. He was taking a photo and then he was approached by another guy. And then he also asked for a photo. After he took the photo, he was asked where he was from and things like that. “Are you alone? Would you like to join?” Things like that. It’s too much of a coincidence, right? That 2 different guys approached us separately and asking the very same questions. And both offering to tour us around Istanbul. It’s a good thing we followed our gut feeling. Then, we researched about it and apparently, it’s quite common. What would’ve happened if we joined them? Apparently, there are 2 things that could’ve happened. Either number 1, they will really tour around with you, and then they will tell you “let’s have a drink” And then they will bring you to a bar. Then, what we discussed in number 7 earlier will happen. When you get to the bar, you will drink and will be overcharged for it or they can drug you and they will charge your credit card. That’s scenario number 1. Scenario number 2 is they will bring you to a store. Like a carpet store or something like that. Or a drugstore. Then you’ll meet a local family and you’ll think it’s hospitality so you’ll be glad about it. And then they will try telling you a sob story. They will guilt you into giving them money. To the point where you’ll be ashamed not to give. Or you’ll buy a carpet.
-You’ll buy something. There. Those are the things that can happen. That’s one of our experiences. We also have…I don’t know if from our support group or another group, travel group. But basically, he was in Moscow and he was just taking photos. And then, there’s a group of women who asked him to take photo. Then, after he took their photo, the women asked him to take a selfie with them because they liked how nice he was to take a photo of them. So they took selfies. It’s a group. And then apparently, after the entire thing, he lost his wallet. It was taken from him. So there. You should really follow your gut feeling. If you feel that there’s something wrong, just walk away immediately. So basically, yeah…when there’s…I mean… It’s good that sometimes, there are friendly locals who want to help, right? But sometimes, always be on guard. Always take it with a grain of salt. Follow your instinct too. Like if the guy or girl is being overly-friendly, then maybe it isn’t normal. If it’s too good to be true, then that’s it. There are some people who are really friendly. Yes, there really are.
-Nice people Number 5! Petition scam This is…I think this is also one of the things we often see. This has happened to us a lot of times in Paris. Someone would come up to us with a petition. They have papers with them and you’ll think they’re a legitimate organization. They will ask you to sign a petition. So what’s the scam? So most of the time, they will approach you and they are doing sign language, because it’s supposedly a deaf mute charitable institution. They will come up to you and pretend that they can’t…they use sign language. Then they will show you a petition. It’s a paper and you will sign there and there’s a…it looks like a petition. So there. So you will write your name there. So what’s the scam there? After you write your name, they will ask you for money for donation. And they won’t accept it if you just give them €2 or €5. Sometimes they want €10, €20 or even €30. During my first time in Paris, in Charles de Gaulle Airport, I was with someone who’s also a photographer. Right after we exit—they are a couple—they were aproached by a lady, she’s pretended to be deaf-mute. She was holding a form and was asking them to fill up. So of course, if it’s your first time and you just got there, you’re still… you’re tired and you really don’t have an idea at all. So he signed, and then he was asked to pay. He didn’t want to at first, but the girl was really persistent. Because you’re tired. I mean, after like a 12-hour or 13-hour flight So he just gave in and pay just so the girl would leave her alone. Sometimes, you will see a lot…some of them are not really deaf-mute. They will suddenly speak when you’re already arguing with them. Sometimes, their front is not deaf-mute. Sometimes it’s girl students. It’s a group of female students and they will charm you. Or sometimes a kid. And then, there. So there are 2 possibilities. The less intense one is they will just ask you for a “donation”, but they will force you. The second one, if you’re unlucky, they are also stealing from you. While you’re signing, you won’t notice that they are also stealing from you. So sometimes, you’ll get a 2-punch combo form that. You already gave money, and then you also got stolen from. Because sometimes, they also use it as a cover. Remember on the previous video, the table trick where they have a map or something they use to cover. Sometimes, the thing where you will sign, that paper, they also use it as a cover so you won’t see that they’re stealing from you. And sometimes, they operate as a group as well. This is very rampant in Paris. I mean, Paris is one of my favorite cities, but the petition scams in Paris are intense. There are a lot of them. As in.
-A lot. But they also do that in Poland, in Spain. There are also a lot of that in Italy. But I think, for me, as I’ve noticed, Paris has the most. Paris too. Based on experience, Paris has the most. Number 4! Misleading money changers So what is this? Okay, first of all, if you’re asking about how we exchange money, we’re gonna share more information about that in our next video. Which is all about practical tips when traveling around Europe. So we won’t get into that detail. But here, let’s assume that you have to exchange money through money changers. In Europe, you will find a lot of money changers. Especially around touristy areas. You will see money changers, currency exchange, exchange, exchange. Things like that. So there are displayed rates. So what is the scam there? Because most of the time, these money changers operate within the confines of the law. So you’ll think they’re legal. But what’s the scam there? One of the common scams, I noticed this is common in Poland and Czech Republic. Prague and Krakow. Krakow…Kraków.
-Kraków, Usually, in money changers, there are displayed rate, right? For example, Euro, this is the rate. So the rate displayed there is good. Then you will also see it say “No commission” or something like that. So since the rate is good, you will be urged to go in and exchange your money there. Because the exchange rate is good. What you don’t realize is the displayed rate says “we sell” And that’s their selling rate. So remember, in any currency exchange, there are two rates. The buying rate and the selling rate. So selling rate is…for example, what is the Euro selling rate? Basically, how much they will sell you their Euro. They will sell their Euro to you. That’s selling rate. What is buying rate? They will buy your Euro. Always think of it in the perspective of the money changer. So buying means they will buy your Euro. Selling means they will sell their Euro. What’s wrong about that? What’s displayed outside is their selling rate. Meaning, if you will buy their Euro. That’s not the common…
-It shouldn’t be like that. Yes, because what should be displayed is the buying rate. So what’s wrong with that? Because what should be displayed prominently is the buying rate. Because as a tourist, what you have is a foreign currency. Not the local currency. The currency from whatever country you came from is what you have. Basically, the money changers will buy your currency, okay? Whatever it is. May it be Euro or Dollar or something else. I know it’s confusing. But just remember, that what should be displayed is the buying rate. Not the selling rate. Let’s make an example so it’s not confusing. So for example, in Poland, there’s a buying rate and selling rate, right? For example what I have is Dollar, US Dollar. I’m the tourist. And then the money changer is here. What’s displayed is their selling rate. It says “We sell dollar” and then the rate. They sell dollars, but you don’t need dollars because what you have is dollars. So what you need is their money which is zloty. So basically, what’s displayed here is how much they sell their dollars. That’s the selling rate. What should be displayed is the buying rate. How much they will buy your dollar. So you should be looking at the buying rate. There are others, like in Prague where what’s displayed is not the actual exchange rate. There’s a huge display, but at the bottom of it, there’s a note that says “this is not the actual conversion rate” So you’ll ask “what’s this?” Nothing. It’s just a prop. It doesn’t mean anything. Where’s the actual conversion rate? It’s inside and it’s just a small paper. So of course, you won’t notice that anymore because you already computed outside using their huge display. Because you thought that’s their actual exchange rate. But actually, it’s not. It’s just to lure people. Basically, they are fooling you. So there are a lot of those in Europe. So be careful. Check carefully what’s the buying rate and selling rate. Because others…we saw some that doesn’t have anything at all, right? Even the paper with their official rates is not displayed. Don’t get us wrong. Not all money changers are like that. There are also a lot of honest and reliable money changers. You just have to research where you can find them. But there are also a lot, especially around touristy areas that would really take advantage. Just do some research online if it’s really legitimate. Because you know, those who displays just the selling rate… because when you’re outside and you’re already computing like what Yosh said. Then when you’re done computing, you will have your money ready. When you enter, you’re just gonna hand it over. That’s what usually happens. Of course, when you immediately hand your money, that’s the transaction. You won’t be able to do anything eventually, so there. And also, never ever exchange your money to those who are hanging around. Those who will tell you that they will exchange your money. They usually hang around ATM areas or money changers. Then they will offer to exchange your money because they have cash that’s in local currency. Don’t exchange your money there. They might give you fake money or that money isn’t valid anymore. Number 3! ATM dynamic conversion What is this ATM dynamic conversion? So it’s not really illegal because it works within the confines of the law. But it really feels scammy. It’s kind of ripping you off. So what is this? So basically, sometimes, the best way to get the local currency is by withrdawing from the ATM. Vins and I, that’s what we always do. Whenever we travel, we withdraw from the ATM. But sometimes, in Europe, there are a lot of ATMs around. As in a lot. So what’s the rip-off there? It’s the exchange rates. So most of these ATMs will give you local currency at a very very bad rate. A very terrible rate. You don’t notice it because usually, when we withdraw, we’re too lazy to compute because it’s also confusing. In fact, when we were in Split, in Croatia, locals…like just good samaritan locals… There’s one couple, an old couple who will withdraw from one ATM, Then there’s a concerned local who said “No, no, no. Don’t withdraw here. Bad rates.” He told them to withdraw at their local bank instead of those ATMs of multi-national companies. There. There’s a lot of those. But the exchange rates are really really bad. But sometimes, even the local banks, the reputable banks, they also find a way to get more money from you. So that’s the dynamic conversion. So what is this dynamic conversion? I’ve already said “what is this dynamic conversion” many times. Promise, I will explain it now. So when you withdraw money, the bank will ask “would you like us to charge you in your currency?” For example, in our case, in peso. “or in the local currency?” For example, if you’re in Croatia, in kuna. So again. “Would you like to be charged in peso or in kuna?” So how does that work? If you choose peso, they will convert for you. That bank will convert whatever amount you will withdraw. If you choose the local currency, your bank will be the one to convert. They will display a lot of messages encouraging you to choose your own currency and not the local currency. Peso instead of kuna. Wrong! Don’t choose that. Because the exchange rate that they are gonna use are really bad. As in you will lose a lot. The value of your money will lower. So always remember to choose the local currency. If you’re in Poland, choose zloty. If you’re in Croatia, choose kuna. It should always be like that. Whatever the local currency is in that place, choose that. Don’t let them convert for you. Because if you let them connvert for you, they’re gonna do so at a very bad rate. You can compare it. Vins and I compared it. Like how much the conversion will be for the two options. And the difference is huge. So make sure, if you want to get the most out of your money, if you want more purchasing power, do not let the ATMs or even credit cards sometimes, do the conversion for you. Always choose the local currency. I can’t say that enough. Always choose the local currency. It works like this. If they ask you, “Do you want us to charge you in peso? in your currency or the local currency?” Sometimes your choices are cancel or continue. Or decline or continue. If you choose continue, it means you’re accepting their currency conversion. So decline. Then, if you choose decline, there will be another message like “are you sure?” “If you don’t convert now, the exchange rate might change and can have a lower value than today” Or something like that. Don’t believe it. Yes. Decline, decline. Always choose decline. And always choose the local currency, not your currency. When you reach that last message that says “are you sure?” just press “yes” right away. Yes, right. There are a lot of that. As in. So even if you go out of…it takes extra effort to find a good ATM so that’s okay. There are also a lot of ATMs that are okay. Number 2! Overcharging taxis So there. There are a lo.. Again, this is very common not just in Europe, but all over the world, there are a lot of taxi scams. Even here in the Philippines.
-Here in the Philippines. Yes. Are we going to look someplace else? But since our topic is Europe, let’s discuss taxi scams in Europe. So there are also a lot of these. Basically, their goal really is to take advantage of you not being familiar with the fares, the city. So what are these taxi scams? They can range from not using the meter or they will charge you way more than normal. Or they will take a long detour instead of the faster route or something like that. And sometimes, they also have different modus operandi. Like we said in the previous video, we experienced a 3-hit combo with our taxi driver. So first, his meter is fast.
-It’s fast. The drop of the meter is really fast. Second is he took the long way. When we took that cab, it was already our third or fourth day. So we were familiar with the layout, especially going to our destination. But he took us around. Like we really took the long way. He took a really long detour. Like if you would walk…it’s just around 2km away. What he did is he took us along main square and he went around. Then he took the route with too much traffic. Then in the end, he didn’t drop us to our accommodation. He dropped us a few meters away from our destination. You know why? You know why? Because he was going to pull a third scam, which is the money switching. Because if he did that in front of our hotel, it’s easy to call the police. Because there was a guard in our hotel, right? That’s why he dropped us off far from there so we couldn’t do anything. Something like that. The third is he was able to switch the money. So if you’re not familiar with it, we discussed this in our previous video. So that was a 3-hit combo for us. He used a tampered meter, he took the long way like major detour, and he switched our money. So there. So sometimes it’s when the driver becomes a bit overly-friendly. Not all, because we’ve met a lot of overly-friendly taxi drivers in Europe. But sometimes, if they start asking “is it your first time?’ or things like that, I start becoming on guard. There’s nothing wrong with being on guard. There’s nothing wrong if you are a bit skeptical. It’s okay to be doubtful. So there. Just always be on guard. Because it’s better to be on guard even if it turns out that he’s just really friendly Than have your guard down and then you get scammed. It really hurts when you get scammed. Especially when we experienced that 3-hit combo. As in we really felt bad.
-You will feel like you’re very stupid. Yeah, you will feel like you’re the most stupid person to exist that day. That feels like that. But we also want to say that if you got scammed, don’t beat yourself too much for it. Because some of them are just really good at it. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. You will still fall for them, right? Especially if you came from a long flight, a long travel and it’s your first time there. Of course, whatever you do, you’re tired, you’re carrying a lot of things, you’re exhausted. So no matter how much you try to be alert, you’re not fully..you’re not 100% because you’re attention is divided. Which is why taxi scammers love the airport. Right? Even here, in Vietnam, in Cambodia. It’s like this is the favorite spot of taxi drivers who are scammers. Because tourists who just arrived are the most vulnerable. Touristy areas is also their favorite. So it’s always like that. Sometimes there are alternatives that are okay like Uber. Uber never failed us so far when we need it. But we rarely take Uver. Uver? Uber. Usually, most of the time, we take the public transportation. But sometimes, like when you’re just really tired, it’s much better to spend a little bit more, but you’re safe than to spend less but you’ get very paranoid. And now, after 2 videos, we have reached Number 1! Pickpockets There. So you might be asking “pickpocketing is pretty straightforward. There’s nothing scammy about it. But we have to tell you that pickpockets in Europe are pretty creative. Like they will go to great lengths to distract you.
-They follow a script. As in they’re super skilled. They’re very swift, and you’ll be amazed as well. But of course while you’re crying because you lost something. When you think about it, you’ll think “whoa how did that happen? They did a very elaborate scheme.” Okay, so what is this? What is their modus operandi? First, they operate in groups. They don’t do it alone…there are also some who do it alone, but most of the time, they operate in groups. And the others will try to distract you as one person tries to fish your wallet or cellphone or whatever valuable that you have from your pocket or from your bag. What are the distractions that they do? Some pretends to pass out. There are some who are…fighting.
-Fighting Sometimes they will spill ketchup or hot water on you or something. Sometimes bird poop if you’re outside. And then while you’re trying to clean that up, someone is already stealing from you. One of the most creative that we saw, unfortunately, it happened to Vins. This happened in Athens. So tell the story. Like I mentioned earlier, they will target you especially when you’re in your vulnerable state. Like when you just arrived. From a long long flight. It was our first day and we came from the airport. I was carrying a lot of things. I was carrying a backpack, a camera bag, and I have a luggage. So there. It happened on the train, actually. We were about to get off the station when suddenly, the door won’t… I thought the door doesn’t open completely. So someone pretended to help me.
-The door is going like this. He was acting like he was trying to open the door, but he was actually stopping it. So there was someone who was keeping the door from opening. I was carrying a lot of things, and I thought I already guarded everything. My backpack was in front of me, the camera bag was in front of me, and I don’t move without holding on to my luggage. I panicked. Because in that moment… You might be left inside the train. Yes, I was worried I would be left inside the train. And then there. While I was trying to open the door, I removed my had from my pocket. Because you’ll try to…
My phone was in there. That scene took a long time. Then when I got out, I checked my phone in my pocket, it’s gone. So it happened that quickly. You won’t be able to do anything because the train left. You got off and then the train left. There was really no way because right after I got out, the door closed. So they have a lot of drama like that. Like the door won’t open or someone passed out. There are people fighting or there’s someone who’ll suddenly scream and you will be shocked. They have a lot of things like that. You have to be really on your guard when you’re taking public transportation, especially the metro in Europe. So how do you avoid that? First, Vins and I, when we travel, we don’t put our valuables in one place. Our money is not kept in our wallet. In fact, our wallets are empty. The credit cards and cash shouldn’t be in one place. They should be in different places. You should also buy a money belt or money bag that will be on your body. Belt bag. Yes, like a belt bag that’s hidden. Your things should always be in front of you. And then put your hand on top of it. For example, your bag has a zipper, put your hand on top of it so it can’t be open. Always put it somewhere you can see it. Don’t put it on your back. For example, here in the Philippines, I’m used to have my bag on the side or on my back. You should put it in front of you. And don’t put anything on your back pocket. Or even in your front pockets. Because it’s easy to get it. Even a normal person can fish that, what more those who are trained for it? Those who have a lot of experience. That time, my shorts were tight and my pockets are deep, but they were still able to take my phone. And they almost took what’s inside my bag too. But they weren’t able to. It’s a good thing the camera bag has a clip on and the pockets are deep. And it also has a zipper inside. If you’re traveling abroad, especially in Europe, make sure to invest in things. Where you’ll put you’ll put your important things. Especially money and cellphone. And if you’re traveling as a group or in pairs, always protect each other. Yes, buddy system. Watch out for each other. Look out for each other. If you feel…if you see that someone is approaching and unusually getting too close or something. Or someone bumped into him, look out for them right away. That’s why it’s better if you’re traveling with someone because you can look out for each other. So for example, if I know I detected a scam… This has happened to us a couple of times. One of us would detect a scam. Then we’ll say “Vins, that’s a scam. If they approach you…” For me, what I do is I pull him away. And it’s good that someone would remind you because sometimes, we also forget when we will ride the metro. You know, like sometimes when we’re walking, I’ll just tell him “Hey, your bag. Bag in the front.” Yes, we’re always like that. We say things like “Hey, is your phone still there?” It’s always like that. We always check on each other. Except that one instance.
-Just that one instance. That one instance, what happened was I think you went to a different exit? Yes, I was in the other car. That’s why we’re saying you should be on guard, because we had our guard down a bit that time. Because number 1, it wasn’t our first time in Athens so we’re a little bit more relaxed. Because when you’ve been to that place already, you’re more relaxed, right? We were really a bit relaxed that time. So we’re gonna create… It’s been a long discussion already, but we’re gonna create a completely separate video on how to avoid pickpockets when we travel. Yes. So that’s it. So those are the 15 scams that you should watch out for and avoid when you’re traveling around Europe. Yes. Hopefully, this video was able to help you, especially if you have plans to visit Europe soon. And if you have questions, just leave a comment. Sound off in the comment section below or message us on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram too. If you like this video, don’t forget to leave a like and comment on the comment section below. And share this to your friends who will be going to Europe soon too! Again, this is our third video in our Europe series. So if you want to watch more of our Europe videos, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel by clicking the subscribe button. And clicking the bell icon for instant notifications for our future uploads. So that’s it for now. See you again next time, and may the #goals be with you! Bye!