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10 Dropped Wallet Trick
Thieves usually use the dropped wallet scam to target tourists. Even though it isn’t the sneakiest or most ingenious trick, numerous cases have been reported in China and Eastern Europe. The thief will pretend to drop their wallet next to a mark in a public space. The scam begins when they pick up the wallet and return it to the thief.
9 Money on the Windshield Trick
Stealing unoccupied cars has become increasingly more difficult for thieves due to more advanced locking devices, car alarms and anti-theft devices. That’s why car thieves have reportedly resorted to a different technique that involves placing a $100 bill or currency of similar value on a car’s rear window.
8 Distressed Relative Scam
This is a trick that’s usually used on the elderly, in which thieves use their kindness and vulnerability against them. The way it works is that thieves will call or email an elderly relative, usually a grandparent, and tell them that their grandchild is in some kind of trouble.
7 False Thief
Checking for our valuables is something that we often do without even realizing it. This instinctive reaction can be triggered by various factors such as spotting a suspicious person, walking in a crowded area or simply randomly reassessing where certain objects might be in case we need them. A group of pickpockets will sometimes force this reaction with a trick called ‘false thief’. One of them will yell ‘Thief!’ or make a big commotion about how their wallet was stolen. While this is happening, the other pickpockets are on the lookout to spot people in the crowd checking their pockets to make sure they weren’t robbed.
6 Terrace Table Trick
This is a brazen trick and one that you wouldn’t expect to work as often as it does. At a terrace or even an indoor restaurant, if you leave your phone, tablet or wallet on the table, a passer-by will approach you with a map, clipboard or another piece of paper. Regardless of their reason for approaching you, the passer-by will do their best to look the part they’re assuming. When the passer-by approaches, they will cover the targeted valuable with the map or piece of paper and start talking to you. As this is happening, an accomplice quickly swipes the targeted object.
5 Distressed Lover Scam
This scam has been around since the early days of the internet and it’s used by thieves to target people that are lonely and vulnerable. It involves the thief developing a romantic connection with the mark either through social media or dating websites. The exchanges on behalf of the thief are meant to gradually gain the mark’s trust and come with promises of love, a committed relationship or even marriage.
4 Gold Ring Trick
This one is very popular, particularly in Paris, and it involves a scammer leaving a gold ring in plain sight. As an unsuspecting tourist approaches the ring the scammer will pick it up and ask the tourist if the ring belongs to them. To the untrained eye the ring looks valuable and the scammer will try to convince their mark that it’s made out of gold. In reality it’s just made from cheap metal and covered with gold coloring and usually costs under a dollar. If the tourist says that the ring doesn’t belong to them, the scammer will try to sell them the ring.
3 Beijing Tea Scam
Scammers in Beijing will befriend tourists and, after talking for a while, they’ll invite them to attend a traditional tea ceremony. This is in no way meant to sound like a sales pitch but rather as something that the scammers do every day and is part of their lives. Thus, tourists feel grateful to take part in an authentic experience. They’ll arrive at the ceremony and drink a small amount of tea without being shown a menu.
This is a common online scam that tricks people into giving up their sensitive personal information. The thief will send the mark an email pretending to be from a well-established company, like Apple or PayPal, ones they know the mark has dealings with. The mail, which follows the template used by the actual company, will ask the recipient to verify some personal information and will also provide a link to the company’s website, which is made to look authentic.
1 ATM Card Skimming
Automatic teller machines are a quick and easy way to gain access to your funds, but this process comes with a degree of risk. Credit card skimming has gained thieves millions of dollars worldwide. Skimmers are typically placed over card swipe mechanisms on ATMs and gas stations but they can work with almost any type of credit card reader.