The world generally isn’t as scary a place as we make it out to be, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care to protect yourself. Next time you’re in Europe, keep an eye on your valuables and watch out for these travel scams.
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1. Don’t Reach Up
Next time someone tells you that you have pigeon poop on your head, and you don’t see any pigeons around nor do you feel an uncomfortably warm liquid spreading down your scalp – don’t reach up! A common scheme in many European tourist spots is for a “helpful” passerby to tell you you’ve been pooped on and while you lift your arms to wipe the offending substance from your head, you are pickpocketed. A lot of people consider bird poop a good luck sign anyway, so when in doubt, just rock the poop.
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2. Running of the Bull
Spain’s infamous running of the bulls is a haven for theft and pickpocketing due to the general chaos of the cruel event. Thousands of bodies jostling against one another while they attempt to avoid being trampled make the unsuspecting tourist a perfect target. Keep your valuables close and your presently undamaged internal organs closer.
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3. Friendship Bracelet
Next time you think you’ve made a new BFF purely based on looks, think again. In France, street vendors will casually chat up friendly tourists while they tie a handmade friendship bracelet to your wrist. Once it’s on there, it’s really hard to get it off and you will likely end up buying it rather than look like a thief.