Hey there!
Last week we unveiled the popular tourist scams in romantic Paris, and today our chosen city is Barcelona! Home to millions of tourist, there’s an estimated 5 million people visiting Barcelona every year. With this influx of tourists comes fraudulent activities targeted at visitors. Since it is easy to spot a tourist often times, most of the frauds in Barcelona dress as tourist themselves, thereby taking advantage of the empathy of other travellers to dupe them.
So on today’s post we are going to be sharing some of this fraudulent activities with you and telling you how to avoid them.

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1. Bump and Pick

This fraud is usually used in areas with high human and vehicular traffic. Usually as you try to move through the confusion, these frauds bump into you as though by accident, then pickpocket you. Be especially careful around those children walking about aimlessly and unwatched. Sometimes these frauds work in pairs, one bumps into you while the other inserts their hand into your bag/pocket.

✤The easiest way to deal with these frauds is to be mindful when in crowded places like Las Ramblas. Also do not keep anything of value in your pocket, put them in a bag and carry it in front of you with your hands covering it.✤

2.      The Fake Tourist Trap

This is a very common scam in Barcelona. What the fraudster does is really simple! They dress up as a typiczl tourist, wearing a face cap, t-shirt and even holding a camera. They will then walk into a tourist filled area and pretend to take pictures or enjoy a sight while picking valuable items from the tourists bags or pocket. Sometimes the fraudster pretends to be a tourist who has just been stolen from, they create a really loud scene and take advantage of the empathy of other tourist to falsely collect money from them.

✤To avoid been a victim, always be cautious and mindful of your environment even if you are with other tourists. Should you spot a tourist creating a scene refer them to the police station instead of parting away with cash or offering money.✤

3.      Pigeon Poop

This is not only annoying, but very disgusting. Usually while walk down a street or a pathway, a scammer will pour a white or greenish substance on your coat. Afterwhich, they will approach you to inform you that a bird has pooped on your outerwear, offering to help you clean it up. In that confused state, you will grateful for the help offered and give in. It’s at that point they strike! Either they run off with your jacket or slip their hands into the pocket to take the valuables in it.

✤If you find yourself in this situation, firmly reject any help and move away fast. You can clean yourself when you are in a safe place, it might just be mayonnaise or pesto.✤

4.      The Flower Scam

It’s probably the most common scam in most Europen cities. Very common in restaurants, bars, etc. Generally, you are offered a flower as a friendly gesture and then forced to pay for it. This trick is often used for couples, the girl is gifted a flower and the man is asked to pay for it.  Except that, when you try paying for it they also reach into your wallet and attempt to pull out cash as payment for the flower.

✤To avoid these people, vehemently reject any gift of a flower and do not under any circumstance remove/open a purse or wallet in their presence.✤

5.      Drunk Dancer

This is a typical scam where a drunk pretends to be having a nice time dancing in a club or bar (but in reality they are scouting for a victim). Then, they approach an unsuspecting victim who is most at times tipsy, drunk or simply vulnerable. They steal from their valuables and sometimes follow them to their hotel or lodge and steal even more belongings.. Their main target is usually ansolo, naive or a young traveller.

✤The only way to handle such a scenario is to ensure that you remain alert while in a club/bar. Do not drink too much outside, and avoid talking to strangers unnecessarily.✤

Suffice it to say that, we absolutely love Barcelona and enjoy its beautiful beaches and delicious paella. However, we have to also be careful so we don’t end up having a horrible vacation while visiting. Share your experiences with us and let us know what other experiences you have had as a tourist.





  • Debby

    20th April 2020

    Now I have to watch out when in Barcelona next time

  • Frederick

    24th May 2020

    That’s good. I think I might encountered the overly friendly and interested ones when I travel. I never give them space to engage at all.


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