Just because the authors on this here travel website are Gentleman and Lady adventurers, doesn’t mean we’ve had an easy upbringing. The Captain was brought up in a gutter with 27 other families (it’s part of why his favourite number is four) and the Major spent 8 years thinking a highland mountain was his mother. Baron AzA, Dione and the Z-Man are all ronin names, our dear colleagues lost their true names thousands of years ago.
That’s not to say I had it easy either, yes Daddy was an investment banker so Mummy could be a stay-at-home wolf, but I was a wild child. I joined one of the notorious scrabble gangs of West London and ruined many a young man’s life with a swift triple word score to the unmentionables. Needless to say then, we are all pretty “street smart” and know a rum deal when we see one, which is why we were never taken in by the various scams from around the world.
There are plenty of scammers out there that would like to relieve you of your heavy tourist money. It’s a service provided by many locals, but just which is the best? While we were travelling as a group, we heard many, many stories of scams and even had a few tried on us.
One of the stupider scams we were told about was the money drop scam that was usually conducted in Red Square or any other open place. Someone would drop or leave a few notes on the floor and wait for an unsuspecting tourist to pick it up. The tourist would attempt to return it to it’s owner who would then claim some of the money was missing. A ‘stranger’ (obviously in on it) would approach and say he saw the tourist pocket some of the money. Thus the hapless victim is pressured into handing over cash by these swarthy land pirates.
The twist: don’t expect the local Militia men to help out as they are frequently in on it.
Rating: $$$$$ Simple and stupid sounding, this scam relies on your good nature and then how easy you are to intimidate. Even if you don’t hand out any money, you’ll get bothered.
Solutions include not pick up the cash.