“Is Europe safe?”
This is the question that is most frequently asked when discussing travel in Europe. Compared to most Asian countries, the safety in Europe could be very worrying and very different. However, in this article, we are going to clarify the 5 most common tricks and fraudulent situations you might bump into when traveling in Europe, and suggest the solution if you, unfortunately, encounter any tricky situation.
If you keep these ideas in mind, traveling in the EU will be more reassuring than ever.
The lucky bracelet is known as a common trick while traveling in Europe. This kind of trick usually appears around the popular tourist spots. You will see some people hanging around and then suddenly come to you, and try to force a “luck bracelet” around your wrist. When you see these people, please ignore them as soon as possible and leave the area quickly.
Signature for charitable donations might be often seen on the road or even at the airport. Some people will ask you to sign a petition to help the poor or the blind, they might even pretend that they themselves are disabled. After signing the paper, they will ask you to give them money, or sometimes, while signing, some of them will try to put their hands in your pocket or bag and take your money or belongings.
There are many street performances in European cities. However, once the performers invite you to play the three-card monte with him/her, you must guard yourself. Usually, they will let you win the first round and then charge you afterwards.
A crowded metro station is the best place for a crime scene. Be careful, the pickpocketers in Europe might be a group of kids, a man or a woman, some even pretend to be a tourist asking you directions, or pretending to be a police to check your ID card. Please assure that no one touches your bags and try to put your wallet, ID card, cell phone deep inside your bags. Criminals prefer working in a group; while one is talking to you to distract you, the other will try to steal your phone and wallet.
Sometimes you might be upset for the long queue waiting for the museum entrance or the train station. This moment, there might be people coming to you and asking “I can buy you a ticket, do you want one?” - Please DON’T SAY YES because it would be a small advantage. They might give you a fake ticket and sell it to you at an unreasonable price.
Try to get a seat when you are in the metro or the bus. Sitting down could keep you safer from the unstable and dangerous condition.
If you stay near the door on the metro or the bus, you would be in a convenient position for the pickpockets and thieves since they could easily take your things away and then get off the train right before the doors close.
Always put your bag in front of you and hold it at all times. You never know who would unzip your bag in a second.
Some people will ask you if you can speak English or not. Just avoid them, and continue on as you don't need to answer the question at all.
Be sure to have travel insurance before you start your trip. Everything is unpredictable and you may never know what could happen.
After reading the common tricks above, you are now more aware of what to do when facing any of these situations. First of all, don't panic and always remain calm, if something serious happens or your passport is stolen, please don't hesitate to contact your embassy in the country you are staying in for any help you need.
Wish you all a safe and enjoyable trip!