Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Barcelona Scams. The Nightclub Flyer Scam.

I suppose it's because it's August, and the typical scams in Barcelona are aimed at tourists, that I'm back again with another Barcelona Scam. The blog is called Barcelona sights, so I'll try and steer back to the sights and not the scams soon, guys, honest!

The reason I'm adding this one, is that like my previous post on the Metro Push scam, this happened to someone I know - a mate who was visiting the city and who used to live here. It was a Saturday night, just off Las Ramblas walking home at around 1am, and he had a beer in hand. He's English and won't mind me pointing out that he looks very English and so perhaps was an easy mark for the scammers.

Las Ramblas at night - photo credit webshots

This seems to be a variation on the Football Dance scam, in that young scamsters try and entice you into close contact, in the same way as the football dance. This is the first time I've heard of this version (although I haven't been out at 1am alone on a Saturday for a while) and involves nightclub flyers. My friend told me that around 3 young northern Africans approached him each from a slightly different angle waving flyers in the air. He thinks that maybe the bait is that you would reach high to accept one of these flyers, and that gives them a chance to quickly skim your pockets or at least have a feel around. These tricksters didn't get half a chance as my friend told them where to go, in Spanish, which was probably something they were not expecting, and they scarpered. Sharpish.

How to avoid this happening to you ? I don't want you to take this the wrong way - there are many people giving out flyers around the city, and you can get some great discounts/happy hours/free entrances to places from picking up these. I also recognise that it's a pretty thankless task. What i would like to point out is that if you think about it, the majority of flyer guys/gals tend to stay in the same place and hand out their flyers. They don't wander streets and then come up to you in a gang, waving them in your face. This is a classic distraction technique, and if you're reading this and it's happened to you, don't feel bad - it's easy to fall for, as it's something you're not expecting. The best thing to do is just look away, uninterested, and keep a hand on your phone/wallet if you took one out. If it looks like you're putting up a fight, they'll move on to easier pickings.

For accommodation in the city, try apartments for rent Barcelona and check out this great Barcelona Guide.


Barcelona Real Estate said...

I suppose it's an easy target for the pickpockets, as they know many people will be a little drunk - thanks for the tip!

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