London hosts over 16 million overseas visitors each year, making it the 3rd most popular destination in the world. Events like the recent Olympics and the upcoming Rugby World Cup have only increased the popularity of London as a destination. While there aren’t many scams that tourists need to worry about in London it helps to be aware of what’s going on around you – just like in any major city.
The West End theatres are a great experience while you’re in London. Rising theatre prices make it tempting to save money buying discounted tickets on the street. New “print at home” tickets have given rise to a scam where people can print out and sell multiple copies of the same tickets. The theatre flags the duplicates as they are scanned.
How to Avoid: Buy from authorised agents or check TKTS or Time Out for discounted tickets.
Similarly, fans coming to London for the Rugby World Cup are urged to use authorized sellers or the resale platform for tickets as the Metropolitan Police have already identified counterfeit tickets.
How to Avoid: Visit the Rugby World Cup site for authorised ticket options.
If you are on the Tube or standing on the platform, mind your phone or tablet. Thieves have been targeting people just as the doors are closing.
How to Avoid: Keep your phone in your pocket if you’re standing by the doors. If you do have to check something, move away from the doors or wait until you are underway. Keep both hands on your phone and know who is standing around you.
If you are paying by credit card, be aware if people behind you in line or the clerk helping you are on their mobile. This can be a ruse to take a picture of your card.
How to Avoid: Pay cash when possible or hold your card to cover up the numbers. Check your charges while you are travelling and report any suspicious activity immediately.
You may get an offer to buy a discounted travel card in the Tube – most commonly at the end of the day. Not only are these likely to not work, they are also non-transferable, so it’s illegal.
How to Avoid: Stick to buying a legal card that you know works.
Remember, international travel insurance can help protect you against loss of travel documents and belongings. If are the victim of a scam, be sure to make a police report and document your loss to help with the claims process.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Annie Mole; cropped from original