Criminals are always looking for new ways to deceive people and steal. When you’re out in public, you need to be aware of your surroundings and ready to get out of any tricky situation that makes you feel uncomfortable.
It’s easy for you to lose your wallet or your purse if you fall for some of the most common tricks scammers use. While everyone hopes they never run into a con artist, the reality is that you’ll have to deal with criminals sooner or later.
You should be prepared for what’s to come when you do. Here are some of the common scams you need to be aware of, and how to avoid them.
When you meet a stranger out on the town and they start talking to you, you might feel like you’re just making a new friend. However, if you’re alone and the person seems unusually interested in getting to know you – and the details of your finances – you might be on the receiving end of a confidence scam.
Con artists try to win you over with their charms before subjecting you to a tricky scheme that you might not even realize is happening. Maybe they’ll offer to sell you a watch, or maybe they’ll show you a trick to make “easy money” that leaves you without your life savings.
Whatever the case, be suspicious of anyone who takes too quick of a liking to you.
If you see a street performer taking bets on games of chance, especially if there’s a crowd forming, you should steer clear of them. These performers are usually scammers who aren’t running a legitimate game – they’re trying to trick people into thinking the game is skill-based, or that it’s pure luck.
But in reality, they control the outcome. Moreover, these games are usually just distractions so pickpockets can slip your wallet out of your pocket or purse. Just stay clear of these displays.
When someone on the street asks you for money, your first instinct might be to treat them kindly and hand them a few dollars. Be careful, though – sometimes, these “people in need” are really scammers trying to see if you carry cash on your person.
They might spot the cash in your wallet and inform their friends to keep an eye on you. Then, if they can isolate you away from other people, they might pickpocket you. Or, worse, they could use violence and mug you. In any event, just be careful about showing someone whether you carry cash.