Background of Chicago, Illinois, United States


United States

🚨 Fake Currency Exchange Offering

💬 Victims are approached by someone claiming to be from a currency exchange office offering rates more favorable than those found at normal banks or currency exchange offices. These exchanges are often part of a scam, and the victim's money is never returned.

💡 Avoid engaging in currency exchange with strangers on the street. Instead, use established currency exchange locations or online services to exchange money.

🚨 Pickpocketing

💬 Pickpocketing is one of the most common types of tourist scams, whereby criminals will steal wallets, purses, and other personal valuables from unsuspecting victims. Pickpockets often target tourists in crowded or busy areas.

💡 Be extra vigilant in crowded areas, and keep your valuables close to you. Consider wearing a money belt under your clothing to store money and other important items.

🚨 Fake Charities & Street Performers

💬 Fake charities and street performers often target tourists in major cities. They may ask for donations for an organization that does not exist or may offer a free performance in exchange for large donations. In either case, the money collected is not put to any charitable use.

💡 Avoid giving money to any charities or street performers that you have not researched or that you do not know personally. It is also advisable to take time to understand the mission and goals of any charity before you donate to it.

🚨 Overpriced Souvenirs

💬 In tourist-heavy areas, vendors may try to take advantage of visitors by offering souvenirs that are grossly overpriced. They may also use techniques such as showing one item at a cheaper price and switch to a more expensive item once a purchase is made.

💡 Take the time to shop around for souvenirs, as you can usually find the same items at more reasonable prices elsewhere. Be wary of salespeople who offer items at unrealistically low prices and always check the price tags on any items before buying them.

🚨 Taxi Scams

💬 Taxi drivers may try to take advantage of tourists by charging overly high rates or driving around in circles to increase the fare. They may also take longer routes and refuse to use the meter.

💡 Research transportation options before you travel and become familiar with the estimated cost of trips from the airport or other locations. If taking a taxi, be sure to ask the driver to use the meter and agree to the fare before getting in the cab.

🚨 Fake Buddhist Monk

💬 I had this happen to me around Millenium Park. Basically, a guy in monk robes tries to give you mala beads (beaded prayer bracelet or necklace), then aggressively pressures you for money.

💡 Just say no and keep walking. Do not take the malas! These people are not monks!

Do you know of a scam that's missing?