🚨 Fake Guides
💬 Fake guides take unsuspecting tourists on a “free tour” of Madrid and then insist on steep payments for the tour when it comes to the end. This practice is endemic in popular sightseeing areas and many tourists have fallen foul of these scams. Very often they will be people dressed in tourist uniforms to give the impression that they are legitimate.
💡 The best advice is to take a guided tour of Madrid with a legitimate tour company. Check online reviews to ensure that tour companies are legitimate and take the time to confirm any reservations with them directly. Be wary of accepting free tours, as it is likely that an unwelcome demand for payment lies ahead.
💬 Pickpocketing is a common scam in Madrid and is particularly prevalent in busy tourist spots. Thieves use a variety of tactics and can quite easily steal items from unsuspecting tourists.
💡 Always be aware of your belongings when in busy areas and hold onto your bags and wallets closely. Be aware of distractions around you such as someone bumping into you, and use caution when in certain areas. It’s also a good idea to keep backpacks in the front of your body to ensure they are less vulnerable to thieves.
🚨 Bogus Police
💬 This scam has become increasingly widespread in Madrid and involves someone posing as a police officer or security guard and asking to check tourists’ wallets, passports or other items. They may suggest that they are looking for counterfeit money or stolen items, and will often request to be paid a “fine”.
💡 Always be suspicious of anyone who identifies themselves as a police officer and demands to examine your belongings. It is highly unlikely that the police would be checking passports or other items in the street. Be sure to ask for identification from anyone claiming to be a police officer. If you are still unsure, call the local tourist police on +34 91 524 0310 and confirm the identity of the person.
🚨 Deceptive Taxis
💬 In some parts of Madrid, taxi drivers may try to overcharge tourists or purposefully take a longer route than necessary to increase the cost of the fare. Some drivers may even demand extra money after the journey for “special” services or other costs.
💡 To avoid this scam, always use a taxi that has metered fares and ensure that the driver is using the meter. If you are not sure if the taxi you are getting into is metered, always ask the driver before you get in. Look out for signs indicating the taxi is legally registered and ensure that the driver is displaying his official identification.
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