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The scams targeting travelers in Italy are not unlike scams and cons all over the world, but there's a sprinkle of Italian local flavor to add some color to your travels through Italy.
Not a very common occurence, but there are still occasional reports of incidents.
The situation usually involves people in older cars or on scooters, who would purposefully cause accidents, or pull over to the side of the road and claim a driver had hit them.
As with any traffic accident, you should call the authorities and follow proper procedure - scammers will usually change their mind when they know the police are coming.
The Italian kids are in on the rogue behavior, too. Travelers tell tales about packs of cute "gypsy" girls who come up to you – while one holds a pizza box in front of you, you can't look below your waist while the other lifts your wallet.
They may also use newspapers or cardboard sheets instead of pizza boxes.
Some scamming is a little more understated. From time to time, travelers report they were overcharged or short-changed on the price of entry. Any museum or historical or cultural spot will usually have prices listed, so make sure to check.
The same can happen in regular stores when you go to purchase small items. Stores are required by law to issue receipts, so ask for one if it's not immediately offered to you.
Not as common as it once was (because now everyone has access to AirBnB and online hotel booking), but If you encounter "hotel staff" at transport hubs who are offering good deals on accommodation, check the style and quality of the room fits their description before handing over any money.
Others criminals will roam tourist spots, such as the Colosseum or Circus Maximus in Rome, and ask for directions.
Often targeting women, they'll start a conversation, then say they work for a fashion house and offer a pricey coat.
If you take the bait and try to take the coat from inside the car, the guy will ask for 200 euros for gas.
Thieves in Naples gather round the main train station and the Piazza Garibaldi, pretending to offer images of old Napoli or souvenirs.
These things are not free – if you take them, they'll harass you for money.
This potential event can prove tricky, because while it's legit, many con-artists try to copy it.
The tax police, called Guardia di Finanza, may ask you to produce receipts after leaving a restaurant. They approach you more to make sure the establishment owner recorded the transaction for tax purposes.
These individuals are often in uniform, but they sometimes dress in plain clothes, which makes it hard to know if they are the real deal.
If you're worried, ask for the badge number, and if still leery, call the 113 emergency number and request a police officer in uniform.
Rest stops along the toll highways are another place where scammers operate. A group of men will set up a “game” that looks easy to win, and a crowd will gather - most of the crowd, of course, is in on the trick. Unsuspecting tourists see people winning easily, and quickly throw down their own 20 or 100 euro bills to play. Of course, they there is no chance they will win, with the scammers pocketing a nice kitty of euros.
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