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Barcelona Scams

I lived in Barcelona for three years and almost everybody I knew was pick-pocketed at some point or had been targeted for a number of street scams. Even family members who would visit from the UK. This is really not on. I'm not saying Barcelona is the worst city for this, but it is still something that tourists need to be aware of before they arrive. I love Barcelona and am ashamed sometimes when I hear stories of what happens to innocent visitors just trying to have a nice holiday somewhere beautiful.

Introduction to Barcelona Scams
12 May 2013 @ 14:45

I really do not want to give Barcelona a bad name. In fact, my intention is the opposite as I want to do my bit in helping tourists to enjoy Barcelona without the stress and upset that comes with falling for the many street scams that unfortunately happens in this city.

I have lived in Barcelona for over three years and being from the UK, I often get mistaken for a tourist. This makes me easily a prime target for pickpockets and most of the con-artists which work in the city. I have been watching them for a number of years and even though I can manage to avoid any problems when I am in town, people who visit me, even after I have warned them and told them the things to look out for, often still come back to me after their iphone or wallet has been taken.

This is horrible. Barcelona is not the only place in which this happens, but it does seem to be quite regular here. I'm not going to be able to stop the problem, but at least I can warn tourists so they can be slightly more street aware before they arrive and have a really nice time here.

I wrote an ebook a few months back to try and solve the problem called 'Barcelona Scams'. I give it away for free three days out of the month (this is the only way Amazon will let me do it) The rest of the time it is listed for £1.95. I update the book everytime I find out a new scam or a new trend that I spot in the city and amazon tells everybody there is an update available for free which works out quite nice. I have also included information on scams that happen to expats including the illegal jobs, accommodation scams and other advice not aimed at tourists. I think these can be much more serious and people can lose a lot of money (I was never given my deposit back in one place and lost €1300)

I am going to start blogging on here as I know that this is something that could effect quite a few people on here. I can write about the new scams that I come across before updating the ebook. Hopefully I won't be posting too much, that means it's working! 

There is a long way to go, and I may sound naive to think there is a way of changing what happens here to a noticable extent. But really, what else can I do but try.



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2 Comments


eggcup said:
12 May 2013 @ 19:12

Well, good for you Jonathon. I'm a great believer in being forewarned, and as you say, if people are aware of how these people operate they are less likely to suffer the upset and distress that you describe. All the best.


Ray McClair said:
13 May 2013 @ 12:57

Thanks for writing your book - it is needed. I would never go to Barcelona again even if I was paid to do so. Its a crime ridden hell holed policed by police who are overly liberal and could nto care less. I had my pocket picked whilst there with some friends on a football weekend. i gave chase and caught the guy and we gave out our own form of punishment to him free of charge. He would have been out of work for a few days thats for sure.On the weekend we met literally dozens of people who had been robbed/scammed. My advice is to simply never go. Its spoiled at weekends TOO anyway by stags/hens and in places it looks like Blackpool. I dont even class it as being in Spain either.
Horrible place - avoid it like the plague.


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