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Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

UK
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Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

After reading other people's experience, I am feeling very nervous.

In respect of the ticket/money scams, the "officials" normally ask to see the passport. Do we need to carry our passports out by law? Can I not leave them at the hotel?

I have also read that some restaurants have a locals menu and a tourist menu (same food but with inflated prices). Any tips on how to "insure" myself from this ?and any advice on what to do if I was in this position?

Lastly, if I call out the police, will there be a charge?

I was in Barcelona 2 years ago and I spotted some scammers "marking" a family member of mine. However, I did not hesitate to use my body language to let them know that I am aware that they are planning their work and that they have my family member as their mark. I could see most of the involved and they moved on after 6-7 minutes after a "stand-off".

I just want to equip myself all the tools to spot these horrible people.

nyc, usa
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for Budapest
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1. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

You are less likely to be 'scammed' in Budapest than a tourist in London or Rome or Paris would be likely to be 'scammed' there. The police will not charge you for their services, and, in general, I have been impressed by their diligence and eagerness to pursue legitimate claims.

Take the same precautions you would take traveling anywhere else in Europe. Avoid the restaurants in obvious tourist locales, which do tend to cater to tourists with higher prices and less high quality food, and you'll be fine. Take a look at this article for a bit of objective assurance:

rd.com/slideshows/…

Budapest, Hungary
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2. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

"Do we need to carry our passports out by law?"

Yes, just as in almost the entire EU.

Budapest, Hungary
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for Budapest, Hungary
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3. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

I believe a photocopy is good enough (though I am not 100% on that): a UK driving licence should be more than enough.

In 37 years of visiting Hungary I have never carried my passport with me, and have never been asked for it.

Driving is a different matter, I have been asked for my vehicle's doucuments and my driving licence, though that was at 3:00am in the morning in a roadblock.

Edited: 25 February 2014, 12:57
Scottsdale, Arizona
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4. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

With all due respect, prior to 1990, as a visitor from the west, you HAD to have your passport and visa with you at all times. You could not rent a car or a hotel room without them. If you didn't rent a room but rather stayed with relatives in a village your were still required to report your presence to the local police station within 24 hours. If you didn't do this you could have been thrown into the jug at a moment's notice. The rules have gotten much looser now, but many if not most hotels still ask for your passport on check in when out in the countryside. I still do not trust a photocopy to please a beat cop who cannot read English. A drivers license or similar will do, anything that looks official. Since they can't read it, anything that looks governmental with a picture usually works. I once used my gym pass and it worked.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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5. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

You can expect a higher incidence of road blocks just after the first of the month as that is when the police check for expired MOT and similar. Also, there will be greater scrutiny by Kontroll on the public transit looking for expired passes. They are also empowered to demand proper ID.

Budapest, Hungary
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6. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

Roman, I've only been asked once for it in my lifetime, but it doesnt make it less of a law. If you are asked, and dont have any kind of ID (EU driving licence is also good, but only EU licence!), then dont complain if you are taken in!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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7. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

Can you give a photocopy of your license to a cop in the UK?

Luton, UK
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8. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

Post 7. There is no requirement to carry a passport or ID in the UK. The likelihood if a police office asked for ID that they would probably accept a photocopy if the picture was clearly of you, but they are likely to match the details to those they hold on their 'persons' or driving licence database

Edited: 25 February 2014, 15:55
Budapest
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9. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

Believe or not, passport copy is enough if the photo is clear and of course it is more secure when your original one is in the safe of the hotel.

Otherwise you might need it when buying precious stuff...

Phoenix, Arizona
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10. Re: Help! Reports of scams are making me nervous!

@holidaylover8, nothing to be scared about. You only run into scams if you do not use your common sense when traveling in a foreign country. Budapest is safer than many cities in my estimation. Keep your wits about you and do not do anything that you would not do in your home country or city.