Vienna is a stunningly beautiful city. It has a rich culture and residents who give a warm welcome for tourists.
However, like most tourist destinations, the city is also home to quite a few scammers. Visitors are targeted by them because they are not familiar with the city and, usually, do not speak the language well.
Fake event tickets
If you are offered tickets to the opera or other special events it is usually best to politely decline and buy them somewhere like here instead. Unfortunately, the selling of fake tickets for all sorts of events is a growing problem, across the world, including in Vienna.
The plain-clothed police officer scam
Some thieves stop people in the street or on the subway and claim to be plain clothed policemen. They simply ask for your passport and run off with it or use your nervousness at being approached by the police as a distraction, which makes it easier for them to steal your valuables. Sometimes they will ask to see your money or credit cards then confiscate them as fake. If you are asked to show your ID or anything else politely ask to see the officers own ID and ask for the checks to be carried out at the nearest police station.
ATM skimmer devices
Recently, scammers have been fitting fake covers over the slot that you insert your card into. Built into the rim is a tiny electronic skimmer that makes a copy of the details on your card. You can learn how a cyber fraud professional spotted the issue on an ATM he was about to use in Vienna, by watching this short YouTube video.
Accommodation rental scams
You need to take care when booking your holiday accommodation. Unfortunately, some people are taking pictures of real rental properties and hotel rooms and using them to create fake adverts. When tourists who have booked after seeing these ads arrive in the city they discover that they have been given a false address or that the accommodation is already occupied. This is a very common scam that is becoming a bit problem in many tourist destinations. You need to be aware of the issue and be sure to only book your holiday accommodation via legitimate websites.
Distraction thefts on trains
When you board a train or other form of public transport, are aware of your valuables and stow your luggage so that you can see it. If someone stops to speak to you be aware that they could be doing so to distract you so that an accomplice can steal your valuables.
If you are approached in the street to sign a petition to support a charity, politely refuse to do so. Often, if you do sign you will be pressured to give a donation. Should it look like you are going to refuse to pay, an accomplice will usually try to pick your pockets while you are distracted and arguing with the other scammer.
The above are the most common scams that are currently being tried on the streets of Vienna. However, it is important to remember that scammers regularly change their methods, so you need to be aware of other less common scams too. You can read about some of the newest scams here.