Picture by Bert Kaufmann/Flickr CC
Germany public transportation is well-known for its travel scams. One of the worst is that fake inspectors will approach you and ask to see your ticket. They will tell you that you owe a fine and that you must pay it on the spot. The real inspectors will always print out a ticket for you to pay later. Don’t be fooled by an inspector just because they show a badge. There are many fake badges out there and it’s pretty easy to create fraudulent ones. Also, never buy a ticket from someone trying to sell a ticket that’s already been validated. You can get in a lot of trouble for this, and many times, the ticket is useless anyway.
Be very careful where you use an ATM in Germany. There are many card skimmers where people have rigged the machines to skim your pin number and the scammers then can withdraw money from your bank account. The best practice is to always use ATM machines that are located inside of a bank.
Germany is also known for its cell phone rental scams. Many cell phone rental places, especially in the airport, advertise that you can get your rental fee back if you return the phone in two weeks. What they don’t tell you are that the fees you pay to use the phone are very high, and that there is a security deposit, plus a lot of other fees that they add-on. These fees can add up to hundreds of dollars. If you must rent a phone, make sure you understand what the full charges are, and if you can’t read the language the contract is written in, find someone that can help you.
Germany is a very safe place to visit, and with a little precaution, you should be able to avoid the scams that are common there.