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New Scam on the street in Budapest

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New Scam on the street in Budapest

We are two girls and one guy traveling together with luggage. This morning we arrived Budapest and went straight to hotel ( Nepstadio station) for check-in. About 100-meter distance from the hotel, one old guy stopped us and asked us direction for Hilton hotel. Of course we don't know and we said no to him. Then he was trying to launch a conversation such as where are u guys from or sth. (actually he just tried to stop us) About 10sec later (literally!), another guy ran to us, quickly showed his some kind of ID, and claimed that we were buying cocaine from that guy. He asked our IDs and our wallets. When we were still quationing, the old guy (his company) gave him his ID n wallets (just to show us that he believe him as a police). And the fake police guy was carefully checking every single note from the old guy's wallet, smell it, touch it, and examine it. And then he focus on us. We was still questioning about his behavior and tried to go to hotel lobby becuz it's very awkward and the hotel is so close. But he stopped us and not allowed us to leave. (actually we were in the situation of being cornering by the building n them) so we can't leave and he resisted that we bought cocaine from the guy or using some kind of fake notes for exchanging money.( see, it's not consistent!) He has to check our bag becuz that's his job for certain kind of "control".

Of courses, he did the same process to us like to the old guy. He took our money out of walket and check every single of them. Because we have different countries notes with us and he can't recognize all of them, he kept ask what's this country's bill. He knew czk, euro, huf, usd but doesn't recognize gbp.( we shld realize already but we didn't) Because we dont have much euro with us, he was keep asking where is your euro /you must hide some where. He also tried to mess all the organization of the notes from diff countries. (I think this is the moment he steal the money. Just like a magic performance.) We feel very weird and uncomfortable so we are in a rush to get our wallet/money/ID back n walk toward hotel.

Of course when we finally arrived hotel, we realized some of the notes were gone. (obvious the big ones n the most value ones) Luckly only one of us lost certain amonut of money (becuz the other two doesn't have much in the wallet). Please be careful or ignore them when anybody tried to stop your way for any kind of direction question. (we were too

obvious for being a tourist at that moment, but think of it, normal ppl shldnt even ask us!) if you are that close to a hotel/bank/ or any place that may have trustable guard or ppl, please do run to that place. If he is a real police, he won't mind to examine your stuff in a very public place. Just a very bad experience in our first day of trip. Hope nobody ever had it again.

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Budapest
Budapest
Central Hungary, Hungary
Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

Thanks for the heads up. Hope you dont let it spoil your holiday.

cumbria
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2. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

Thanks for that we are going in february that sounds scary

nyc, usa
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3. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

It's not really new, and surely not limited to budapest, for con artists to impersonate police officers and intimidate tourists, but it is difficult to defend oneself in a country with a challenging language and an assertive police department.

Standing up to this sort of pressure and refusing to give over ones passport or money is hard to do but essential unless and until a uniformed officer is on the scene and confirms the identity of those demanding your stuff.

Insisting that they call the uniformed police is about all that one can do, or at least all I can think of. Anyone have any other suggestions?

Budapest, Hungary
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4. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

A police officer wont "beg " for your ID or wallet. If (s)he wants it, (s)he will cuff you and take you in, and then confiscate it. People, why do you leave your common sense at home? Police always come in force, always at least in pairs, if not in groups. They wont search for evidence on the spot, its neither their duty, nor this is CSI Budapest.

Stop watching crime tv shows.

In such cases, simply resist, if they are officers, they will call backup on their CB. But I can assure you, they wont be officers.

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Budapest
Budapest
Central Hungary, Hungary
Hungary
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5. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

As John said it's not really new..:

police.hu/megelozes/…

Scotland
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6. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

Well said, Rawlee. Welcome back.

Kuala Lumpur...
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7. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

This scam just already happened to me. Same tactics with an old man tried to ask my friend and I to take his picture with his cellphone. What is more weird was that he asked my friend to take a picture of him at some stupid van in the street. Not some landmark or something. And then, he offered us to take us where we were headed. And unfortunate for us that he already had our map in his hand; therefore, we just walked together with him and had some conversation... couple blocks of walking, then come the 2 people claimed that they were police and same incident happened like to your group. Our notes are missing. Our euros and czech money. Totally ruined my day in budapest. We decided to went back to hostel and just stayed there. How I wish I read your forum before.

Edited: 8:15 am, October 27, 2013
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8. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

It happend to me too in a similar way, in my case it was two fake police men without uniform, in Italy it's not unusual to have police without uniform, but still all seemed so strange to me and I was so shocked for being accused of drug dealing ( never happend before and I'm 41 and I was with my 75 year old mother in law) that I got my money out, the same morning I counted my euros to check how much cash I had left and I had three fifty notes, one ten and one twenty. As soon as I was in a safe place I counted it and one fifty was missing! I'm lucky it was only that, but please be careful of strange tourist asking for indications, I've also been told that all police in Hungary have uniforms, unless hi rank investigators that would not stop anyone on the street!!!

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9. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

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10. Re: New Scam on the street in Budapest

Yep, I don't think i'd freely give up my wallet for 'inspection' but thanks for the heads up. If they want to deal with me, I'll tell him to take me to the police station and that I have nothing to hide. I'd be a bit wary he might try to plant something on me though.