Prague is a wonderful city and attracts vast numbers of visitors; they in turn attract Pickpockets, Thieves and Con men.

 

First-time visitors should try and keep their wits about them when out sightseeing. The golden rules about money are:-

1.  Keep passports, money and credit cards in a secure place, hidden from sight inside clothing. Have a second wallet or bag with only a small amount of cash for tram tickets and snacks. Keep a few bits and pieces such as a couple of expired credit cards or some such so it looks like your everyday wallet. If you get mugged or have your pocket picked, it won't be the end of the world. It goes without saying to only top up with cash in a private place where you are unobserved

 

2.  Never ever change money on the street, without a doubt you will be ripped-off. The rate may sound attractive, the guy might sound plausible but you will still get ripped off. The money you change on the street will either be counterfeit, currency from another country i.e. Hungary (Hungarian currency looks so similar to Czech Crowns you can easily be fooled and its worth next to nothing) or you may simply have your wallet taken once you get it out of your pocket. This usually happens near a Metro station where it's easy for a con man to disappear. Always use an official Bureau de Change and even with these, check around to get the best rates.

Note: Ask for the exact exchange rate you can expect for the amount you are changing. Do not be afraid to negotiate and if you are unsatisfied with the rate, walk away. There are hundreds of exchange bureaus throughout the town. Hotels and Casinos usually take up to 10% commission.

 

3.  ATM (Cash Points) if you're getting cash from an ATM try to use one inside a bank. If you have to use one on the street, get someone in your party to watch out for you whilst using the machine. A favourite trick is for someone to interrupt you as you are doing the transaction by pointing to Czech note on the floor and saying you have just dropped it. You bend down to pick up the note and when you stand up again your credit card has gone.

 

4. When changing money in a currency exchange office, ALWAYS ask for the receipt and count the money you were given! There are a lot of people who "forget" to give you the odd 5, 10, 20 korunas...