Europe's Worst Countries for Tourist Scams

Photo by³omiej Ogryczak

Hugh Morris, The Daily Telegraph, July 22, 2015 

Spain came top in a ranking of Europe's worst countries for holiday scams, followed by France and Italy

Spain is the worst country in Europe for tourist scams, according to new research.

More than one in five UK holidaymakers who visited the country in the last year became victims of misdemeanours from pickpockets to over-charging taxi drivers, a survey by financial comparison website found.

France came second in the scam rankings, with 15 per cent of UK tourists experiencing scams, while Italy came third with 10 per cent. The UK was eighth in the top 10, with 5 per cent.

A similar study from last year found that Barcelona was the worst city in Europe for scammers, with Paris and Rome following closely behind.

The 13 most common holiday scams and how to avoid them

Europe's worst countries for tourist scams
Rank Country Percentage of Britons scammed
1 Spain 21.5
2 France 14.8
3 Italy 10.2
4 Turkey 8.4
5 Austria 8.1
6 Greece 7.5
7 Belgium 7
8 UK 5.4
9= Armenia 4.4
9= Cyprus 4.4

The scams surveyed included pickpocketing, paying a hidden tourist tax on arrival at a hotel, hire car excess costs, pushy street vendors, overcharging taxi drivers and street crime, including burglary.

Asking 2,000 Britons who had travelled to Europe in the last 12 months, found that the most common scam UK tourists fell victim to was over-priced taxi rides, with 37 per cent experiencing it. A third (35 per cent) had paid out £11 to £15 in additional tourist tax on arrival at their hotel.

Holiday complaints: what to do when travel goes wrong

Barcelona’s Las Ramblas has long been considered a hotspot for pickpockets, while the Louvre in Paris is also thought to be the location of choice for thieves. Telegraph Travel has previously reported on research that found that more than 80 per cent of UK tourists thought Britons were targeted for potential scamming opportunities .

Roaming charges, wifi costs and fees for printing out boarding cards at the airports were said to be other sources of financial woe for Britons abroad, according to the survey.

Nearly half (45 per cent) admitted to travelling without insurance.


This article was written by Hugh Morris from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.