22 Most Common Tourist Scams in Croatia

Safety at Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Osijek, Slavonski Brod, Rijeka, Varaždin, Zadar, Hvar, Plitvice, Brac, Krk
Note: If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. World Nomads Travel Insurance, backed by Lonely Planet & National Geographic, is one we recommend. Check it out before your adventure.

 

Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes

 

Croatia is home to a range of amazing landscapes taking visitors from the sparkling Adriatic Sea to the towering Dinaric Alps.

The country is also known for its iconic waterfalls in places like Krka, as well as long strips of golden beaches that make the perfect spot to sunbathe in the summer months.

As such, Croatia is said to be one of the most delightful countries in all of the stunning Balkan Peninsula.

However, as with any country in Europe, Croatia has its fair share of scams and petty crime.

So read on to learn how to protect yourself here!

 

 

A. TOURIST ACTIVITIES

1. Hostess bars / nightclubs

Croatia nightlife

Image source: istriasun.com

 

How it works:

Croatia is notorious for its hostess bars – e.g. Tkalciceva Street, Bogoviceva and Trg Preradovica in Zagreb.

At these places, you will face a common scam usually targeted at male travelers (like in Hungary, Turkey, etc).

You may be approached on the streets by a young female who will ask if you want to get a drink in a local bar or nightclub.

She will then spend the evening drinking with you in the nightlife venue. When you leave, you will handed a large bill for both your drinks. If you refuse to pay, you will be escorted to an ATM by the venue’s bouncers and ordered to withdraw money to settle the bill.

A twist on this scam is to invite male patrons to a massage parlour or karaoke bar.

Another popular scam which bars / nightclubs pull is that if you were to pay with your credit card, they can overcharge you on their end – for instance, adding a 0 to the end of your bill, which is basically 10x the price.

They will not give you a receipt because they claim that there is no such practice or that the machine is down.

 

What to do:

Do not head to a suggested bar together with a random stranger on the streets.

But if you do want to make new local friends, some questions to ponder:

  • Does the restaurant / bar seem legitimate? Are there customers?
  • Is the stranger reading from a script? Evasive about things?
  • Is he / she only bringing you to a particular restaurant or bar?

Some other tricks you can use:

  • Pretend that you have company by suggesting to go another place where you have a few friends at.
  • Ask for prices before ordering. Only drink what your waiter or you have poured.
  • Take a photo together.
  • Leave your valuables in your hotel / hostel / apartment safe secured further with hotel safety tools.

If you fell into the trap:

  • Pay with a credit card but call the bank to dispute your charges immediately after leaving.

 

2. Drink spiking

Image source: timeout.com

 

How it works:

There have been reports of a rise in drink spiking incident in Croatia (e.g. Hula Hula Beach Bar in Hvar).

This happens in bars and nightclubs (in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik) and often targets male patrons.

When you are in a bar or nightclub, someone may slip a drug or sedative into your drink. You will be rendered unconscious or feel extremely intoxicated.

If this is done by a scammer, he / she will offer to help you back to your hotel room and then rob you there.

If this is done by the bar, you will most likely be made to pay for something you did not order. However, in your state of semi / unconsciousness, you will not realize it.

 

What to do:

In a bar or nightclub, do not accept any drinks that you have not seen made in front of you.

Also, do not leave your drink unattended as this gives a scammer time to slip something into it.

Canned or bottled drinks are a good choice as it is difficult for someone to put a sedative inside.

Finally, do not flaunt your valuables, leave them in your hotel / hostel / apartment safe which you can further secure with hotel safety tools.

 

3. Beach thieves

Croatia beach

Image source: timeout.com

 

How it works:

Croatia is known for its beach areas although these are also a hotspot for thieves, some of which include the Pakleni Islands beaches, Gornja Vala in Gradac and Spiaza Beach in Susak.

Thieves will wait till you go for a swim and then take the chance to steal your valuables if unattended.

Another tactic thieves use is to engage you in conversation or use a distraction technique.

While you are occupied, an accomplice will steal your bag or other possessions.

 

What to do:

Do not leave any items unattended on the beach when you go swimming.

One solution is to use a slash resistant anti-theft bag (e.g. LOCTOTE Flak Sak) that can be locked and can also be locked to an immovable object.

portable safe will work great too.

Also, be wary of strangers who are extremely friendly to you at the beach. Or anyone who keeps trying to keep you occupied.

 

4. Overcharging restaurants

Image source: thewineandmore.com

 

How it works:

This is something to watch out for with restaurants in popular tourist spots (Split (e.g. Element, closed), Dubrovnik (e.g. Gusti, closed), Zagreb (e.g. Bulldog Pub at Bogovicena 6).

There are a multitude of tricks they use:

  • Adding on an extra cover charge (called “couvert”) without disclosing before the meal
  • Applying a very aggressive mark up if you were to use non local currency
  • Adding on items which you did not order and refuse to provide a receipt or paper proof
  • Only providing you a “tourist menu” with much higher prices compared to prices charged to locals

Another sign to be wary of is if you face aggressive touts on the street – good restaurants generally don’t have to resort to that.

 

What to do:

Do both online and offline (check with your hotel / hostel staff) research to identify recommended places to eat at.

However, if research is too much of a hassle, you can also consider a fun local food tour!

  • TourRadar: all the best multi-day tours by established names like Intrepid Travel, G Adventures, Trafalgar, etc can be found here with best price guarantee.
  • GetYourGuide: best day tours platform in Europe – excellent curation of tours, tickets and transport with best price guarantee.
  • Your hotel / hostel affiliated tour operators: reliable but generally not the best or cheapest.

When at a restaurant / food establishment:

  • Check the menu carefully for prices and fine print at the start.
  • Do not eat what you did not order.
  • Check your bill carefully at the end.
  • Check your change if any.

 

5. Pickpocketing

Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia

 

How it works:

Hotspots to be wary at include:

  • Zagreb:
    • Train stations: Glavni Kolodvor, Zagreb Zapadni Kolodvor
    • Strossmayer šetalište
    • Upper Town (Gornji grad)
    • Lower Town (Donji grad)
    • Hrelić (flea market).
  • DubrovnikSplit: the crowded narrow streets.

These thieves work in gangs, and will hang around to spot anyone carrying an expensive or neglected phone / jewelry / valuable / bag and where it is stored.

Once they mark a target, they surround you and then work like this:

  • One keeps a lookout and blocks passer-bys from seeing the scene.
  • Another blocks, pushes or distracts you (e.g. ask you an innocent question / survey / drop something and ask you about it).
  • A third steals your valuable / slashes your bag and then passes it on.
  • The last hides the loot under a jacket / coat / newspaper and then escapes.

 

What to do:

Stay alert and watch out for suspicious characters, though that is easier said than done.

The best solution is still, to not make yourself look like a target. 

Make it impossible for thieves to steal from you with these methods:

  • Carry a photocopy of your passport instead of the actual one.
  • Carry small amounts of cash in a cheap spare wallet that you wouldn’t mind losing. Do not leave it in your back pocket.
  • Conceal small valuables in a money belt / hidden pouch, large valuables in a slash-resistant and lockable anti-theft bag.
  • Leave most valuables in your hotel / hostel / apartment safe, secured with hotel safety tools.
  • Get a good travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – check our review) which covers loss of valuables.

 

6. Sprigs of rosemary

Image source: uk.lush.com

 

How it works:

Croatia, like many areas of Europe (e.g. France), has seen an influx of residents from Eastern Europe, many of whom are gypsies who engage in a ‘sprig of rosemary scam’, where an older female gypsy offers you a sprig of rosemary.

This is claimed to be a token of friendship or something that will bring you good luck.

Once you accept it she will then ask you for money and if you refuse she will cause a commotion. Often the scammer will say that she will curse you if you do not give her money for the rosemary.

While you are arguing, an accomplice will pick your pockets.

You may encounter these scammers around Gomji Grad and the Church of St. Mark’s in Zagreb.

 

What to do:

The best way to avoid being a victim is to refuse to take anything that is offered to you in an unsolicited manner.

Besides rosemary, gypsies may also offer you other items such as small shells or an amulet or medallion.

We highly recommend the use of an anti-theft bag or money belt or hidden pouch, which will make it almost impossible for these thieves to steal from you.

 

7. Bosnia Dubrovnik border scam

Image source: mersad-photography.blogspot.com

 

How it works:

There have been reports of scammers acting as border guards and extorting tourists for money.

At the border control at Brgat Gornji on the D223, the modus operandi goes like this. There will be a building and gate at the crossing which look deserted with the lights turned off.

Once you drive past it, the lights will turn on suddenly and you will be asked to stop. You will be accused of trespassing and your passports will be “confiscated” for them to check.

Once your passports are in their hands, a fine will be demanded.

 

What to do:

Take the road to Metkovic with the busy crossing instead.

If ever caught in such a scam, you can report it to Bosnia’s Border Police: http://www.granpol.gov.ba/?lang=eng

Also, always carry a photocopy of your passport, and hand that over instead of your actual passport.

 

8. Beggars

Image source: croatiaweek.com

 

How it works:

You will find beggars in tourist hotspots or near the city center, just like in other developing countries (e.g. Vietnam, etc).

These are fake beggars, some of whom are accompanied by “hungry children” carrying dolls.

The child beggars are not to be trifled with as well, as some can get really aggressive.

 

What to do:

Avoid. If you want to help, donate to established charities instead.

 

B. TRANSPORT

1. Train thieves

Croatia train

Image source: croatiaweek.com

 

How it works:

Take care when travelling on a train in Croatia as thieves are known to operate on many train lines.

This involves the thieves waiting until passengers fall asleep and then taking their possessions.

Or they could try to cause some kind of distraction as a cover for an accomplice to steal from you.

 

What to do:

To make it impossible for thieves to steal your bags, here are some steps you can take:

  • Keep your bag on your lap / beside you instead of in the overhead compartment.
  • Should you wish to take a nap, make sure to use a TSA lock / cable lock / cable ties to lock your bag and to lock the bag to yourself / your seat.
  • Or simply get a lockable anti-theft bag that comes with a mechanism to lock to yourself / your seat.
  • Hide small valuables in a money belt / hidden pouch.
  • Finally, get a good travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – check our review) to cover loss of bags / valuables within.

 

2. Flat tire scam

Image source: apairoftravelpants.com

 

How it works:

Some visitors to Croatia may choose to hire a car to drive around.

Scammers are known to look out for rental cars and then surreptitiously slash their tires.

When you come back and notice the puncture, the scammer will appear and offer to help you fix it.

As both of you are working on the car, an accomplice will use the distraction to steal from your car.

 

What to do:

Should you notice that your tires have been deliberately slashed, this is a clear sign that you are being targeted.

If someone offers to help, it is best to politely decline and seek professional help with the flat tire.

Be very wary if people approach and try to help you as part of a group. Make sure that you keep an eye on your possessions at all times.

Ideally, you should have hidden your most valuable possessions in a money belt or hidden pouch.

For larger valuables, do not leave them lying around – we recommend storing those in an anti-theft bag that can be locked to your seat or hidden in the boot.

Finally, get travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – check our review) for two key purposes:

  • Monetary compensation for any loss of valuables.
  • Medical coverage in case you are assaulted.

 

3. Taxi meter scams

Croatia taxis

Image source: thedubrovniktimes.com

 

How it works:

When you enter a taxi in Croatia the driver may tell you that the meter is broken.

They will then offer you a flat rate and will tell you that this is cheaper although it is almost certainly a scam and will be more expensive than if the meter was turned on.

As reference, the average meter fare starts at 9.9 Kuna and for every additional kilometre travelled, an additional 4.9 Kuna is added.

Also, be wary of rigged meters – watch out for sudden jumps or a high fare that doesn’t seem to change. However, do note that taxi rates are 20% higher at certain times (e.g. 10pm-5am; Sundays; holidays) and that is not a scam.

Finally, there is no additional charge for luggage – if the driver charges one, that is definitely a scam.

 

What to do:

When you get a taxi in Croatia make sure to tell the driver that you want him to use the meter before you start your journey.

If he refuses then look for a different taxi. You may encounter these situations around tourist hot spots and main transfer locations such as at the Zagreb Bus Terminal.

Also, make sure to only use licensed taxis in Croatia as opposed to unofficial ones as they are much less likely to scam you.

The more established ones are Radio Taxi Zagreb, Cammeo and Eko Taxi.

 

4. Overcharging taxi drivers

Image source: justzagreb.com

 

How it works:

Taxi drivers in Croatia are known for sometimes driving visitors around a city in order to keep the meter ticking over which increases the fare.

They may also deliberately drive you to crowded areas so that the journey takes longer and the fare is inflated.

Also, another favourite trick is to charge different prices for locals and tourists, and many fall for it since they do not know what the real, local price is.

 

What to do:

If possible make sure to carry your mobile phone with you and use a GPS system that will track your journey.

This means that you can monitor if the driver is taking you on a longer route and can alert them accordingly.

For long routes, it will be wise to do your research to find out how much it would cost roughly, several ways of doing so:

  • An online taxi fare estimator / online travel forums.
  • Taxi booking apps like Eko Taxi, Cammeo, Radio Taxi Zagreb.
  • Check with your hotel / hostel staff.

 

5. Short-changing taxi drivers

 
Croatian Kuna

Croatian Kuna

 

How it works:

Another problem that you may encounter when it comes to taxi drivers in Croatia is short-changing customers.

This happens when taxi drivers give you the wrong change as they guess that you are not familiar with the local currency.

 

What to do:

When you arrive in Croatia it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the currency so that it is more difficult for taxi drivers to scam you.

Always take the time to count your change slowly and carefully before alighting from a taxi.

 

6. Airport taxi

 

How it works:

As there is only one taxi company allowed to operate at Zagreb airport, they have huge bargaining power and thus prices are high.

Thus, there have been drivers who abuse such power to overcharge tourists.

For instance, a trip to town might cost 200 Kn in total, but a driver can insist that every passenger in a trip pays that amount each.

 

What to do:

Refuse to do so if demanded – only pay on a per trip basis and not on a per passenger basis.

Zagreb airport

Image source: getbybus.com

 

Else, consider these other options:

  • Take the airport bus (outside the terminal) to Zagreb bus terminal, where you can take other cheaper taxis, tram or buses to your desired location
  • Pre-arrange vehicle pick up through your hotel / hostel or through day tour platforms like GetYourGuide (best in Europe).
  • Book a rental car from AutoEurope – over 60 years of industry experience, super reliable with best price guarantee.
  • Use a taxi booking app like Eko Taxi, Cammeo, Radio Taxi Zagreb.

 

7. Car rental scams

 

How it works:

There have been reported cases of rental car companies (e.g. Hertz at Zagreb Airport) claiming certain phantom damages on your rental car upon return.

It is easy for tourists to get intimidated as they are usually rushing for a flight upon return of a rental car.

Another variation, which is more of a tourist trap than a scam, is the forcing of tourists to buy rental car insurance.

This is because for some, using your credit card to pay entitles you to some level of rental car insurance. So the scam kicks in when the company claims that your credit card doesn’t work.

You are then forced to buy an exorbitantly priced rental car insurance policy (e.g. SIXT Car at Split airport).

 

What to do:

For the first scenario, always check the condition of the car when you first receive it. Take photos of the car, especially spots where you think there might be a chance of being accused of damages.

Ideally, return the car early so that you will not be subjected to time pressure –  the rental company can drag the car inspection session to force you to pay up and be done with it.

Also, when you receive your credit card statement, double check to make sure that you have not been charged excessively.

For the second scenario, always check up what kind of insurance coverage you have.

Your credit card might provide some level of rental car insurance if used for payment. Or your other insurance policies might have already provided some coverage.

If you purchase insurance from the rental car company, go through the rental agreement to understand the terms fully.

 

8. Car break-in

 

How it works:

This is a standard crime around the world.

 

What to do:

Ensure that your car doors are locked and windows are up.

Do not leave any valuables exposed in the car:

Further, make sure you have travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – check our review) for two key purposes:

  • Monetary compensation for any loss of valuables.
  • Medical coverage in case you are assaulted.

 

C. MISCELLANEOUS

1. Holiday apartment scam

Croatia apartment

Image source: promajna-tours.hr

 

How it works:

There have been a number of unfortunate cases of tourists falling for such scams, where charming apartments they see online and which they have pre-paid for do not exist!

Another variation is that the apartment exists, but not as what was reflected in the photos.

This is usually because some owners allow overbooking, in case any tourist pulls out at the last minute. As such, you may be reassigned to another apartment or room.

Tourists have also been charged a tourist tax by the landlord – that is no such tax legally.

Other red flags that shout scam:

  • Prices that are too good to be true.
  • Illogical descriptions because they copy and paste without any edits.
  • Dodgy sounding reviews.
  • Difference in photos provided and pictures seen with Google Street View.
  • Payment only by bank transfer off the booking platform.
  • Or payment to a foreign bank account or via Western Union / MoneyGram (sure sign of scam as transfers are irreversible).
  • If the “owner” refuses to provide more details or to allow for a tour of the place.

 

What to do:

Only book via legitimate sites such as:

  • Booking.com: Frommer’s tests have found the site to offer the best selection and rates amongst competing sites most of the time.
  • Homestay: if you are up for gaining genuine insights of Croatia by staying with a local host!

Next, some due diligence to be done on individual listings:

  • Search online reviews and Google the names of the owner.
  • Call the phone number provided on the listing.
  • Grill the “landlord” by asking specific questions, such as room dimensions or something unique as seen in the photos.
  • You can even pretend something exists in the online photos and test if the “landlord” can call your bluff.
  • Search if the property has another online presence or contact number and engage that to see if they are consistent.
  • Test the owner by requesting for a visit from a local friend before booking – it doesn’t have to happen, you just want to test the owner’s receptiveness.

Finally, avoid paying in full upfront or making payment off the platform.

 

2. Staged emergencies

 

How it works:

This scam targets tourists who may have hired a car or motorbike to get around Croatia.

As you drive along the road you will be confronted by a group of people with some kind of emergency such as a flat tire.

If you stop to help, they will rob you of your possessions.

 

What to do:

It is best not to stop if you see a group of people asking you to slow down. This is particularly true in deserted areas.

If you want to help, you can alert a person in authority such as a police officer.

However, if you wish to step out and help, only do so in full view of passing traffic.

 

3. Fights / crime

King Tomislav Park

King Tomislav Park

 

How it works:

Not technically a scam, but do be wary of fights and crime. The fortunate thing is that they are usually isolated to certain areas.

For instance, places with a history of fights include the Ribnjak area and clubs called “Turbo-folk“.

As for places with high criminal activity, the King Tomislav Park is one.

There, you will find intoxicated people and people high on drugs, as Croatia today still remains a transit point for drugs smuggled along the Balkan routes.

 

What to do:

Avoid such areas especially at night.

Ideally, you should also have some form of travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – check our review)  for two key purposes:

  • Monetary compensation for any of valuables.
  • Medical coverage in case you are assaulted.

 

4. Money exchange hidden commission

 

How it works:

Be wary when you see a much more favourable than usual exchange rate.

This is usually done to draw people in without them realizing a hidden commission.

 

What to do:

Always ask / check if there’s a hidden commission. Else, it would probably be more worthwhile to withdraw from an international ATM.

The next tier would be exchange agencies, post office and banks.

The last tier, which you should avoid, are at airports and hotels.

Finally, spend all Kuna if you are not a frequent traveller to Croatia. This is because Kuna is accepted for currency conversion outside Croatia.

 

5. Rigged ATM

 

How it works:

Generally, ATMs can be rigged in two ways.

First, the card skimmer and pinhole camera / keypad overlay set up:

  • A card skimmer is installed over the card slot to capture your card details.
  • The pinhole camera / keypad overlay is used to capture your PIN.

Second, the card trap:

  • The card slot can be rigged with cheap tools to trap your card.
  • When your card is stuck, someone will come over and tell you that if you retype your PIN, your card will be unblocked.
  • Obviously, your card will still be stuck, but the scammer will now have seen your PIN.
  • Should you head into the bank / somewhere to seek help, the scammer will unblock your card and escape.

 

What to do:

Avoid using ATMs at dark, secluded areas. Use only at controlled environments such as in banks.

Scan the area for suspicious looking characters and cover your PIN when typing it in.

Also, although not directly relevant, consider using a RFID blocking wallet.

That will prevent your cards’ details from being skimmed by thieves with a mobile RFID reader / scanner.

 

6. Hotel thieves

Red roof tiles of Dubrovnik

Red roof tiles of Dubrovnik

 

How it works:

A common problem in Croatia may come when you reach your hotel. Once there, you set your luggage down as you go to check in.

Once you are distracted, a thief loitering nearby posing as a hotel guest will move in to steal your luggage or bag.

 

What to do:

Don’t assume that your hotel is a safe place. Four key steps to remember:

 

D. KEY SAFETY ISSUES

This is not a fear mongering exercise, as most visits are trouble free as long as you exercise some common sense.

However, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Information below has been compiled from:

                                                     

1. Violent crime, hazards, hotspots, terrorism, civil unrest

Image source: smartraveller.gov.au

 

How it works:

A brief summary:

  • Violent crime: rare. Watch out for petty crime and scams instead.
  • Hazards: unexploded mines in former conflict areas (Eastern Slavonia, Brodsko-Posavska County, Karlovac County, areas around Zadar, more remote areas of the Plitvice Lakes National Park).
  • Hotspots: n.a.
  • Terrorism: no recent history but future attacks cannot be ruled out.
  • Civil unrest: rare. However, the influx of migrants and refugees may shake things up.

 

What to do:

Stay alert, avoid secluded areas, travelling alone at night, and don’t look like an easy victim (e.g. looking like a tourist / flaunting valuables).

Monitor local media in case of any terrorist threats, and avoid participating in demonstrations.

A source about mine affected areas is the Croatian Mine Action Center’s website.

 

2. Medical care

Image source: kvarnerhealth.com

 

How it works:

Medical care is adequate in Croatia.

Diseases to vaccinate against / watch out for include:

  • Insect borne diseases: Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, West Nile virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leishmaniasis.
  • Food and water borne diseases: travellers’ diarrhoea.
  • Animal borne diseases: rabies, measles.
  • Human borne diseases: HIV.

 

What to do:

If you can’t afford travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads – our review), you can’t afford to travel, as:

  • Emergency health services can cost a bomb.
  • Insurance providers can make complex logistical arrangements to get you the best medical treatment fast.

Vaccinations to consider:

  • All travellers: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, flu shot..
  • Most travellers: Hepatitis A.
  • Some travellers: Hepatitis B, rabies (outdoor activities, activities involving animals).

Prevent tick bites:

  • Protective clothing.
  • Use repellents with 20% or more DEET.
  • Consider permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass.

Food safety:

  • Practise safe hygiene such as washing hands with soap.
  • Only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled.
  • Avoid unpasteurized dairy products, ice cubes, uncooked and undercooked food.

 

3. Natural disasters

 

How it works:

A brief summary:

  • Earthquakes: small tremors without consequences are frequent.
  • Rainy season: June to August, flooding occur in eastern and central regions.
  • Forest fires: June to September in coastal areas.

 

What to do:

Effective preparation and prevention involves staying at the “right” place, travelling at the “right” time and getting travel insurance (e.g. World Nomadsour review) that covers natural disasters.

Check the latest media reportsweather forecasts and sources such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

Reacting to one:

  • Earthquakes: drop (to hands and knees), cover (head and neck with arms), hold on (to sturdy furniture); expect aftershocks.
  • Forest fires: make yourself seen (e.g. spread out something large and bright), find shelter with little vegetation, stay low to avoid smoke.

 

4. Transport safety

 

How it works:

Driving can be hazardous in certain areas, a couple of factors to watch out for:

  • Some roads are small, narrow and poorly maintained. For instance, in Istria and along Adriatic coast.
  • Drivers who do not adhere to the traffic laws.

 

What to do:

Check the latest media reports and weather forecast.

One good source is the Croatian Automobile Association’s road conditions and safety information.

Make sure your travel insurance (e.g. World Nomadsour review) covers travel accidents.

Driving:

  • Only book via legitimate platforms (e.g. AutoEurope – over 60 years of industry experience, super reliable with best price guarantee).
  • Check latest media reports and weather forecast.
  • Stay alert, wear seatbelts, keep doors locked and windows up.

 

E. GETTING HELP

1. Emergency numbers to call

Croatia police

Image source: croatiaweek.com

 

  • European emergency number: 112
  • Police emergency hotline:  192
  • Ambulance service: 194
  • Fire brigade: 193

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2 Comments

  1. Pero

    Most of the ‘scams’ stated in this article are blown out of proportions or non-existent.

    Travel Scams, I’m a Croatian and I understand you need to make money through affiliate linking with the insurance companies and others, but please, don’t defame one of the safest European countries with scare tactics that intimidate readers into avoiding Croatia or buying expensive insurance through your website.

    The only scammers I see here are… well – you.

    Reply
    • Admin

      Hi Pero, thanks for your comment, we really appreciate feedback from both fellow travellers and locals.

      First, we would like to point out that the point of the site is to list out scams and crime which have happened to tourists before. As long someone has experienced it before, we list it down. That’s why in these lists, you will see that they are always very specific with regards to places it has occurred for instance and not general, random accusations.

      We have stressed in the article that this is not a fear mongering exercise and that most visits are trouble-free. This is not just for Croatia, but really for most places around the world.

      However, the problem is that we do not live in a utopia. Even in the safest countries like Singapore, scams and crime occur, and it is something that will never go away, if you understand the psychology of crime and scams against the broader context of human nature and how societies and civilizations function in a largely capitalistic, globalized world. There is well disguised crime and scams at all levels of society – even in Croatia, at the top level of football, someone as professional as Luka Modric has been accused of perjury and “abetting” Zdravko Mamic who has fled to Bosnia.

      So just because something has not happened to you, it does not mean that it never happens – you may simply not be the vulnerable target which these scammers or thieves target.

      As such, our mission is simply to document these real experiences for any traveller to be aware of, as we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. Many times, simple awareness of such incidents will help one avoid a scam or crime, or provide the confidence to explore unchartered territories. However, we will be adding a voting function soon, where travellers can upvote scams which they have experienced before, so we can really suss out the most common ones.

      With regards to travel insurance, even if you were to take the safest airlines to the safest country, we believe you still need travel insurance. This is because we don’t live in a closed system with a limited set of variables which can all be controlled. There are unlimited variables that can go wrong and which are out of our control, and that’s where travel insurance comes in to mitigate these risks. Not buying is akin to tempting fate and being penny wise but pound foolish (unless your trip expenses are so low that it doesn’t matter it is written off) but we respect that it’s a personal choice.

      As to claims that it is expensive, to which policies, coverage and activities are you comparing to? It’s never straightforward to determine if a policy is expensive or not relative to others, as it all depends on where you are going, what you are doing, and who you are (your own risk factors). For World Nomads, we find that it has generally provided good value and good service for us.

      Reply

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