How it works:
- At crowded train stations, there are unofficial “ticket helpers” who help tourists buy tickets.
- Version 1: for a simple task, they will ask for an inflated tip.
- Version 2: some will simply grab your cash without you realizing.
- Version 3: one will distract you and have an accomplice pick your pockets from behind.
- Version 4: if you use a credit card, they will try to shoulder surf (i.e. see your PIN) and switch it with a fake one via distraction and sleight of hand.
Places to beware:
- Bologna: Bologna Centrale
- Milan: Milano Centrale
- Rome: Termini station
What to do:
- It is better to solicit help than to receive unsolicited help. Consult the official staff if you need help.