24 Most Common Tourist Scams in Brazil

Safety at Brasilia, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Sao Paulo, Amazônia
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.

 

Sugerloaf, Rio De Janeiro

Sugerloaf, Rio De Janeiro

 

Brazil will never run out of sights to amaze.

It is the biggest country in South America, home to the Amazon forest, the world’s largest rainforest and is even inhabited by the world’s largest snake!

Not to mention, it is the holy “mecca” of football and its samba carnivals across Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and many other cities attract revellers around the world.

However, Brazil is also a dangerous place. A joke is that the most costly expense on a trip to Brazil is travel insurance!

As such, your safety should not be taken for granted. Read on to learn how to protect yourself here!

 

 

A. TOURIST ACTIVITIES

1. Snatch thefts / assaults / robberies / muggings

 

How it works:

This can happen anywhere in Brazil, though more prevalent in places like Pelourinho or the Favela slums in Manaus which are rife with drug dealings and crime.

Generally, there are two versions of snatch thefts – strike and run, or distract and grab, in many possible contexts:

  • Bikes / mopeds riding past, with a pillion rider doing the snatch.
  • Snatching from behind you, then running into a getaway car to escape.
  • At restaurants, stealing unattended bags / valuables on the chair or table.
  • Hotels airports, where distracted / tired tourists carry all their valuables out.
  • The beach where tourists are relaxed, or when they head to the water.
  • Nightclubs, where “prostitutes” pretend to proposition tourists by grabbing them but are really trying to steal your valuables.
  • Seats beside a train’s doors where a thief gets out just before the doors close.
  • Stealing of bags on overnight trains / buses.
  • Valuables snatched through a car / bus window.
  • Thefts around ATMs.

 

What to do:

At crowded places, even seemingly safe places like at a restaurant or hotel:

While out walking / on transport:

  • Use a cross body anti-theft bag facing away from the road / windows of your vehicle.
  • Do not carry valuables in your hands when walking by the road or when beside a vehicle window / train door.
  • Avoid wearing obvious jewelry which can be easily ripped off.

Other protection measures:

  • Leave 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.

 

2. The cinderella goodnight girls

Red light district in Brazil

Image source: newslocker.com

 

How it works:

As the name suggests, these girls (i.e. hookers) operate by slipping drugs into your drink to knock you out.

Beware especially at Vila Mimosa, Rio de Janeiro’s red light district.

 

What to do:

Watch your drinks carefully, from how it’s made to until you finish the drink.

You could consider getting a bottle / can to make tampering with your drink more difficult.

In the first place though, it would be advisable not to accept offers for drinks from a random stranger on the streets.

Also, do not flaunt your valuables, but leave them in your hotel / hostel / apartment safe, which can be further secured with hotel safety tools.

 

3. The place is closed

Coffee museum

Coffee museum

 

How it works:

This is an all too common scam around the world (e.g. Thailand, Vietnam).

A friendly local with surprisingly good English intercepts you while you are near a tourist attraction. He mentions that the place is closed, but there is somewhere else which is as good or even better than the closed attraction.

He either brings you there, or gets a cab driver nearby to help. If he does get a cab driver, these crooks are actually in cahoots.

Take the cab, and you will be whisked off to shops where the driver gets a commission if you buy something. What’s worst, is that the driver may bring you to a secluded spot and then rob you.

It’s not just strangers on the streets, but taxi drivers can be perpetrators of this scam as well.

One could simply take a longer route, then casually mention that he forgot to inform you earlier that your original destination is closed. As such, he has taken it upon himself to drive you somewhere better.

 

What to do:

Keep to your plan.

 

4. Lost and found money

El Salvador, Brazil

Salvador

 

How it works:

A stranger approaches and tells you that he has found a huge stack of money on the floor. He then proceeds to split it with you even if you protest.

The next moment, an accomplice comes by and claims that the money is his. He will snatch the money and to his horror, find some of it missing.

At this point, the stranger will egg you on to pay back half of it. Else, he claims that both of you might get assaulted by the accomplice or his gang.

 

What to do:

Firmly decline and get away as soon as possible.

 

5. Drug planting

 

How it works:

Drugs are unlikely to affect tourists, though there have been instances of drug planting.

Should you get caught by the police, you will have to pay a big bribe. The area around the Bolivian border is a hot spot for this scam.

 

What to do:

Keep your belongings secure / securely on yourself and stay alert especially around crowded areas.

As for luggage, use one with a hard shell case instead of one with zippers as a pen is all you need to break through the zippers.

Consider further securing your luggage or bags with a luggage strap, TSA lock or cable tie.

Note that these would not secure your luggage or bag 100%, but will help deter criminals from targeting your bags.

 

6. Black market tickets

Brazil Rio olympic tickets

Image source: rio2016olympicstickets.com

 

How it works:

There are criminal organizations which buy most of the tickets of major events and flip for a few times more through other channels.

Sometimes, there are fake tickets peddled as well.

This could be for events such as the samba parade and the Olympics that happened in 2016.

 

What to do:

Do not buy from streets touts or unofficial sellers.

Only buy a ticket through these sources:

  • Direct from company / official counters.
  • Licensed retailers.
  • Your hotel / hostel if such a service is provided.
  • Day tour platforms like Viator (largest globally and in Brazil).

 

7. Restaurant’s music charge

Image source: vivitravels.com

 

How it works:

This happens in Italy as well (e.g. Venice), where restaurants / bar / clubs charge you more simply because there is live music.

 

What to do:

Do some online research or check with your hotel / hostel staff on recommended places locals go to eat at.

If researching is too much of a hassle, you can also consider joining a fun local food tour!

  • Viator: largest platform of day tours globally and in Brazil.
  • Your hotel / hostel affiliated tour operators: reliable but generally not the best or cheapest.

 

8. Can I help you?

Copacabana, Rio

Copacabana, Rio

 

How it works:

Another common scam globally (e.g. Morocco, Sri Lanka, etc), a stranger approaches you to offer his unsolicited help. There are many variations of this.

For instance, the scammer might show you the way to somewhere, and then demand a tip.

Or the scammer may offer to help you take a photo, and then demand a tip.

Or he could claim that somewhere is closed, and recommend another restaurant or another hotel to stay at, which is where he gets a commission from.

 

What to do:

Do not accept unsolicited help. It is better to ask (e.g. asking shop owners around the area if you are lost) than to be asked.

Definitely do not take accommodation recommendations from a random stranger, as accommodation expenses generally make up bulk of a trip’s expense.

Instead, make sure to only book one via legitimate platforms 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 Brazil by staying with a local host!

 

9. Would you like a drink?

Image source: riotimesonline.com

 

How it works:

Should you be approached by a stranger for drinks at a specific bar, it is almost never a good thing.

This is a common scam in the Americas (e.g. Mexico), where once you are led into the bar, there will be girls waiting for you and toasting you.

When the bill comes, you will have to pay for everyone there at inflated prices.

 

What to do:

If you really want to make new local friends, some questions for you 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 right after escaping.

 

10. Fake merchandise

Feira dos Importados

Feira dos Importados

 

How it works:

Fake goods (usually luxury, electronics, high value items) are usually quite obvious and usually found at flea markets such as the Feira dos Importados.

 

What to do:

If you wish to buy, learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff, or only visit licensed, reputable shops.

You can find these by doing some online research or by asking your hotel / hostel staff.

If you find researching too time-consuming, other options available include:

  • Using local connections: get a local to bring you around.
  • Multi-day tour through 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.
  • Shopping tour through Viator: largest platform of day tours globally and in Brazil – get a professional guide to bring you around.

 

B. TRANSPORT

1. Car robbery / carjacking

 

How it works:

This happens at traffic lights, where armed crooks go around opening car doors to grab whatever they can find, or they may smash your car windows with a hammer.

Besides stealing from cars, there are robbers who steal cars and motorbikes as well.

 

What to do:

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

Do not leave any valuables / items indicating that you are a tourist exposed in the car:

Further, 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.

 

2. Bus theft

Bus in Brazil

Image source: Wikimedia – Jorge Andrade

 

How it works:

Stealing on a bus is easy for thieves, as there will be definitely be careless passenger who do not secure their valuables.

Theft cases are more commonly reported on overnight buses to other South American countries such as Bolivia and Ecuador.

 

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.

 

3. Taxi runaround

Sao Paulo traffic

Sao Paulo traffic

 

How it works:

This is where taxi drivers target those who are too drunk or disoriented outside clubs.

They drive around town to aggravate their daze, and then head to a secluded spot to rob the victim of his valuables.

 

What to do:

There is nothing much you can do besides keeping yourself sober.

If not, at least keep your valuables in your hotel / hostel / apartment safe, which can be further secured with hotel safety tools.

Also, consider using a spare wallet with little money in it to give up if threatened.

 

4. Unofficial / fake taxis

Image source: ehc-global.com

 

How it works:

You may find unlicensed taxi touts especially at the airport, who will claim to charge a lower fare without having to wait in a queue to entice you.

However, these are usually operated by gang members and you run the risk of being robbed if you were to take these unlicensed cabs.

 

What to do:

Do not take an unofficial taxi. If you do take one, take a photo of the car plate and the driver’s license in case anything goes wrong.

Else, consider these other options:

  • Get a cab from Aerotaxi or Aerocoop.
  • Pre-arrange vehicle pick up through your hotel / hostel or through day tour platforms like Viator (largest globally and in Brazil).
  • Book a rental car through AutoEurope – over 60 years of industry experience, super reliable with best price guarantee.
  • Use a taxi booking app like Uber, 99 Taxis, Easy Taxi, Cabify.

 

5. Taxi meters not used / rigged meters

 

How it works:

Taxis which do not use meters and demand a huge upfront fee is unfortunately, very common.

Even if they were willing to use the meter, watch out for red flags of a rigged meter:

  • Tampered / missing meter seal
  • Only fare is displayed (without distance and waiting time)
  • Not being able to find taxi name, taxi operator number, taxi car plate number inside the cab
  • Driver clicking something, probably a hidden switch
  • If driver drives slowly at a high speed area to prevent the meter from jumping too wildly

 

What to do:

Insist on using the meter. Else, if you have done your research, negotiate on a fair flat fare.

You can estimate the fair price of any route by checking:

  • With your hotel / hostel staff.
  • An online taxi fare estimator / online travel forums.
  • Taxi booking apps like Uber, 99 Taxis, Easy Taxi, Cabify.

Before a trip, take a photo of the car plate and also of the driver’s license in case anything goes wrong.

During the trip, even if the meter is used, do monitor it to see if the price jumps too much or too quickly.

 

6. Longhauling taxis

Image source: Wikimedia – Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom

 

How it works:

There are drivers who either go on a longer route or drive into traffic to earn a higher fare from you.

 

What to do:

You can estimate the fair price of any route by checking:

  • With your hotel / hostel staff.
  • An online taxi fare estimator / online travel forums.
  • Taxi booking apps like Uber, 99 Taxis, Easy Taxi, Cabify.

In the cab, be very clear when communicating the destination you are heading to. More prominent landmarks around your destination can be mentioned.

During the ride, check your phone’s GPS to make sure you are headed in the correct direction.

Sometimes, drivers do take detours to avoid traffic jams, but that should not detract from the correct general direction.

 

C. MISCELLANEOUS

1. Pickpockets

 

How it works:

Crowded streets, train stations, public transportation, markets, shopping malls, restaurants, tourist attractions, hotels, nightspots or anywhere tourists hang out at are pickpockets’ favourite spots.

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 will surround you and 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 around 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.

 

2. Spilled liquid scam

Sol, Rio De Janeiro

Sol, Rio De Janeiro

 

How it works:

This is a rather common scam around the world (e.g. USA, UAE, etc) but executed with different material.

In Brazil, there have been reports where a scammer will squirt green / brown goop onto you / your stuff.

Next, an accomplice or a group of them will appear out of nowhere and offer to help you clean it off for a fee. Some will say it’s for free, and then go on to demand a fee once they have completed the service.

In other countries, it could be mustard, sunscreen, or any other material that seems dirty and gross.

Some of them won’t even ask, but will force themselves on you to clean you up. In the process, they steal your valuables.

 

What to do:

Stay alert while walking on the streets.

If you ever find yourself in such a situation, stand your ground and push whoever tries to help you away .

And as mentioned earlier, a money belt or hidden pouch and an anti-theft bag will make it almost impossible for these thieves to steal from you.

 

3. Rio de Janeiro (GIG) airport ATMs

Rio de Janeiro airport ATMs

Image source: jtkatie.blogspot.com

 

How it works:

There have been reports of ATM skimming / cameras in this airport.

In fact, Brazil has one of the highest ATM theft cases. News report such as this aren’t uncommon over there: http://g1.globo.com/rio-de-janeiro/noticia/2013/04/policia-prende-homem-que-clonava-cartoes-em-caixa-eletronico-no-rio.html

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, check the ATM for any red flags, 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.

 

4. Banco Safra

Banco Safra

Image source: first2board.com

 

How it works:

Do not change your money here unless you have no choice because the rates are outrageous, due to it being the monopoly in Rio de Janeiro.

 

What to do:

Change at official exchanges in town.

 

5. Fake policemen

Rio De Janeiro

Rio De Janeiro

 

How it works:

You can find fake police everywhere around the world (e.g. Greece, Indonesia, etc).

In Brazil, you can find them at airports such as those in Rio and Sao Paulo. Should you follow them into a car, you will be robbed there.

Another variation is where a stranger bumps into you, starts chatting, and then a fake policeman comes by and discovers drug on your new “friend”!

You are escorted (abducted) with your new friend into a fake police station and stripped of all your valuables.

If you are unlucky, you will be held for days as they withdraw the maximum limit from your card each day.

 

What to do:

If you have not obviously broken the law, be very skeptical when a “police officer” approaches you.

Three steps you can use to shake them off:

  • Verify badges and identification. Threaten to call the police hotline (end of this article).
  • Never give your passport if asked. Show only a photocopy of it.
  • If they want to fine you or check your bags, insist to only do so at a police station (use your GPS to find it or check with a local) with a lawyer or someone from your embassy.

Next, you should have hidden your valuables in a money belt or hidden pouch and use a cheap spare wallet with not much cash inside.

This way, the scammers may simply let you go since you do not seem to have much cash.

 

6. Express kidnapping

Global kidnapping spots

Image source: vocativ.com

 

How it works:

Be wary when withdrawing money, as there may be shady characters who wait at ATMs waiting for the right targets to rob.

If you are targeted, you will be abducted for a short amount of time and forced to withdraw all cash from your account over a few days.

This is due to the default daily cash withdrawal limit settings of most people’s bank accounts.

 

What to do:

To protect yourself, only use ATM in the day and in controlled environments like in the banks.

Avoid using in dark, secluded areas and look out for suspicious characters before using

It may also be a good idea to keep a separate bank account just for traveling:

  • Do not keep too much cash in there.
  • Only carry a bank card of that account so that even if kidnapped or if the card is stolen, you would not have much to lose.

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.

 

7. Unlicensed telco / SIM card stores

Image source: loyaltylobby.com

 

How it works:

Avoid, as you will probably buy a “fake” SIM card where data is either used up almost immediately or where data prices are sky high.

 

What to do:

Do not buy from streets touts or unofficial sellers.

Only buy a ticket through these sources:

  • Direct from company such as Vivo, TIM, Oi and Claro.
  • Licensed retailers.
  • Your hotel / hostel if such a service is provided.
  • Platform of day tours like Viator (largest globally and in Brazil).

 

8. Phone kidnapping scam

 

How it works:

Not necessarily a scam that happens to tourists, but it is still good to know.

As is common around the world, you get a call from a strange number and hear a little girl / boy whoever who cries out for help.

The kidnapper then demands payment within an hour (any set time) or the hostage will be killed.

 

What to do:

Hang up.

 

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

 

How it works:

A brief summary:

  • Violent crime: high in most urban areas.
  • Hazards: gang related violence favelas (slums).
  • Hotspots: criminal groups operate along borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay.
  • Terrorism: still a threat.
  • Civil unrest: demonstrations and strikes can take place. In Sao Paulo, protests can be common. Common areas where protests happen at:
    • Sau Paulo: Avenida Paulista, Largo da Batata, downtown area.
    • Brasilia: Esplanada dos Ministerios.
    • Rio de Janeiro: Copacabana Beach.

 

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.

Avoid / be careful at these violent crime hotspots:

  • Brasilia: Central Bus Station.
  • Sao Paulo: red light districts (Rua Augusta north of Avenida Paulista, Estacao de Luz metro area), Ibirapuera Park, Avenida Paulista.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach, Lapa, Santa Theresa, favelas, Corcovado trail, Christ the Redeemer statue.

 

2. Medical care

Image source: grancursosonline.com.br

 

How it works:

Medical care is adequate in larger cities, but limited elsewhere.

Diseases to vaccinate against / watch out for include:

  • Insect borne diseases: chagas, chikunguya, dengue, zika, leishmaniasis, yellow fever, malaria.
  • Food and water borne diseases: travellers’ diarrhoea, schistosomiasis, hepatitis, typhoid, cholera, leptospirosis.
  • Animal borne diseases: rabies.
  • Human borne diseases: HIV, tuberculosis.

 

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, typhoid.
  • Some travellers: Hepatitis B, malaria, rabies, yellow fever.

Prevent insect bites:

  • Protective clothing.
  • Insect repellents.
  • Insecticide treated bed / cot nets.
  • Plug-in insecticides.
  • 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:

  • Wildfires: May to September, central areas of Brazil may be affected.
  • Rainy season:
    • South, south-east: November to March.
    • North-east: April to July.

 

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 reports and weather forecasts.

Reacting to one:

  • Wildfires: 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:

Road conditions are dangerous here, a couple of factors to watch out for:

  • Poor driving standards. Aggressive, speeding drivers.
  • Now adhering to traffic rules.
  • Poor road maintenance, especially non highway roads.

Although public transport here (buses) is developed, it is not recommended to take them due to poor vehicle maintenance, unsafe driving and high crime rates.

 

What to do:

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

Driving:

  • Only get a rental car 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. Tourism police

Brazil tourism police

Image source: citizen.co.za

 

The tourism police, or Policia de Tourismo, are a good bet should you need help.

However, they only have a strong presence in Rio and are pretty thinly spread out in the other cities.

Contact numbers:

  • Rio de Janeiro: 021/3399-7170
  • Sao Paulo: 011/3107-5642

 

2. Policia Federal

Brazil policia federal

Image source: brasildamudanca.com.br

 

Found at frontier posts, airports and ports, these policemen deal with visas.

 

3. Policia Militar

Brazil policia milita

Image source: cb24.tv

 

Tend to operate around highway road blocks.

 

4. Policia Civil

Brazil policia civil

Image source: brasilpolicial.com.br

 

Helps with petty crime such as theft, but allegedly inefficient.

 

5. Emergency numbers

  • Police: 190
  • Fire and ambulance: 193

Join the community!

Get protected!

4 Comments

  1. Matt

    This happens to us natives too… Unfortunately…

    Reply
  2. Dante

    Why spend your hard earned cash on a place you cannot “really” relax because you can be assaulted at anytime – plus third world countries tend to be very dirty – littering for instance is like a hobby in Brazil everyone does it everywhere – why risk your life and the life of you loved ones
    Australia or New Zealand would be a much better choice

    Reply
  3. JiMMU

    Brazil has sure gone downhill in the last decade. It was always a somewhat adventurous place to visit, but the crime was somewhat tolerable if you were careful. Also, crime was very low in the classy beach resorts, etc, places like Buzios. Not anymore, anyone is a target anywhere now. I had lots of fun there in the 1980s and early 1990s, but you could not pay me to go to Brazil in 2018.

    Reply
  4. Derek

    Brazil is a hispanic country obviously. It is the worst country in Latin America to visit. Its no surprise that it has the highest crime rate in the region. When I traveled there I was approached almost on a daily basis by scammers.

    Non-brazilian guys traveling to try to find love there should look elsewhere. The brazilian girls start getting fat and lose their beauty by the time they hit their 30s. Not worth it. Plus, brazilians in general don’t like white people. That’s a fact.

    Surprisingly, Cuba has the lowest crime rate in the western hemisphere. Likely because of the strict nature of communism. Cuba is a safe choice for travel. I’d go there.

    Reply

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