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93

The best tactic in India is to ignore beggars / paupers and keep moving on. The very fact that people give money creates a vicious cycle where people are forced into the profession by local mafia. Yes, you may think your alms to a small kid will feed him but it reality very often what happens is that the kids' parents or local mafia will take away their ...


72

First there's the obvious - when in a tourist area, don't act too much like a tourist. When I lived in London you could instantly tell the locals from tourists in busy tourist areas, regardless of their looks, from the fact the locals were walking quickly and purposefully and skirting around the crowds (even when lost) while the tourists had more random, ...


68

If you do not look like a native, then you will be hounded by paupers/beggars. If you help one, generally onlooking beggars may come asking you for money as well. The rule to respect would be to ignore anyone asking for money - a conversation isn't going to lead anywhere. Keep yourself safe - do not make a display of your money. You never know who's ...


44

I think the best write-up I've seen on this is at Corporatetravelsafety.com: They begin the Paris String Scam by engaging you in innocent conversation and will usually say that they want to show you a magic trick. Before you know it, a "string man" has grabbed your wrist or one or two fingers and encircled it with a homemade bracelet of colored ...


35

Here's a trick I've found pretty useful: Wear headphones/earphones. You don't have to listen to anything through them, but just by wearing them, people are more likely to ignore you because you "can't hear them". Worked for me in Beijing's Tiananmen square.


27

I'm French, from Paris. harassed by guys on the street trying to pull a scam of some sort in which they would bend over, pick up some cheap "golden" ring, offer it to me as my "lucky day", and then ask if I could give them some money for it [...] the amount of times I was approached and asked for money (the ring guys were just part of it) was an ...


19

I went several times to this park and I never had to deal with that kind of people (I am French). They certainly target tourists so I would recommend the usual stuff I apply to myself not to be bothered in such a case. Walk confidently, a bit fast. You know where you are going. Do not look around or stroll in front of them. Look in front of you. If they ...


17

It's a difficult problem in any country. Most charities however will tell you that you should never give money to beggars. The reason being it's just money and often that money will go to drugs, drink, or even a 'supervisor' - as seen in Slum Dog Millionaire - kids beg for a gang, and they don't get the money themselves. Charities have the viewpoint that ...


17

In India, you are likely to be constantly under attack by agonised human beings - mothers with infants in their arms, small children, disabled, lepers and others. It is often difficult to turn a blind eye. More often than not, I would suggest ignore, harden yourself, say no firmly and walk away. But maybe sometimes you might want to give in to the tug of ...


14

In Paris always say no to solicitors. I haven't had this one happen to me, but I've had the calling card scam done on me. My answer is always say no. I don't suggest no merci. Yes, its in French, but you can pick the English accent miles away. I always walk through them. If they grab you or try to stop me, I say 'eh ohhh'. You have to say it with a ...


10

If you can't ignore them, have some things prepared that you can give them instead of money. Chocolate bars would be fine - the children will be happy and you won't have a bad feeling. Don't give them money. Try to get out of places where a lot of people could surround you and watch for thieves.


9

After many months in India I stumbled on my preferred method: say nothing give the palms together Indian greeting to the person asking (they will almost always respond in kind) continue with what I was doing I do like that this is a bit more respectful to the other person. However, the main advantage is that when I just ignored the person begging ...


9

About 10 years ago I was pickpocketed in Paris. I'm reasonably sure that the fact that it was in December and about 40 degrees(F) and I was wearing shorts and a short-sleeve shirt was at least a contributing factor to my being chosen as a target. My wallet was in my right front pants pocket, but that didn't help. Thankfully my wallet was recovered within ...


8

I once did a social experiment in India where I dressed like a beggar (barefeet, dirt in the face, torn rags for clothes, old hat) and I was completely ignored. This is of course an extreme measure but the gist is that you look "invisible" just like the sights are invisible to locals, as another commenter said. I always pack a small urban backpack inside my ...


7

Paris is a great city to visit - great museums, amazing works of art in galleries, good food, interesting architecture and buildings. Unfortunately, this means lots of people do visit it, and with that comes problems.... As other questions mention, a lot of Parisians get fed up with tourists who make no attempt to speak French, and a small number try to take ...


6

I second Ankur Banerjee's answer. Beggars in India can easily differentiate the foreigners (as they call) from Desi's (ie., Indians). They also have the knack to identify even from the locals, whom they can get money vs who will not give, its all by experience. Needless to say they know the value of dollar, and I have seen beggars asking for a dollar when ...


6

Compare these two images of casual-dressed men. The first guy shops at Kohl's in Columbus while the second guy shops at Galeries Lafayette in Nantes. Of the two, each walking nonchalantly down a street in Paris, which one would look like a tourist to other Parisians? Therefore, if you want to blend into the background scene, go into one of the suburbs, ...


5

I used to travel down to Tijuana, Mexico with my friend while I was stationed in San Diego. I am military, my friend is a super geeky looking guy. TJ is very well known for pushy locals on tourists, from cabs to selling candy. Everyone was asking to buy things or get cab rides. We walked together the entire time. The difference? I had on my pissed off ...


5

Since I travel a lot to different countries in Europe, Americas, Africa and Asia, very often I was a target of various scam artists. My way to avoid it is to dress like a man down on his economical luck. My cloths are clean but really basic and wear out. I have plastic sandals or other cheep looking shoes which had never seen a polish. My backpack or bag had ...


5

Being a native person here, I usually have walks on the roads, where I see foreigners offering some money to the beggars and then a group of beggars surrounding them asking for money. It could be a real trouble then. You can't describe that the person asking you for money is really a beggar or some snatcher. Snatching cases are quite common in India (at ...


5

I do travel through the roads of India and find foreigners being flooded with beggars. It is better one avoids them. In few cases when one does go on to give some alms, it attracts few more from round the corner. In the end, it is up to you to decide whom to give and whom not to. Local mafia's or black private org's leave beggars ranging from old aged to ...


5

I had the same experience at the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre (multiple times). I am a guy but I am blonde, milky white and slim, so I must look like an easy touristy target. As soon as I entered the little park at the bottom of the steps I encountered the first "string man". I instinctively knew it was a scam, so I clenched my hand as soon as they asked for ...


4

There are various scams of this sort all over the world. In Paris, it's the "string" scam. In NYC, where I am, it's the "ketchup" scam. In the New York City version, one or more operators will start by spilling ketchup over your clothes. A confederate will point it out to you, and either try to "clean you up" using crude materials, and then charge you for ...


4

There are several great answers here, but since this is still a hot thread shown in the SE sidebar, I thought to put my thoughts too. I was pick-pocketed in Paris, and I volunteered to get scammed by the test-your-sight by the shuffling cup trick. Still, I would say I'm pretty good at avoiding scams. There is nothing to get upset if you get scammed I ...


4

I pass in front of the Château de Versailles daily. I am never stopped by the street vendors because: I bike. Possibly with my children. This is not an easy one when you are a tourist (except maybe for the bike, though it is not worth the hassle on short trips (otherwise you have Velib')) I do not look around and have headphones on. This one is not simple ...


4

Very good to try to blend in with the locals when you go around the parts of the city where/when the locals are around in big numbers. If you walk near the tourist destinations, even as a local on the way to your work at a time most people around are tourist, you will be seen as a proper target. When you are between tourists you will be seen as tourist! ...


3

Interesting question. Please note my answer is entirely based on my own experience, and based on South Asia (which I know a lot and currently live), and South East Asia (pretty much same, but relatively developed). The very first thing is that the beggars are not necessarily poor people. In Asian countries, begging is more of an underground business that ...


3

I'm from the US, 56 years old, caucasian, and I've been living in Uganda for the last seven years. When I first got to Uganda, everywhere I would go, maybe five or six times a day, people would try to stop me to ask for money. No matter how I tried to dress or blend in, the money-asking was constant. After a year or so, it just stopped. I didn't do ...


2

One of the best strategies to people who will not let go of you, despite you ignoring them, was for me always to stop, look them in the eye and say "You are wasting your time".



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