Warnings and Dangers in San Francisco – People to Avoid
San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world; however, there are extremely dangerous areas and certain individuals in the streets that are best to avoid. Here are some warnings about dangers in San Francisco and the types of people to avoid.
Drug Addicts and Muggers
The Tenderloin area of San Francisco is a notoriously dangerous area that is full of drug addicts and drug dealers who hang out in the streets. Nights are more dangerous; however, daytime does not guarantee safety. Fights between drug dealers for control over areas can lead to shootings in the street, evening during the daytime. The strange thing about this area is that just adjacent to it are some of the luxury downtown hotels. If you walk out of one of these hotels and go north you will find the beautiful Union Square or the nice Embarcadero Center. However, if you go south or west you quickly run into the very seedy areas full of people who will attack you and rob you.
Aggressive Pan-Handlers and Fake Homeless
This type of person is more like a mugger than a truly homeless person. They will try to get very close to you for a chance to pickpocket you and will not accept no for an answer. They may block your way and threaten you if you do not give them money. In certain areas, such as around the Civic Center, and the BART train stations exits there are many of them.
Food Truck Scam
This scam is one where a homeless person stands near a food truck asking the approaching customers to buy them a meal. Many agree to help because they feel it is better to give a homeless person a meal than to give money, which they could use to buy drugs or alcohol. However, after the homeless person gets the meal, they give it back to the food truck owner, who gives them half the cost and sells the food again to someone else. If you stay nearby and watch carefully you can see them do this many times per hour.
San Francisco has plenty of mentally ill people who wander the streets and are also found on public transportation. It is possible to encounter one or more just about anywhere in the public spaces. Some of them can become very agitated and start to violently act out, screaming, swearing, and physically threatening those nearby. It is best not to engage them or respond, just move away if you can. If you are on public transportation get off at the next stop, along as it is not in a bad area.
The most aggressive ones are the drag queens who will ask if you want a date. Be careful if they come very close to you because they are expert pickpockets as well.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers and people to avoid in San Francisco