Warnings and Dangers in Amsterdam: Beggars and Scams
As the Netherlands capital city, Amsterdam is a loaded cultural agenda, providing tourists with the best of the best when it comes to nightlife, festivals, events and tourist attractions. There is so much to see and do, it will be difficult to take in all that Amsterdam has to offer. However, Amsterdam, like many other large tourist driven places also has its fair share of beggars and scammers who prey on the vulnerable, so while it is a great place to visit, staying safe and trusting your instinct is important.
Beggars are common in Amsterdam. Sometimes you might come across a guy who’ll kindly stop you in the middle of the street and tell you all about how he lost all his belongings, and whatever you can spare will help him get back home. In cases like that, where a stranger walks up to you and asks you if you have a minute, even if he looks like a tourist or a backpacker, chances are he’s just looking for money to buy drugs. In all cases, avoid talking to beggars and just keep moving.
Public Transportation Tickets
Be careful of those who are trying to sell public transportation tickets on the street. Scammers pick up old tickets from the street or they ask people as they are leaving the tram for their used tickets. The scammers then try to sell these tickets to people, telling them they have discounted tickets for the tram. In some cases, the scammer will walk with you to the ticket booth and after you hear the price, he will offer the tickets cheaper. The tickets the scammer has cannot be used on the tram. If you plan on taking public transportation while in Amsterdam, only buy your tickets from a legitimate station, such as the Tickets and Info Center at Central Station or at Station Zuid; valid tickets can only be bought from a ticket center.
Be Careful Who You Ask For Directions
It’s common for tourists to get lost while out sightseeing or visiting an activity that isn’t in the area of their hotel. Local scammers know this and will use your confusion to their advantage. A common scam is for someone to ask you if you are lost, if you need directions or even if you have any questions; then they will ask you to pay for the directions or the answers to your questions. In some cases, the person will walk with you to your destination, and then ask for payment when you get to where you are going, other people may ask for payment before giving the directions. The safest thing to do is to avoid asking anyone on the street for directions. If you get lost, stop in any hotel or visitor center to ask for directions.
Amsterdam is like any other large city, there are people who take advantage of tourists but do not let this stand in your way of enjoying your time in Amsterdam, just be aware of your surroundings and only ask for help from an information center, police or hotel desk.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Beggars & Scams in Amsterdam.