How to Avoid Scammers in London

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Sadly, scammers and fraudsters are located in every city and are always creating new and inventive ways of parting tourists and locals alike from their money.

In order to protect guests staying at our Park Grand hotel Hyde Park, we've compiled a list of some of the most common scams used by unscrupulous individuals in London. We hope these help you to not fall foul of clever tricks and keep your holiday cash and valuables safe while you're here.

Cut-price tickets to West End shows

What visit to London would be complete without a visit to the glittering West End? With toe-tapping musicals and dramatic new plays which have the whole city talking, it can be tempting to snap up some cheap tickets for the show of your choice.

Sadly, some scammers are all too aware of our love for the West End, and you can often find some not so honest individuals lurking around West End box offices offering amazing show deals that sound too good to be true! Unfortunately, these so-called deals often are, and many tickets that are bought this way turn out to be fake, even though they look convincing enough to pass for the real thing.

In order not to be parted from your hard-earned cash and get tickets that will actually get you in to see the show, it's a good idea to speak to the concierge at the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park. They will be able to book genuine tickets at the best price available for the real thing.

London multi-attraction tickets

Another common scam that visitors to the city often fall foul of is the London multi-attraction ticket or card. These products can help you make big savings on popular London attractions if you buy them from genuine sources but be aware of touts in the street selling these cards or tickets for lower than average prices as it could well be a scam.

Instead, pre-order your multi-attraction passes online before arriving at our 4 Star accommodation in Paddington or head to one of the many London kiosks that are dotted around the city licensed to sell you the real thing.

Restaurant vouchers

If you’ve started to feel a little peckish a few hours after breakfast at our 4 Star hotels in Paddington, then the opportunity to make significant savings on eating out at top London restaurants may prove to be too hard to resist.

A recent scam involving street sellers promoting voucher books for half price meals has left many visitors to the city out of pocket as the restaurants featured have not authorised these discounts. If in doubt be sure to call the restaurant in question beforehand or just walk away.

Fake designer goods

London is famous for its amazing array of markets which sell pretty much everything and anything. With so many amazing markets to choose from when staying at the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park, you will be spoilt for choice for where to get your retail fix first.

However, it pays to be cautious when parting with your spending money.

Some high-end designer goods and electronics might not be all that they seem. Local authorities across the city are trying hard to crack down on dodgy stall traders who try to pass off fake goods as the real thing to unsuspecting tourists.

If in doubt, head to one of London's famous retail districts such as Oxford Street where you are sure to find the real deal. Sure, it may cost a little more than the market trader prices, but quality is always something worth paying for.

Street games

After a little time exploring the streets surrounding the 4 Star hotels in Paddington, you might have noticed small crowds gathering on the pavement transfixed by what seems to be a game.

These games usually utilise items such as cups and balls and unwitting visitors to the city are asked to guess which cup the ball is in after some fast-paced movement by the game master. Some 'players' of this game put in a stake of a few pounds and appear to win, but this is only a ploy to part other people from their money.

Masters of sleight of hand, these street-side tricksters are only hoping to extract money from people willing to play this illegal and unregulated game, so if you see a crowd start to gather or are invited to try your luck, move on.

Fake charity collectors

Charity collectors are common in any city, but unfortunately, some scammers have come up with the idea to start collecting money to line their own pockets. With fake ID lanyards and a colourful bucket, both visitors to the city and locals alike can find it very difficult to tell the difference between a genuine charity worker and a scammer. If you do want to donate some money to charity during your time at the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park, donate online via the charity’s website when you get back to your room to be on the safe side.

Contactless card readers

One of the latest scams to hit all major cities around the world involved card readers. Thieves carrying contactless card readers are brushing up against Tube passengers in the hope that their contactless debit and credit cards are picked up by the reader. They are are often concealed within bags or pockets so they can be hard to spot.

Although contactless payments are currently capped at £30 per transaction, this can turn into a highly lucrative scam if the individual strikes gold several times in one Tube journey. To stay safe, be aware of anyone who seems to be sitting or standing a little too close for comfort.

Another way to protect your card from this innovative scam is to wrap your cards in foil before heading out for the day as this stops the card reader from being able to access the contactless chip. It may sound off but this tip keeps your funds safe in your bank account where they belong.