Tourists are welcome victims for pickpockets. Learn more about where pickpockets strike in Berlin and how to protect yourself from them. more
Avoiding Street Scammers and Con Artists
On Berlin streets, con artists playing shell games try to lure tourists with quick winnings. Should you fall victim to this scam, more than just money is at stake.
Where do you encounter shell game scammers in Berlin?
How does the shell game scam work?
- A perpetrator squats in front of a small carpet on which there are three boxes and a small ball.
- Several people who seem to be interested in playing along gather around the perpetrator.
- The perpetrator now hides the ball under one of the three boxes and begins to move them, asking the bystanders to determine the whereabouts of the ball.
- One of the bystanders now places a bet on the box under which the ball is located and wins.
- This makes passers-by believe that they can easily win money.
- If an unsuspecting outsider decides playing, the perpetrator now increases the speed when moving the boxes and lets the ball disappear - unnoticed by the outsider. Thus, he/she has no chance to win and always loses.
- Protests by the victims will be met with verbal abuse or even beatings by the scammers.
- In addition to the perpetrator and the associated bystaners, there are other associates who observe the surroundings from a distance and warn if police shows up.
- Sometimes, pickpockets mingle with the bystanders and use the distraction of the shell game to commit thefts.
Shell games are fraud
Report shell game scammers to the police
Police stations, emergency numbers and other information about the police in Berlin. more
Source: BerlinOnline/Polizei Berlin/deepl.com
| Last edited: 4. February 2022