Warning! Common Cons And Scams In Las Vegas

shutterstock_105118847Las Vegas is not the steal-deal vacation it was in the 1990s and earlier. Gambling is no longer the only draw that will bring forty-one million visitors this year.

The entertainment, the food, the architecture and natural wonders are all reasons to visit the city. Therefore, the traveler’s budget will be challenged more often. Beyond all the legitimate expenses no one wants to lose money to a con or scam.

Hustlers and scammers are part of any city’s landscape, but maybe more prevalent in cities like Las Vegas where there is a lot of cash walking around. We must all realize that any of us can be conned. Even the smartest and wisest of us have probably been taken at one time or another.

As a general rule whenever a stranger, in person or on the phone, wants you to give them money via cash or credit card, the warning bells should ring. Be careful. If in doubt, don’t!

Let’s look at some of the more common cons one might encounter while in the Vegas area. There will be variations, of course, but the general idea will be the same. New ones come and go too.

The first con we will expose is a slick one. Here is the scenario. You are in your room and you get a call. The caller tells you that they are at the front desk and that your credit card was rejected or had some issue. They ask you to repeat the number or supply a new one. Always offer to come down to the desk and talk to the person who called. Odds are, they won’t be there.

Believe it or not the “Three Card Monte” is still draining sucker’s wallets. You have probably seen this one in various movies or videos. The huckster has three cards. He will show you three playing cards. He tells you to pick one. He then shuffles it along with the other two. If you pick your card out, you double your money. If you don’t, well, you lose. You never really had a chance. The hand is quicker than the eye.

Another newer scam, more of a robbery really, requires preventive measures. This is aimed at women only. When a lady goes to the restroom to powder her nose and go potty, a thief, or a team of them will rush into the bathroom, reach over the bathroom stall and grab her purse. Usually it will likely be hanging on a hook on the stall door. The thieves are long gone before the victim can get decent and pursue. So ladies, keep your purses out of reach.

Ok guys, here is one for you to avoid. Vegas is full of pretty women. So, you meet one while having a drink at a bar. This lady is a goddess and she has your full attention. She is so excited about her good luck.  She tells you that she just hit a big jackpot. We’re talking big.  She then suggests that she take you out for dinner to celebrate her winnings and picks a very expensive restaurant. You say, “Yes!” Things are going so well, you think. When dinner is done and you are romancing her, she excuses herself to go to the restroom. She leaves. Guess who pays the bill?

If you are a slot player watch out for this one. However, this one is less likely in today’s casinos due to the fact that most modern slots don’t take coins. Here is how this hustle works. While you are wearing out your fingers pressing that slot button or pulling that handle, someone distracts you, maybe with a question or they might drop a dollar bill on the floor and ask if it is yours. In that spit second while distracted, an accomplice will grab your bucket of coins, purse, or something else of value that you laid down by your machine.

Newcomers to Vegas may get scammed by taxi drivers. They will take you the long way around to get you to your destination. This is especially common when picked up at the airport. The best prevention is to go online before you arrive and check standard fares. Then, confirm with your driver.

We could never list all the cons and scams, but again, just be very careful when parting with your money. You know the saying, “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.” It is our greed that does us in every time.

Below is a link to an article by the Las Vegas Sun and a link to a YouTube video exposing the notorious “Pigeon Drop” scam. This con is as old as Adam and Eve, but still works today so take the time to learn about it. One of my own relatives got taken for $9,000 with this one.




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