In particular, areas like Praça do Comércio and Rossio Square are known to be hotspots for scammers targeting unsuspecting tourists. To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Lisbon, here are some common scams to be aware of and tips to protect yourself.

The Distraction Technique:

One common scam involves a group of individuals working together to distract you while an accomplice attempts to steal your belongings. They may approach you with seemingly innocent questions, offer to take your photo, or engage in other friendly gestures. While you're focused on the distraction, another person may attempt to snatch your bag or pickpocket you. Stay vigilant and keep your belongings secure at all times.

The Friendship Bracelet:

Beware of individuals approaching you with offers of friendship bracelets or other small tokens. They may seem friendly and insist on tying the bracelet around your wrist as a gesture of goodwill. However, once the bracelet is on, they will demand an exorbitant amount of money for it. Politely decline these offers and keep a safe distance.

Fake Petitions and Surveys:

Scammers may approach you with clipboards, claiming to be conducting surveys or petitions for a charitable cause. They may ask for your signature, personal information, or even a donation. Be cautious when approached by strangers asking for your participation in such activities, as they may be attempting to obtain personal information or deceive you into giving money. Politely decline and walk away if you feel uncomfortable.

Unauthorized Tour Guides:

In popular tourist areas, individuals posing as unofficial tour guides may approach you and offer their services at a significantly lower price than professional tour operators. While it may seem like a good deal, be cautious as these unauthorized guides may lack the proper credentials, provide inaccurate information, or even lead you to areas where you could be targeted by scammers. It's advisable to book tours and activities through reputable companies to ensure a safe and reliable experience.

Recognizing the Scammers:

It's important to differentiate between street dealers and scammers. The individuals you may come across in these tourist areas are primarily scammers posing as drug dealers. Their intention is not to sell drugs but to exploit unsuspecting tourists. Keep in mind that drug use and trafficking are illegal in Portugal, including in these tourist spots. Be aware that engaging in any illicit activities can lead to legal troubles and jeopardize your safety.

Responding to Approaches:

When approached by these scammers, it's best to employ a firm but polite response. Simply saying "no thanks" or ignoring them is usually sufficient to deter their persistent approaches. Remember that they are looking for easy targets, and if you show no interest, they will likely move on to someone else. Engaging in conversation or showing any curiosity may encourage further harassment, so it's advisable to avoid prolonged interactions.

Maintaining Caution:

While these scammers are generally annoying but harmless, it's important to exercise caution and use common sense. Keep your personal belongings secure and avoid displaying valuable items that may attract unwanted attention. Stay aware of your surroundings and avoid isolated or dimly lit areas. If you feel uncomfortable or encounter any suspicious behavior, trust your instincts and move away from the situation.

Seeking Assistance:

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel threatened or harassed, do not hesitate to seek assistance. Approach nearby security personnel, police officers, or staff members at nearby establishments for help. They are there to ensure the safety of visitors and can provide guidance or intervene if necessary. Remember, your safety is paramount, and it's always better to seek help when needed.

Focus on Enjoying Lisbon:

While encountering scammers can be an inconvenience, it's important not to let them overshadow your experience in Lisbon. Focus on the city's rich culture, breathtaking sights, and vibrant atmosphere. Engage with the genuine aspects of the city, such as its historical landmarks, authentic cuisine, and warm hospitality. By immersing yourself in the genuine beauty of Lisbon, you can create lasting memories without allowing the presence of scammers to detract from your trip.

Remember, awareness is key to staying safe while exploring Lisbon's popular tourist spots. Stay vigilant, trust your instincts, and don't hesitate to seek assistance from authorities or local establishments if you feel uncomfortable or suspect any fraudulent activity.

By staying informed and cautious, you can enjoy the beauty and culture of Lisbon while protecting yourself from scammers. Have a memorable and safe trip to this remarkable city!