How I got scammed in Berlin!

How I got scammed in Berlin!

It’s summer!

And that means going on holiday/vacation.

I don’t know about you, but as soon as the sun comes out, my brain begins to fry and I’m not as alert as I ought to be.

As you know, I’ve been living in Berlin for more than seventeen (17) years, and it really is one of the best cities ever.

Is it safe to travel to Europe right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

But it wasn’t always that way!

Yep!

My beloved Berlin used to be quite a different place back in the 90’s.

Back in the day, I used to go to the Love Parade every summer, and electronic techno clubs Berghain and Tresor practically every weekend!

In fact, the gentrified areas of Mitte and Prenzlauerberg in East Berlin (where I live) today, were quite trashy, horrifying, and in some places, even dangerous!

Hence, I lived in arty, grungy, student, alternative Kreuzberg in West Berlin.

Love conquers all. We had controlled rent, but we didn’t have a bathroom in Berlin!

My boyfriend and I lived in a huge rent-controlled apartment near the river.

It didn’t have a bathroom.

It didn’t have any heating.

Hauling up steel-buckets of coal every week in Berlin, wasn’t as romantic as this!
Hauling up steel-buckets of coal in Berlin, was more like this!

And I had to haul up steel-buckets of coal every week!

It was worth it though ‘cos we were living in a 19th century building, and my share of the rent in those days, was a mere €17.00 per week!

It took me just six (6) weeks to get a well-paid teaching job, and six (6) months later, I was the Head of not one Corporate Language School, but two (2)!

One day, I went to the bank to pick up some money for a summer-BBQ party that I was organising for all our schools in Berlin at the time, and on that day, I got scammed!

HOW I GOT SCAMMED IN BERLIN!

Scammers are everywhere through Europe!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

Woah there.

Tell us what happened?

I’m coming to it.

Hold your horses!

Well, I made a few mistakes that day, and really, I shouldn’t have been so gullible.

But I was.

MISTAKE NUMBER 1:

I went to the bank & collected loads of Deutsche Marks!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I went to the bank, collected 500 Deutsche Marks or about €1,000. (Yep. it’s that long ago!) And then decided to go into “town” a mere 10 minutes away from my establishment.

I should have gone straight back to the office instead!

MISTAKE NUMBER 2:

Most sane people would run away. I walked towards it instead!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I saw a large crowd gathering at the town square of East Berlin’s most popular tourist attraction – Alexanderplatz. And went to investigate what people were looking at.

Most sane people would run away if they saw a crowd.

I tend to do the opposite, and walk towards it!

I should have just kept on walking!

MISTAKE NUMBER 3:

There were some men playing a sort of cup game, where if you guessed right, you win!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

There were a group of men playing a sort of cup game, where if you guess which cup the dice or ball is under, you win.

I should have just minded my own business!

MISTAKE NUMBER 4:

I stopped to watch other tourists and lost all my cash!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I stopped to watch the other “tourists” playing and “winning.” Each and every “tourist” that played won. I thought it would be a laugh, and I could easily “win” too!

To be honest, I don’t even know why I even bothered, as I’m not the gambling type.

I don’t play cards or games for money.

I don’t play scratch-cards.

I don’t play slot machines.

I don’t play bingo.

I don’t even play the lottery.

And I’m not in the habit of “playing” with my money.

I’m far too stingy!

The cost for each “go” was 50 Deutsche Marks or €100!

I gave the man the money.

And I lost it!

I should have just taken it as a done thing, and gone back to my office.

MISTAKE NUMBER 5:

I had quite a bit of cash in my purse. And lost that too!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I didn’t.

I’m arrogant and stubborn.

I was so convinced that it was a “game” and that I could beat them.

I decided to “play” again.

I had quite a bit of cash in my purse, so I gave the man another 50 Deutsche Marks or €100!

I lost that too!

100 Deutsche-Mark banknote or €200 – © 2016 – 2018 Bank Note World

I was quite annoyed and convinced that something was up as I had looked quite closely, and didn’t take my eyes off the “cup.”

Now I’m not mad enough to spend more money, as that cash wasn’t really mine, and I would have to replace it once I got back.

And 100 Deutsche Marks or €200 was still quite a lot of money!

So I stuck around.

And watched really carefully.

And then I saw it.

I’m not entirely sure how it’s done. But what a scam!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

The “tourists” who had “won,” weren’t tourists at all!

They were friends and mates of the game organisers and were involved with scamming pretty much each and every legitimate tourist.

Not only that, but the guy issuing the cups somehow kept the ball in his hands so that all the cups were empty!

And if, like myself, you insist the cups be checked as evidence that the ball was actually still under one of the cups, the guy then dropped the ball under the cup, in the same motion as lifting it up!

I’m not entirely sure how it’s done.

But what a scam!

I protested, and asked for my money back, but they insisted that I leave their space.

And like I said, Alexanderplatz was a rough place in those days and I still had 400 Deutsche Marks or €800 in my purse, so just to be sure that I wasn’t being followed, I took a taxi back!

What an idiot and a fool I was!

And that was how I lost 100 Deutsche Marks or €200, just like that!

HOW I GOT SCAMMED IN BERLIN!

Images of Berlin Alexanderplatz.
How I got scammed in Berlin!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and stupidity, are my very own!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

For more of what to do if you’ve been scammed, and how to avoid it in the future, follow my blog!

You might be well-travelled, but you can still be scammed!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I got scammed in Berlin!

Have you ever been scammed? Do you think I’m an idiot? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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So is it worth going to ITB Berlin? Yes! It most certainly is!

ITB Berlin – Indonesia – ©2017 Messe Berlin

Sadly, it’s over!

What’s that?

Ah! Come on now. Where have you been the last week? And have you seen my Twitter and Facebook feeds?

The ITB Berlin 2017 is oooooover!

For now!

Waaaah!

Back to the question above though. So is it worth going to ITB Berlin?

SO IS IT WORTH GOING TO ITB BERLIN?

Berlin on top of the world from the 24th floor & the fastest elevator in Europe, at the Panorama Punkt Berlin!

Let’s see!

Before I became the awesome travel blogger that I am today, I used to attend the ITB Berlin as an ordinary member of the public. It was one of the highlights of my year!

I was so shy!

Because the first time that I went to the ITB Berlin, I had never ever met a blogger before in real life. Not ever!

My blog was so new at the time, that I wasn’t even accredited! However, the  ITB Berlin Press Team were so nice and supportive, and gave me a VIP ticket so that I could attend!

And it really turned my life around ‘cos not only did I cover the Berlin Music Video Awards as a validated member of the press just two (2) months later, but it was at this very same ITB Berlin, that I made a contact with a lady from France who then invited me for my first press /FAM trip!

In fact, not only was I the only British person, I was also the only blogger!

It didn’t take long before I was on German TV, acting as a side-kick moderator on a live German evening show, in the German press, and having a documentary made about my life as a British blogger living in this wonderful city of Berlin!

I know!

Drinking a very important cup of tea!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

If you’re reading about the ITB for the first time, here’s what I previously wrote:

But it doesn’t hurt to reiterate the facts:

WHAT IS THE ITB?

ITB Berlin - The Leading Travel Industry Think Tank!
ITB Berlin – The Leading Travel Industry Think Tank!

The ITB Berlin stands for the Internationale Tourismus-Börse or in English, the international tourism trade fair.

The ITB represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.

It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank, in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform, with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!

Phew!

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT THEN?

ITB Berlin – ©2017 Messe Berlin

Well, the ITB Berlin is the foremost business platform for the global tourism business. We’re talking:

  • 5 continents
  • 26 halls
  • 187 Countries
  • 200 trendsetting events
  • 400 speakers
  • 1,000 Qualified Top Buyers
  • 1,092 stands
  • 10,000 Exhibitors
  • 26,000 Convention Visitors and Participants attending lectures, discussions, and workshops
  • 60,000 Private Visitors
  • 120,000 Trade Visitors
  • 160,000 Square meters
  • Bloggers from 25 countries all over the world
  • Over 5 days within 8th March – 12th March, 2017
  • Bringing in a €7 billion turnover to Germany!
A khudu in Botswana!

Omigosh!

If you’re at the ITB, you’re in good company.

The ITB Berlin is a huge deal and the partner country for 2017 is Botswana with the motto: – #ilovebotswana.

Wow!

SAFETY IN TRAVEL!

I’m a big advocate for smart travel and that includes safety and security.

I’m a big advocate for smart travel and that includes safety and security.

Sadly, it’s many a reason that certain destinations are low in tourism numbers and not likely to increase any time soon.

Even my beloved Berlin had issues brought upon, not by a lack of security, but by strike action at the airport!

Having said that, where better to “be stranded” than in trendy hipster Berlin!

The Hamburg stand at ITBBerlin was very busy & here's why - An artificially intelligent tourism robot!
The Hamburg stand at ITBBerlin was very busy & here’s why – An artificially intelligent tourism robot!

Nevertheless, the mainstay of this years’ convention leaned heavily on the increasing concern for safety whilst travelling abroad, geopolitical challenges on whether destinations are able to secure confidence for holidaymakers, artificial intelligence, medical tourism, and sustainable tourism.

Safety and security was such an issue, that there was a huge level of media attention and political interest!

Safety and security was such an issue, that there was a huge level of media attention and political interest!

In fact, ITB Berlin this year played host to:

  • 11 State Secretaries
  • 45 Ambassadors
  • 72 Government Ministers
  • 110 Foreign Delegations
  • 450 bloggers from 34 countries
  • And over 5,000 accredited journalists from 76 countries around the world!

How cool is that?

Book your hotel here!

ITB BERLIN IS TRENDING!

Keep Calm and go to ITB Berlin! ©2017 Messe Berlin

The name ITB Berlin stands for a unique success story and things that are made in Berlin.

What began in 1966, as a small overseas import trade show, has developed into a true global success.

What originally, was only an event of five (5) participating countries and regions, has grown to over 180 with an exhibition space expanding from 580 m² to 160,000 m² today!

In more than five (5) decades, so many societal and political changes have taken place. 

As far as the tourism industry is concerned, Germany has developed into one of the world’s most important economic factors!

Around the world with Heidi Hetzer &amp; her Old-Timer car!<br /> ITB Berlin ©2017 Messe Berlin
Around the world with Heidi Hetzer & her Old-Timer car!
ITB Berlin ©2017 Messe Berlin

Today, the ITB Berlin is the leading trade show of the travel industry and, at the same time, the biggest travel show for the German public!

 2017 IS LOOKING GREAT!

Accor Hotels – #myjourneybegins. It most certainly does!

This has been the most successful ITB travel trade conference for me yet, because:

  • It’s in my expat home-town of Berlin so I don’t have to pay for anything, and I know where everything is!
  • It’s free of charge for bloggers and the press!
  • I made so many professional contacts
  • I had so many appointments which had me going from floor to floor that even though I used the press shuttle bus, my feet swelled up ‘cos I was wearing ankle boots, and I tend to walk like a man!
  • My Blogger Speed Dating appointment sheet was filled to the brim with Destinations & Marketing people wanting to meet me face-to-face
  • I have official invitations to come visit many of the chosen destinations of this year
  • I caught up with other international bloggers
  • I was invited to so many After-Hours parties, it became over-whelming…
  • Exciting news! A writer asked for one of my old Scotland photographs to be added to their book for a film tour, so the next time you go to the Scottish Highlands, you could be looking at one of my photographs!
Don’t risk collapse at the ITB Berlin. Fill your belly!
  • Most endearing of all, as I was browsing through the Poland section, looking for destination information, one of the girls started staring. I gave her my card to give to her boss, and she just started screaming!

She recognised my name and was thrilled and excited to finally meet and see the writer of THAT post! She told her neighbours and they all began rushing to take photographs & giggling! I mean, that post now has over forty-five thousand (45,000) views!

Apparently. In Poland, I’m a bit of a notorious star!

And the title of said piece: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go!

Apparently, in Poland I’m a bit of a notorious star!

See you next week!

SO IS IT WORTH GOING TO ITB BERLIN? YES! IT MOST CERTAINLY IS!

Bloggers having fun via Vienna House at ITB Berlin!

This article is isn’t sponsored and the awesome time that had at the ITB Berlin, is my very own!

In March and April, I’ll be on the road again to Austria & Croatia!

On 15.03.17, I’ll be at the Spring Reception for the British Community at the British Embassy in Berlin.

From 07.03.17 – 09.03.17, our friends – the British musical and comedy duo – Carrington Brown – will be performing Germany’s premiere of Carrington-Brown feat. The Swonderful Orchestra: Comedy meets Classics at Tipi!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in March, I haven’t a clue where you would rather be!

Watch this space!

So is it worth going to ITB Berlin? Yes! It most certainly is!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

So is it worth going to ITB Berlin? Yes! It most certainly is!

Do you think Berlin is worth it? Have you ever been to the ITB Berlin?Share & let me know below! 

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!