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

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By Jove. I’m doing a film documentary about being a British expat in Berlin. Isn’t it marvellous?

Berlin - very British.

Isn’t it marvellous?

In just a few days Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, will be on our shores.

By “our,” I mean the German shores.

We are all.

Very.

Excited.

Cool Britannia!
Cool Britannia!

By excited, I mean strolling briskly, blushing and flapping slightly. No jumping around, collapsing and screaming.

We are British after all.

And we aim to keep a coolness about us on the outside while in a sense of panic and dismal anxiety on the inside!

What is it to be British?

God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!
God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!

Last year, I wrote a piece about How to Be British. And you were all extremely interested.

Most of the world seem to be fascinated by all things British and Germany is no exception. I mean, the Royal Family today stems from the Prussian Bavarian Saxony root of Queen Victoria from the House of Hannover (after whom I am named as another Young Victoria..) and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (in Bavaria, Germany) and of course, who isn’t curious and fascinated by the Brits who are here.

Of which I am one.

On the cricket field at one of my best friend's wedding on the Isle of Wight.
On the cricket field at one of my best friend’s wedding on the Isle of Wight.

Need I remind you that I am The British Berliner?

Need I tell you that being British and also living in the city of Berlin makes a rather interesting combination?

And it all makes perfect sense.

Free & Fair Justice in the British legal system.

Being British is the epitome of a nation of history, tradition and fairness.

Being British is to have centuries behind what makes Britain today.

A British cream tea!

Being British is to welcome and linger on what is old such as cream teas, strawberries in the summer, and cricket as well as what is new, such as an Indian curry, the Notting Hill Carnival and BritPop!

Being British is to understand the issue of what is fair, true and right and what it is to be “a true gentleman,” to keep your word and be “a real lady.”

The Rugby League.
The Rugby League.

Being British is surely not about winning the race and becoming first, but about taking part, and shaking the hand of your opponent in “good combat.”

Being British is about getting the first round in of a pint of beer, drinking champagne on a sunny day in the park and drinking Pimms on a cricket pitch during a wedding, on the Isle of Wight.

Royal Ascot.
Royal Ascot.

It’s about going to an Art Gallery and learning some history, dressing up for the English National Theatre even though you’re not actually at the theatre, going to the Proms, watching Shakespeare in the Park, being at an artistic play adaptation of Nick Hornby´s NippleJesus at the English Theatre in Berlin or watching Shakespeare at a beach bar auditorium whilst tango dancing by the river!

Being British is having your husband – The Music Producer– publicly say that he loves you in front of all your friends, whilst sprawling across a blanket at the Live Open Air State Opera performance in Berlin, and then going to a roof-top bar and ordering a martini, to celebrate it!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" with the Pearly King in London.
“The Tall Young Gentleman” with the Pearly King in London.

Yes, being British means being the people from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the surrounding islands of the United Kingdom, fifteen (15) other realms from the Commonwealth which include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, fourteen (14) British Overseas Territories including Gibraltar, Bermuda and the Falkland Islands, seven (7) Australian external territories, two (2) New Zealand dependent territories, two (2) New Zealand associated states, and previously Hong Kong that was ceremoniously but reluctantly handed back to China in 1997!

Being British means being me!

Looking lovely in the summer at a festival!
Looking lovely in the summer at a festival!

As such, being British and having this blog which states quite clearly who I am, has made me everyone’s darling at the moment.

I’m pretty trendy right now!

Our British Flag © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Being British in Germany is so in!

This week, I’m going to be on German television.

And why?

Because I put myself out there, I worked really hard networking and meeting people, writing quality content, doing what I said that I would, writing about the things that I enjoy and being myself.

Me on the beach at Lloret de Mar, Spain.
Me on the beach at Lloret de Mar, Spain.

I didn’t do anything different.

I work as a corporate inter-cultural life coach, educational English language trainer and teacher in Berlin as well as working as an International Social Media Lifestyle, Expat & Travel Blogger!

In Prague reading something and looking all serious, but not completely serious!
In Prague reading something and looking all serious, but not completely serious!

I’m not an actor or model.

I’m not a multi-millionaire.

I didn’t win the lottery.

Bloggers here. Bloggers there. Bloggers everywhere!
Bloggers here. Bloggers there. Bloggers everywhere!

I didn’t quit my job.

I didn’t change my lifestyle.

I didn’t sell my stuff!

and then We Were Three.
and then We Were Three.

I don’t believe that you have to choose between having it all and having nothing at all. I just do exactly what it says on the tin:

The British Berliner is a lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin.

The Music Producer and I in Milan, Italy.
The Music Producer and I in Milan, Italy.

It focuses on a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half British – half German son, her promotion of British-German life, culture, history, literature, theatre, style, the English Language, travels around the world, what she does in normal every day life and where she goes.

Quite frankly, I do my very best to live a life of both style and travel!

Aside from this merry blog some of the German media gurus also found me via the British Embassy.

Thank you so much Harriet!

Queen Elizabeth & The Duke of Edinburgh - UK /GB

There’s a week of programmes about The Queen’s visit to Germany. Here’s where you can find me in the coming week.

  • Berlin – very british (the rbb reporter) – The rbb stands for the Berlin-Brandenburg TV Station and is a big deal around here. I’m going to be in a documentary about established British people in Berlin in which I am featured as a British expat blogger doing lifestyle things about town, and generally being my social charming self! It will come out on 23.06.15 from 20:15 – 20:45 and on 24.06.15 from 15:30 – 16:00.
  • The Reportage about British Berliners: Broadcasting Brits in Berlin or Die Reportage über die British Berliners: Briten in Berlin – is a radio interview on Inforadio about three (3) different types of British people living in the city, of which I am one and also, the only woman! It will go out on 23.06.15 at 09:45.

Queen Elizabeth II - UK /GB

  • Die Queen in Berlin – This special broadcast is also produced by the rbb or Berlin-Brandenburg TV Station. I’m going to be on the evening show of The Queen’s visit and will be the side-kick of the German moderator – Andrea Vannahme. I will be on the panel of British experts and we will be talking about British life in Berlin. It’s a LIVE programme broadcasting from the Tea House at the English Garden or the TeeHaus im Englischen Garten on 24.06.15 from 20:15 – 21:00.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Autumn/Winter 2015 in Berlin am 19.01.2015

I’m even going to get proper make up done by a professional for-TV-make-up-artist-and-everything, but I’ll be bringing my own foundation and lipstick.

Just in case LOL!

It’s all pretty serious as this particular cafe has great significance.

My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!
My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!

It’s not only a cafe but actually a huge thatched cottage in Berlin’s largest park (Tiergarten) surrounded by the very essence of what an English garden should look like, and was a gift from Britain to the city of Berlin after WWII.

In fact, Queen Elizabeth even planted an oak tree here on her very first visit to West Berlin in 1965!

Will history repeat itself?

Only time will tell.

Great Britain - You're Invited!

If you are interested, there are other programmes about British people in Berlin. It’s in German but you get the gist and will be pretty entertaining!

We’ve known for quite some time that The Queen would be visiting but if you’re in Berlin and would like the chance to see her, then here’s the programme:

Photo@ NASA Paul E. Alers
Photo@ NASA Paul E. Alers

The Queen enjoys seeing as many people as possible wherever she travels around the world.  With that in mind, here is a guide to where members of the public can get the best view of the Queen during the State Visit.

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will make a State Visit to the Federal Republic of Germany from 23rd to 26th June. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness are visiting at the invitation of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany – Herr Joachim Gauck.

What follows is the outline detail for the visit:

Queen Elizabeth II as she presented the new Colours to the Royal Regiment of Scotland by symbolically touching each Colour, during a ceremony at Holyrood Park in Scotland.

Tuesday 23 June

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will arrive at Berlin Tegel airport in the early evening and will be received by an honourary guard and a 21 gun salute.

Wednesday 24th June

The Queen will be at Schloss Bellevue on Wednesday June 24, at 10 to meet and greet British students from Nelson Mandela School.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will be ceremoniously welcomed with military honours at Bellevue Palace, the official residence of President Gauck.

They will then take a riverboat trip along the Spree starting around 11.15am.  This will start adjacent to Bellevue Palace, and their boat will then travel east, past the Chancellery, Hauptbahnhof, and towards the Reichstag.  The northern banks of the Spree will be accessible to the public on the entire stretch.  The southern banks of the Spree will be accessible around the House of World Cultures cafe terrace, the upper level of Spreebogenpark (opposite Hauptbahnhof), and between the Reichstag and Marschallbrücke.

The Queen will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery where The Queen will then lay a wreath at Germany’s Central Memorial for the victims of war and dictatorship.

"The Tall Young Gentleman" being very pleased with himself!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” being very pleased with himself! Technology and lectures. Umm Yeah!

In the afternoon, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will attend the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s Lecture at Berlin’s University of Technology to be delivered by Neil MacGregor. That evening The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will return to Bellevue Palace for a State Banquet hosted by President Gauck.

It is possible to see Queen Elizabeth on the banks of the River Spree, between Bellevue and at the Reichstag.

I thought I would put Shaun the Sheep in for light relief - He's British too!
I thought I would put Shaun the Sheep in for light relief – He’s British too!

Thursday 25th June

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will travel with President Gauck and Ms. Schadt to Frankfurt. The Queen and President Gauck, and the Duke of Edinburgh and Ms Schadt, will arrive outside the Paulskirche around 11.45am and listen to a short choral performance.  At around 12.30pm, they will walk from the Paulskirche to the Römer, and then at around 2.30pm they will appear on the balcony of the Römer, before walking through the square.  Large areas of Paulsplatz and Römerberg will be accessible to the public.

They will visit St Paul’s Church where they will meet representatives of the local community and hear about the significance of the building as the birthplace of parliamentary democracy in Germany. The Minister-President of Hesse will then host a lunch in honour of The Queen at the Römer, which has been Frankfurt’s City Hall for more than six centuries.

After leaving the Römer, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will greet members of the public in the central square. On returning to Berlin that evening, they will attend a Garden Party hosted by the British Ambassador.

It is possible to see Queen Elizabeth at Paulsplatz and Römerberg.

The "queen" in Shanghai.
The “queen” in Shanghai.

Friday 26th June

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will leave the Adlon at around 9.45am and have a brief walkabout in Pariser Platz. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will greet members of the public at Pariser Platz and view the Brandenburg Gate with the Mayor of Berlin. Pariser Platz will be open to the public but access will be controlled through points both at the Brandenburg Gate end and the Unter den Linden end.  There is a limit on how many people can enter the square, and once it is full the police will close the entry points.  So if you want to secure yourself a space, please arrive early!

They will then fly from Berlin to Celle Military Airport in Lower Saxony, and will visit the Bergen-Belsen memorial site. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will lay a wreath at the inscription wall.

They will then return to Celle Military Airport for a farewell with the local community, before departing for the UK.

It is possible to see Queen Elizabeth at Pariser Platz.

© Pascale Scerbo Sarro
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

It’s going to be a long but delightful week ahead.

Let me know what you think.

I’m awfully thrilled to see where the next level will be.

Schoolchildren wave Union flags as the Queen leaves a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral to celebrate its 300th anniversary.

The Queen will be visiting Berlin from 23.06.15 – 26.06.15 and I will be doing a documentary, a radio interview and also as an expert panel of Brits, on a Live TV show!

Berlin’s Mardi Gras (the 36th) – CSD – Christopher Street Day Gay Pride festivity, will be on 27.06.15.

Strictly Stand Up English Comedy Night will be taking place at the Quatsch Comedy Club on 01.07.15.

Berlin Fashion Week will be taking place from 06.07.15 – 10.07.15 and I have been accredited for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin (MBFWB) too! It’s going to so much fun.

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin, I can’t image where you would be.

June is going to be quite jolly & The Queen’s coming!

Watch this space!

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days - GB / UK.
Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days and their corgis! – GB / UK.

Have you ever been on TV or radio? Have you ever seen or come close to any members of the Royal Family? Do you like Britain?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or 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

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