Common Amsterdam Scams

Common Amsterdam Tourist Scams You Should Know About

Whenever we visit somewhere we like to make sure we know what scams to watch out for. There’s nothing worse than going on holiday and losing your spending money to a scammer in the street, it’s even worse when you know you’ve been scammed but can’t do anything about it.

Thankfully, Amsterdam isn’t that bad when it comes to scams, unlike other countries. However, there are still some tourist scams in Amsterdam that you need to keep an eye out for so you don’t get scammed. Take a look at some of the Amsterdam scams below and stay safe on holiday!

Amsterdam Tourist Scams

Although Amsterdam is ranked as one of the most safest places to visit in the world, that doesn’t mean you won’t still have scammers. In fact, due to Amsterdam being so safe, this means scammers need to find new and inventive ways to scam tourists.

Amsterdam Fake Police Scam

In this scam scammers will disguise themselves as fake police officers, they’ll normally flash a convincing police badge and insist on searching your bag for drugs or counterfeit goods or money. While they’re searching through your bag they’ll take whatever they think they can sell before giving you your bag back and disappearing.

Police in Amsterdam hardly ever request to search your bags, drugs aren’t legal in Amsterdam but the police know where the tourism money comes from so they don’t pursue it. If this happens to you say no and phone the police yourself while keeping a safe distance.

Amsterdam Street Dealers

We know why a lot of people go to Amsterdam and if that’s why you go, this scam is one you MUST watch out for. Street dealers will hang around popular areas, normally down the road from a cafe or in the red light district. They will offer you harmful drugs at a discounted price. These are normally chemicals that shouldn’t be in the human body and have been known to cause death.

If you’re going to partake, do it in a cafe or a well known establishment and never buy anything from someone standing outside trying to flag you down. They may also give you a “freebie” which will turn out to not be free once you’ve sampled and they’ll threaten you for money by saying they’ll call the police.

Schiphol Airport Taxis Scam

This is one I know about first hand. On my first trip to Amsterdam, I ended up in a taxi with a family member. The journey was supposed to cost €15 however the taxi we got tried to charge us €60. When we argued they said they’d call the police so in the end we had to pay them, what’s worse is when unloading our luggage they stole €300.

The Dutch are aware of this scam although hotels rarely do anything to help if you seek it from them, that’s what we found when we stayed at the Iron Horse Hotel (do not, ever, stay there). Make sure you get a taxi with a meter or order it through a legit company.

Amsterdam Pickpockets

This isn’t just part of the Amsterdam scams, it’s a worldwide issue but in Amsterdam, it’s a lot worse. Pickpockets will target tourists in clubs, and busy streets where many people are bumping into you so you won’t notice. One of the main places for Amsterdam pickpockets is Dam Square. Always keep your belongings in a safety bag if possible and never sticking out of your pocket.

Used Public Transport Tickets Amsterdam Scam

We came across this in our latest visit to Amsterdam in 2022. Scammers will try and sell you fake transport tickets close to a tram stop. They will tell you that it will work on the trams, but it won’t. They often find these tickets on the floor and sell them to you at a discounted price. The tram drivers also won’t do anything to help, the trams get very busy and sometimes help isn’t an option.

One way to avoid this is to always tap on and off on the tram using a card or your phone, that way there will be no need for tickets. Get a Travel Money Card to save hassle.

Amsterdam Scammers

It used to be obvious who the scammers were but these days they blend in so well. That’s why you need to know what Amsterdam tourist scams are out there so you don’t get tricked, there’s nothing worse than getting scammed to ruin your holiday!

Let us know if there are any Amsterdam scams that we left off this list and we’ll do our best to add them in. Have you fallen for any of these scams? It happens to the best of us so don’t feel bad, just know what to look for in the future.

Common Amsterdam Scams To Watch Out For!

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