Suggested pre trip reading .pdf

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Staying street
street smart
Buenos Aires
With its colourful neighbourhoods, passionate porteños and vibrant nightlife, Buenos Aires is
an exciting place to visit.
However, like any capital city, it pays to be aware of your new surroundings. Scams and
potential dangers await the unsuspecting tourist in daily situations, often involving the
transport system.
We at The Argentine Experience want you to stay safe and enjoy your holiday. With that in
mind we have put together the following tips to help you easily avoid falling foul of these
common scams.

One of the most common scams to look out for when paying for your taxi in Buenos Aires is
the 'fake money swap'. This scam is quick and well practiced, but is easily avoidable with the
right know-how.
Below is an example of a real 100 peso note and the characteristics you should look out for.

The taxi scam works like this: you’ll be sitting in the back seat and when you arrive at your
destination you’ll give the driver a 100 or 50 peso note to pay the meter. The driver will have
a fake 100 or 50 peso note ready somewhere easily accessible and swap it quickly out of your
line of sight. They will then hold the new note up to the light and turn around and tell you it is
“falso” (fake). Obviously, as a polite tourist, you will apologise and hand over another, where
the same process will occasionally be repeated.
This situation can easily be avoided by using the following method. First, if at all possible,
don’t ever give taxi drivers a 100 or 50 peso note, always try to keep enough smaller
notes on you to pay. However, if you only have 100s and 50s, before you hand one over to
the driver, look at the top right hand corner of the note. Here you will find a unique
identification number for the note. Before you hand over the note make it very obvious that
you have read the number, and remember the last the digits.
To be safe, you can also fold the note twice, providing extra difficulty for the driver to
replicate the note.
By taking these simple precautions you will eliminate the possibility of this happening to you.
However, always look at your change before you leave the line of sight of the driver.
It is very common for drivers to put a fake 50 peso note on the bottom of your change, and
unless you look for it, you will only realise when you are in the embarrassing situation of
trying to use it.

This scam is particularly bad at the airport. Avoid arriving in the country without having a
private transfer waiting for you. These are prepaid and no money needs to change hands.
If you haven’t prearranged a private taxi prior to your arrival, you can book a Remis (private
taxi) inside the airport at one of their desks. Avoid touts offering taxis outside the terminal as
they will try and charge you an exuberant rate.
If you do take a regular taxi from the airport or in the city, ensure you have small notes on
you to pay. The easiest defence is not to give taxis the opportunity. Fake money is almost
always only 100 and 50 peso notes.
The older the taxi driver, the less likely this scam is. This scam is almost exclusively carried
out by young and middle-aged men.
After years of trying, testing and re-testing different companies, we have finally found, and
can happily recommend/book the safest, friendliest and most punctual service in town.
(All payments are made online, no cash needed)
From Buenos Aires EZE international airport to the city or reverse - USD$50
(takes approximately 50 minutes).
To arrange your transfer, please email us at

The underground train system is an extremely convenient, cheap and fast (when its not rush
hour) way to travel around the city. However, it is full of both individual and teams of
One of the most common tricks pickpockets employ is to have a coat hanging over their arm,
hiding their hand. This allows them to open loose handbags or steal from baggy pockets.

The pickpockets in Buenos Aires often work in pairs.
One of the most popular tricks pickpockets use is when a large group of people enter the train
at the same time and surround you. As the train rocks from side to side, they use this as an
excuse to gently bump into you. While one person is busy distracting your attention by bumping into you, another can be opening your bag or pockets.
However, by taking a few simple precautions, the subte is a pretty low risk mode of transport.

Always carry handbags or backpacks in front of you, with your arms wrapped
around them.
Never carry your wallet in your back pocket. Keep your hands on your wallet and
phone for the duration of the journey.
If you have a bag and phone/wallet in your pocket, before entering the train put all your
valuables into your bag and hold your bag in front of you. Only once out on the street should
you carefully put your valuables back in your pockets.

On the street
Another trick that can happen on the street involves the first pickpocket distracting you by
‘accidentally’ spilling either food or liquid on you, or pointing out ‘bird poo’, then helping you
to clean your clothes. While your back is turned, their partner helps themselves to your
wallet or phone.
It is easy as a polite tourist to get sucked in by this scam. The best way to avoid being taken
in is to back away and clean the food or liquid off you later. On a crowded street, where
perhaps you can’t move away easily, make sure you keep a tight hold of your possessions
while they clean it off for you and do not allow yourself to be distracted.
By keeping all of your valuables in a safe place, either in your hand or in a bag
clutched to your chest, you can avoid being an easy target.

The Argentine Experience
Fitz Roy 2110 (corner of Fitz Roy and Soler)
Palermo Hollywood
+54 9 1144346643
+54 9 1138967552

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