Scam City is a show on the Travel+Escape channel that follows its host, Conor Woodman, as he travels to ten of the world’s most popular cities to find out what scams are pulled on tourists. Of course, Buenos Aires is on the list and also probably one of the more interesting episodes.
On his visit here he found lots of counterfeit money, taxi drivers who swap bills on tourists, the black widow scam (avoid bringing strange women back to your hotel room) and of course, pickpockets. While some of it seems like it may be a bit staged, it definitely makes for interesting viewing.
I started to think about what scams I had fallen for in my 4+ years here, and happily didn’t think I’d fallen for any of these. Then I remembered the one casa de cambio (exchange house) that I used to go to by Alto Palermo. I had changed money there many times, but one day when I went they gave me back a US hundred dollar bill and told me it was fake. Now, these were bills that I had brought from the US and in all my life I never had a fake one. I have to think that they did the swap on me. So, yes, I guess I did get scammed at least once here.
Anyhow, check out the video below (note: these videos keep disappearing from YouTube, so just Google “Scam City Buenos Aires” if the links do not work):
And, if you’re traveling to Buenos Aires, don’t worry too much. These things tend to happen less than this show makes you think. You need to practice some vigilance when you’re here and know what to look out for, but most people never experience these scams. Oh yeah, and avoid La Boca like the plague. I never saw the attraction to that over-priced tourist trap.
They also have episodes in Prague, Rio, Barcelona, Rome, Delhi, Istanbul, Bangkok, Las Vegas and Marrakech that are worth checking out.