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How to Avoid Crime and Scams in Bulgaria | #ukscams | #datingscams | #european | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating


Bulgaria is one of southeastern Europe’s most interesting destinations, and – for now at least – it isn’t swamped by masses of visitors every summer. Find out how to avoid crime and scams with these tips from our safety expert.



Photo © iStock/Marholev

Thankfully the smaller crowds also mean petty crime is less common. But, you can still run into trouble, and there are pickpockets in certain areas. These places shouldn’t be avoided altogether, but you should be sure to exercise extra caution.

Crime hotspots in Bulgaria

In Sofia, Sveta Nedelya Square and its underpass near the Sheraton Hotel and the underpass to Central Station are popular places for criminals, some criminals may be on drugs – so avoid these areas if you are alone or late at night.

The red light district near Pliska Hotel and park areas near Lion’s Bridge, or Lvov Most, also are considered unsafe, and occasionally muggings do occur.

Resort areas like Sunny Beach and mountain ski resorts can also be problematic with their growing population of scammers and criminals, who can be forceful and persistent.

Types of trouble in Bulgaria

  • Groups of children may try to pickpocket or mug you in the cities of Sofia and Varna
  • Although rare, bag slashers have been reported cutting purse straps on public transport
  • If you rent a car, park it in a secure area, and be wary of strangers who come to your assistance when your tires have been slashed/deflated – it was most likely that person, who also stole your belongings from your car
  • Red light districts are always magnets for criminals, and in Bulgaria there are some gangs who operate in nightclubs and casinos of the red light districts – sometimes violent attacks may break out, including shootings and bombings between rival groups
  • Sex workers may rob people as well
  • Do not buy drugs on the street or in the clubs
  • At Sunny Beach, watch out for criminals posing as police who will attempt to fine you for vague offenses – always ask to see their ID
  • At some ski resorts, vendors will try to sell you “traditional” Bulgarian bells – they usually aren’t genuine
  • ATM card skimming, credit card and internet fraud have become popular in Bulgaria
  • Take caution when withdrawing from ATMs, and try to avoid ATMs facing the street – especially at night
  • Scammers can also get your card details via unsecured wifi networks, so use only protected wifi networks that restaurants, cafes, hotels and others will offer.

Gypsies and begging in Bulgaria

There is also reported to be a gypsy element in Bulgaria which popularly gets associated with general beggars and people selling trinkets and other items. Keep a close eye on your belongings while in crowded areas.

Beggars often don’t take no for an answer, and may hang around you for a while before they finally give up. If they try to sell you pirated DVDs or souvenirs, give a firm no and do not entertain the idea. Eventually, they will leave you alone.

These people may ask how long you’re staying, and hassle you each and every day to buy something. If you tell them to leave you alone when you first see them, chances are they’ll not try again.

Beware of these scams, from the currency exchange to taxi drivers who are ripping-off tourists. 

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