Exploring Travel Scams In Bulgaria: What You Need To Know

Travel Scams in Bulgaria include Money Exchange Scams, Taxi Scams, Distractions Scams, Fake Police, Restaurant Bills Scams, Fake Hotel Confirmations, ATM Skimming, Wi-Fi Scams, Friendship Bracelets Scams, and so on.

However, in this guide, we'll explore various scams that tourists might encounter in Bulgaria and provide tips on how to stay vigilant and protect yourself.


Situated in the heart of the Balkans, Bulgaria invites you to discover its fascinating history, diverse landscapes, and lively culture. Hence, from the ancient wonders of Sofia to the golden beaches along the Black Sea, Bulgaria paints a picturesque canvas for every traveler.

As a member of the European Union, it warmly welcomes visitors to explore its hidden gems, vibrant cities, and timeless traditions. Come along as we journey through Bulgaria, where history and beauty come together to create a captivating destination just waiting to be explored.

About Travel Scams In Bulgaria
Image Credit: @NakNakNak, Pixabay.com

A Simple Guide to Avoiding Travel Scams In Bulgaria

1. Watch Your Money Exchange

Scam: People might offer to change your money at great rates but might give you less than promised.

Tip: Only use official exchange places or ATMs. Check rates and count your money carefully.

2. Stay Smart with Taxis

Scam: Some taxi drivers may take you the long way, making your fare higher than it should be.

Tip: Stick to official taxis or apps. Confirm the fare before your ride.

3. Don't Fall for Distractions

Scam: Someone might distract you while their friend swipes your stuff.

Tip: Keep an eye on your things in crowded places and be wary of strangers.

4. Beware of Fake Police

Scam: Fake cops might ask for ID and fine you for made-up reasons.

Tip: Ask for ID and, if unsure, find a real officer or police station.

5. Check Your Restaurant Bill

Scam: Some places might charge more than what's on the menu.

Tip: Review your bill and challenge anything that looks off.

6. Avoid Fake Hotel Confirmations

Scam: Fake websites might confirm your booking, but the hotel won't know about it.

Tip: Book through trusted sites, confirm with hotels directly, and double-check details.

7. Watch Out for ATM Skimming

Scam: Criminals might use devices on ATMs to steal your card details.

Tip: Use ATMs in safe places, cover your PIN, and check your account often.

8. Say No to Friendship Bracelets

Scam: Friendly locals might give you a bracelet and then demand payment.

Tip: Politely decline such offers to avoid unexpected costs.

9. Be Smart on Public Transportation

Scam: Fake ticket checkers might try to fine you.

Tip: Verify IDs and buy tickets from official places.

10. Verify Your Tour Guide

Scam: Fake guides might give wrong info or vanish with your money.

Tip: Use trusted tour operators and check your guide's credentials.

11. Watch for Wi-Fi Scams

Scam: Cybercriminals might set up fake Wi-Fi to steal your info.

Tip: Use secure Wi-Fi, and avoid sensitive stuff in public.

12. Check Your Rental Car

Scam: Some rental places might overcharge for damages.

Tip: Document the car's condition and choose well-known rental companies.

13. Stick to Official Tourist Info

Scam: Unofficial info might lead you to bad services or places.

Tip: Rely on official tourist centers and double-check recommendations.

14. Don't Fall for Accommodation Tricks

Scam: Hotels might promise a lot but deliver less.

Tip: Read reviews from different places and contact past guests.

15. Don't Accept Broken Taxi Meters

Scam: Taxi drivers might claim their meter is broken and charge more.

Tip: Insist on the meter or agree on a fare beforehand.

16. Handle Language Barriers Wisely

Scam: Some might pretend not to understand prices.

Tip: Clearly agree on prices and use translation apps if needed.

17. Avoid Street Games

Scam: Street games might end with unexpected charges.

Tip: Skip street activities to dodge surprise costs.

18. Say No to Unofficial Tours

Scam: People might offer help but ask for money later.

Tip: Politely refuse help and use official maps or GPS.

19. Check Parking Fines Carefully

Scam: Fake attendants might give fake fines.

Tip: Confirm with local authorities if in doubt.

20. Inspect Your Souvenirs

Scam: Vendors might swap your purchase with something cheap.

Tip: Check your stuff before leaving and be wary of changes.

FAQs About Travel Scams in Bulgaria

1. Is Bulgaria a Safe Place to Visit?

Absolutely, Bulgaria is generally safe for travelers. Though, it's crucial to stay alert and follow basic safety tips.

2. What Do I Do in an Emergency or Encounter any Travel Scams in Bulgaria?

If you face an emergency, dial 112 for immediate assistance. Also, reach out to your local contacts, tour operator, or hotel for help in case of travel scams.

3. Any Concerns About Safety After Storms or Disasters?

Yes, especially after events like Storm Daniel, stay updated on local conditions. Likewise, check weather updates, road status, and follow advice from authorities. Furthermore, keep an eye on social media and news for the latest info.

4. Do I Need a Visa for Bulgaria as an Irish Citizen?

No, if you're Irish, you don't need a visa for visits under three months. But, for longer stays, register with the Ministry of Interior.

5. How Can I Ensure Safe Travel Within Bulgaria and avoid Travel Scams In Bulgaria?

Stay aware, especially at night. Use trusted transportation, keep valuables secure, as well as be cautious at ATMs. Meanwhile, avoid political events and respect local customs. Moreover, take advice from authorities if needed.

6. How Can I Check if a Hotel Website in Bulgaria is Legit?

Make sure the hotel website has a valid SSL certificate, a future "registered till" date, and positive reviews. Moreover, be wary if the owner's identity is hidden. However, consider the website's age and hosting country.

7. What Travel Scams In Bulgaria Should I Watch Out for?

Be aware of money exchange tricks, taxi fare scams, distractions leading to theft, fake police encounters, overcharging at restaurants, and fake hotel confirmations. Likewise, stay informed and stay vigilant.

8. How Can I Guard Against Travel Scams In Bulgaria: ATM Skimming?

To stay safe from ATM skimming, use ATMs in secure places, cover your PIN, as well as regularly check your account for any unusual transactions. Hence, if an ATM looks suspicious, be cautious.

9. Can I Rely on Public Transport and Tour Guides to avoid Travel Scams in Bulgaria?

Public transport is generally reliable, but watch out for fake ticket checkers. However, for tours, use reputable operators and verify your guide's credentials. Also, stick to official tourist information to avoid unreliable services.

10. What if I Face Language Barriers in Bulgaria?

If language is a challenge, agree on prices upfront, use translation apps, as well as insist on written agreements. Furthermore, be cautious of those who pretend not to understand to avoid scams.

Our Closing Statement On Travel Scams in Bulgaria

By staying informed and practicing caution, you can make the most of your Bulgarian adventure while minimizing the risks associated with common tourism scams. Remember, an informed traveler is a prepared traveler.

Now that you know our final verdict for Travel Scams in Bulgaria, here’s what we suggest you do:

Check Comments:

To learn more about Travel Scams in Bulgaria, check the comments below. If there are no comments, use the points mentioned earlier to check it yourself or follow our “Travel Scams in Bulgaria” article as above.

Spread Word:

One of the best ways to help fellow travelers stay informed about Travel Scams in Bulgaria is by sharing this article through your social media networks. By doing so, you contribute to creating a community of well-informed travelers.

Report Scams:

If you want to report other scams, file complaints, or share reviews about different travel or tourist scams, please visit our “Report A Scam, File Complaint, Or Post Your Review” section. There, you can share your reviews or complaints regarding those specific companies or activities.

More About Travel Scams In Bulgaria

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So, remember these tips to have a safe and fun time in Bulgaria. Being smart and cautious will keep you safe and let you enjoy your visit to this beautiful place. Have a great trip!

author avatar
De Suman Roka Author, Founder
I'm De Suman Roka, the author, editor, and founder of this website. Engaged in online business since 2009, I've been researching various scams since 2014, making me an expert in identifying scams. For additional details about me, our team, and our work, please visit our "About Us" page. Find more info about me on Twitter and Facebook.

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