So, you decided that you would like to do a BMW European Delivery, you have spent countless hours researching and deciding what car you’re going to purchase, you have also made all the arrangements, pick-up date, flight plans, hotel reservations, itinerary. Before the beginning of the trip, you have purchased european maps, looked for ways to deal with your jet lag, so everything seems pretty much in order, right? Well, not really, have you done any research on how to protect yourself and your belongings while driving your BMW and visiting the european cities? I thought so, I know I didn’t when I picked up my BMW 750, and I have almost fell in the trap of some european “scam innovators”.
But don’t worry, I’m here to save the day, or to save you. This is not a complete list but it will give you an idea and from here, you can protect yourself. By the way, I love Europe and the people there, so this is not a cheap shot at the european population nor the european countries, every country has their “unique” elements so we can’t judge everyone based on small group.
1. First thing, it’s important to be aware of the tried-and-true ploys that petty thieves use . . . and how to evade them. A common scheme in Italy is the “street fight” where one little boy pretends to beat up another. When the victim approaches you in tears, asking for money so he can get home to safety, you pull out your wallet — and the kids snatch it and race off. NEVER take your wallet out in that case and you should never walk around with your wallet just hanging out of your pants or around your neck.
2. The second popular con scheme will be the “messy spill” .One thief spills, squirts, or throws something on you — in Rome, it might be trash, in Madrid mustard — while an accomplice distracts you by helping clean it off, which causes enough of a commotion for a third thief to grab your belongings.
Bottom line, just walk away and clean up yourself, don’t accept any Kleenex or anybody else to try to clean up your clothes, and very important, DO NOT put your bags down in the street.
3. The “broken” ATM. Your card gets stuck in a cash machine. A kind observer offers to help, and either gets close enough to see the PIN you enter or asks for it in order to “fix” the machine . . . .In reality, he has rigged the ATM so that your card sticks inside. After you give up and go off to call your bank, he extracts it, punches in your PIN, and makes a sizable withdrawal. DO NOT EVER let a stranger get a hold of your card nor let anyone close enough to see the keypad. The best thing do If your card gets stuck is to enter the same false PIN three times. If no one has tampered with the ATM, it will often retain your card, and you can later notify the bank. If the machine was rigged, the scam artist won’t have your correct PIN.
4. And we’re getting to the part where you’re BMW or other car is involved. This has happened to a friend of mine that did a BMW European Delivery pick-up so it’s very real.
“The tire slash” . You pull into a gas station, where your tire is surreptitiously punctured by someone who then offers to replace it — of course, for a hefty fee, in euros btw. Or, on a highway, thieves cause you to have a flat tire and, while one signals you to pull over and helps you change it, an accomplice steals the valuables in your car.(this is pretty common in some of the Eastern European countries). Don’t accept unsolicited assistance on the road from anyone other than a uniformed police officer. And never stop to check a map on the side of the highway. Pull into a roadside restaurant parking lot and study it there instead.
I hope this little guide/handbook has given you some valuable information, I will try to post some more in a future article. Once again, be aware of your surroundings, stay safe and enjoy your new BMW car on the european highways.