Barcelona hosts the best backpacker horror stories.
Snatchings, street scams pickpockets, all the best stuff for those travel yarns.
This one of the more popular scams you’re likely to encounter on Las Ramblas.
Find the Lady
Hat and balls trick on cardboard table.
Balls are exchanged between hats, money is exchanged between Spaniards, all is jolly, all is normal..
Hat is chosen by Spainiard.
Spainiard loses bet, and no objection, continues with the game.
Gullable tourist approaches, spots the ball (which is peeping out from under hat), points at hat, encouraged by locals, withdraws money from pocket.
Guy snatches money and will not return it insisting that a hat is picked.
So he’s got your money. If you want it back, shout now, if not, go ahead, pick a hat and forever hold your peace. You won’t find the berry, (unless they want you to continue upping the stakes and drawing in a crowd).
Also, if you watch closely, all the money the locals exchange is folded bits of paper, passed to the bottom of the pile of notes.
You are like the unlikely fish attracted by the flashing lure and these guys see you coming and take your money off you.
If you don’t like losing money, pass them by or watch others lose. Don’t get involved, and don’t lose your temper, as I nearly did.