A TRAVELLER has warned holidaymakers about a scam currently being carried out in popular Italian holiday destinations.
Tiktoker Kacie Rose came across fraudsters using paintings to force tourists to part ways with their cash during a recent trip to Florence.
She made a video for her almost 1 million followers explaining how the scam works and how to get out of it if you are caught out.
The scammers will place their seemingly valuable paintings on the ground in the middle of the street.
When unsuspecting tourists accidentally step on the cheap printed pictures, the scam artists move in and demand money, sometimes as much as €300 (£252) according to Kacie.
In her video she said: “I’m in Florence and I just saw a scam that you need to watch out for.
“See those paintings on the ground? That’s the scam.
“Basically, what these people will do is they will put paintings down on the ground in really crowded tourist areas or corners that have really really heavy foot traffic.
“Then, when some tourist inevitably steps on it because they’re busy looking up at all the pretty buildings and not down at their feet, they will demand money for the painting that you stepped on.
“No matter what, do not pay them. It is illegal.”
Kacie’s advice for anyone who accidentally treads on the paintings is simply don’t pay, or insist that the matter be settled in front of a police officer.
She said: “Either just walk away, or if it’s escalating, tell them that you’ll pay them in front of a police officer and then go find a police officer.
“So don’t step on the paintings and if you do, don’t pay them.”
Several people commented on the video, with some saying they had encountered the scammers in other parts of Italy.
One wrote: “When I was younger I saw these in Rome, they place the drawing carefully overlapping one another so easier to collect if police walks by.”
Another said: “When we visited we were chased by someone with these paintings. They finally left us alone when one of the paintings flew out of their hands from wind.”
A third person said they had almost fallen for the scam on their visit to Italy.
They wrote: “I went over one near the Duomo. The guy grabbed my arm very hard. We yelled at each other then I walked away.”
One user asked Kacie what would happen if you paid the scammers.
She explained that they can sometimes charge hundreds of Euros to unsuspecting tourists.
She said: “You’ll be out money (anywhere from 30€-300€) and likely a little shook up from the experience so like… better not.”
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