Last year I wrote about Scam City: Rio de Janeiro Brazil Edition Part 1 where I highlighted three common scams in Rio de Janeiro. On my second time around in Rio de Janeiro, I found out a lot more scams going on which I will elaborate in this post.
Introduction to Rio de Janeiro
American Airlines LAX-JFK A321T Business Class
American Airlines JFK Flagship Lounge
American Airlines JFK-GIG 767-300 Business Class
Sheraton Barra Rio de Janeiro Hotel Review Part 1
Sheraton Barra Rio de Janeiro Hotel Review Part 2
Windsor Atlantica Rio de Janeiro Hotel Review
The Sights and Sounds of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro
The Sights and Sounds of Centro Rio de Janeiro Part 2
The Sights and Sounds of Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro
The Sights and Sounds of Pao de Acucar in Rio de Janeiro
The Sights and Sounds of Niteroi in Rio de Janeiro
The Sights and Sounds of Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro
The Sights and Sounds of Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro
Scam City: Rio de Janeiro Brazil Edition Part 2
The Various Eats in Rio de Janeiro Brazil Part 2
Rio de Janeiro Airport American Airlines Admirals Club
American Airlines GIG-JFK 767-300 Business Class
American Airlines JFK-LAX A321T Business Class
The Airport ATM Scam
Most ATM’s in Rio de Janeiro’s Galeao International Airport have skimmers installed. I personally know of someone who recently got their ATM card skimmed at GIG airport and it was an unfortunate event. I highly advise you to avoid the 2nd floor bank of ATMs since scammers have pretty much hijacked them. The scammers install a skimmer device over the ATM card entry and install hidden camera nearby to see your PIN key movements. There have been reports that hackers have access to the encrypted PIN even if you cover your hand when entering your ATM PIN number. Once they obtain your card number and PIN, they will clone your card and drain your bank account over time.
The Airport Banco Safra Currency Exchange Scam
There’s a monopoly of currency exchange houses in Rio de Janeiro and Banco Safra seems to be the only one in town. Their currency exchange rates are HORRIBLE and you should never change money there unless you’re desperate.
The Airport Taxi Scam
I highlighted in Scam City: Rio de Janeiro Brazil Edition Part 1 where I got scammed for almost 100 reais for a short trip to Centro. If you really want to take a taxi from Rio de Janeiro International Airport, take one from Aerotaxi and Aerocoop which offers fixed prices to different zones. It costs R$47 ~ $19.12 USD to go to Centro Rio de Janeiro and costs $58-63 reais ~ $23.59 USD to Zona Sul (Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon). These prices are pretty amazing.
The Airport SIM Card Scam
I found a no name phone communications kiosk in Rio de Janeiro International Airport selling prepaid SIM Cards and phone cards. Be wary of buying a prepaid SIM Card with data from this shop because it’s not from a local Brazilian company and data prices can be exorbitant. You will want to buy a prepaid SIM card from Oi, Vivo, Claro, and TIM which have branches all over Rio de Janeiro. You’ll be able to find a retail TIM store in the airport itself.
Counterfeit Merchandise Scam
I found a lot of counterfeit merchandise being sold in Centro Rio de Janeiro, especially computer software.
I found fake merchandise being sold in the streets of downtown Niteroi where you can buy counterfeit Raybans, Rolexes, and pirated DVD movies.
As I highlighted back in Scam City: Rio de Janeiro Brazil Edition Part 1, never leave anything on the beach unattended because thieves are always on the lookout.
Where do you suggest changing money in Rio (and in SP for that matter)? It is a great help to make us aware of the many scams and or potential pitfalls, but a suggestion of where to actually go would be very helpful.
Many thanks! agb