Problems in Naples

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Tom Otley 12 Feb 2018
at 08:59

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  • JeffD

    I have just returned from a trip to Naples. I consider myself a seasoned traveller and aware of my surroundings.

    As I had a couple of hours to kill before heading out to the airport I decided to go for a walk around the city centre.

    I left the main railway station and starting walking out through a large square. At a road crossing there was a group of gentleman all selling cigarettes and other goods from supermarket plastic bags. This made me a little uncomfortable, but I decide to keep walking.

    I found myself surrounded and everyone vying for my attention. When I got free of the group I checked my bag and noticed it had been slashed open and my wallet was missing. I walked on a about 20 meters and found a quieter area. I subscribe to one of the services that will inform all your credit cards companies and banks if your cards are stolen.

    While making this call a very well dressed gentleman approached me and handed back my wallet. I was surprised and relieved. I checked and all my cards were present, which they were, but had obviously been taken out, and I assumed cloned. I continued with my call. I informed the operator of what had just happened and he said “that’s good so there is no need to cancel your cards” I was shocked by his attitude and insisted that he continued and cancelled my cards. He was very reluctant to do comply with my wishes but eventually after a further 5 minutes of discussion he did cancel all my cards.

    This is the first time anything like this has happened to me. Has anyone had a similar issue when trying to cancel cards ?


    Quite a clever scam – I’m surprised the ‘very well dressed gentleman’ didn’t ask you for a tip for rescuing your wallet from his fellow criminals, oops, I mean the thieves.

    I am surprised at the attitude of your bank but then I am constantly surprised at the attitude of banks. A couple of weeks ago my bank called me to verify two small and very much in pattern transactions on a CC. One was about £15 for a couple of books from WHS at LGW and the other was a train ticket from there to Brighton, about £12. Last week, I made an out of pattern transaction, in another country, for over £4000, which took me slightly over my credit limit, and that was never questioned.

    Unfortunately the type of situation you outlined is becoming increasingly common, but has been going on for a while in Italy. The country is now infested with (apparently) some 500,000 invaders/illegal immigrants and the authorities do little about it other than wring their hands and blame Frontex. I had to make a couple of short journeys on local Italian trains last week in and out of Milano Centrale and noticed that the station is becoming more and more third world in appearance and very threatening. The local trains (Trenord) are filthy and decrepit and full of above mentioned folk whom apparently the ticket staff do not approach to ask for tickets as there have been some incidents of violence and of course nobody wants to be called ‘racist’. Oddly though the racism works against us since my son and I were the only Caucasians on the trains and we, but nobody else, were asked for our tickets on three of the four journeys. Isn’t that an odd coincidence?

    The smaller stations look derelict and the ticket hall area, now abandoned, where I had to disembark is clearly being used as public toilet and shelter. You could smell it 100 yards downwind.

    I took the train because of Milan’s terrible traffic as the same journey by taxi would have cost €100 each way (instead of €9) and taken two hours instead of 40 minutes. Next time, if I have to go back, will be by taxi.


    I have visited Naples many times. I detest the dump. The only time it is safe to move at traffic lights is on the red…never the green! Naples closest city in Africa is Lagos….what a perfect pair.
    It is well known that Northern Italy dislikes its corrupt southern cousins bitterly.
    If I ever went back to Naples, and it’s grossly overpriced coastline, it would be a thousand years too soon!
    Sympathise with you JeffD…..


    I am happy to say I have never been to Naples and if I never go that’s too soon. I have been to Lagos a couple of times and that’s another place and country I’ll strenuously avoid.

    Sadly most of Italy’s major towns have been turned into decaying crumbling third world dumps.


    Maybe it was because you used a card cancelling service and he didn’t want the hassle. I’m pretty sure from personal experience if you’d called the cc co directly they’d have cancelled the card without a quibble.


    Just a PS. I always keep my cards in two different places in case of such an event. Also, if out I take just one card with me leaving the rest in the hotel safe.


    I also use LP’s strategy of leaving cards in the hotel safe and only taking 1 or 2 max out. I also keep a copy (now an outdated copy sadly) of all credit cards in a secure place. I am using more and more the Post Office money card – very simple way of accounting for expenses and its never pre loaded with more then needed & it takes all of 30 seconds to pre load any one of 14 currencies, so if its lost or stolen, there is never any long term damage.

    The OP was well prepared, he simply

    “walked on a about 20 meters and found a quieter area. I subscribe to one of the services that will inform all your credit cards companies and banks if your cards are stolen.”

    I once had a problem with a cloned Bank of America card being used in a steak house in New York whilst i was in Bangkok. With a lap top in front of me and in the hotel, it was easy to contact the bank, but under pressure, outside, in Naples, would Mr Business traveller be prepared ready and have the necessary information to hand to call his bank/credit card company. I know calling my UK’s bank fraud department when in the UK is frustrating at the best of times and compounded with overseas call centres and English being used as a second language.

    So… would be interested to hear, who people subscribe to cover for stolen cards and how easy it is to update records and most importantly report lost or stolen cards. If reported via a third party company, will the banks and credit companies accept the report to the third party company or will they insist the card holder calls in directly…

    its meant to be easy to report… is it???


    I have a couple of cards which I keep in the safe and of which I have recorded the numbers, CCV, EXP so that they become ‘virtual’ cards and I only use them for purchases online. The only reason for not physically destroying them is that in case of fraudulent purchases the provider would ask if they are still in my possession.

    As others do, when I go out I only take one of the other cards with me, and on those cards, the CCV number has been scraped off, limiting its usefulness to the swine who might steal it or try to clone it.

    Maybe someone can help with this query? Is there a company, preferably with a native English speaking call centre, that deals with card losses which would cover accounts in multiple countries? That would be useful to me.


    On the advice of an old friend, I always used to carry a wallet with out of date credit cards to hand over in the event of a robbery.

    Sage advice; fortunately I never had to test it in a live situation.


    On the advice of an old friend, I always used to carry a wallet with out of date credit cards to hand over in the event of a robbery.

    What a very good idea Esselle. I don’t use a wallet, but now I might and fill it with old CC’s and maybe a couple of notes for added authenticity.


    Here in Singapore the banks will text you before approving any transaction, and if not I get a text asking me if the transaction was mine. I have 2 mins to respond if not and then the transaction will be denied and card automatically cancelled immediately….

    Thankfully I have not had to use it, and I do feel totally sympathetic to the OP’s predicament, it doen’t happen quite as menacingly here in Asia but is an issue nonetheless…

    Tom Otley

    Very good advice on this thread.

    I am going to start another so we can share similar ideas.

    Travel precautions you should take

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