Discover NYC

Don't get scammed in Times Square

Being scammed in Times Square is a tangible possibility, we don’t hide it.

In today’s article we tell you about the 3 scams that are most likely to happen to you, and how to avoid them!

Times Square is fantastic: the lights, the sounds and millions of people around you. It is absolutely to see, at least once in your life, preferably at nightfall: an experience hard to forget.

Time Square is an extremely touristy place, avoided as much as possible by New Yorkers: the restaurants in the area are nothing special and everything is super expensive


Walking around Times Square you will surely notice 3 types of individuals and we at Discover NYC advise you to stay away from them as much as possible! Don’t get scammed in Times Square!


Fake Tibetan Monks roam the streets of Times Square, dressed in an orange robe and stop tourists by giving a small gift that they say cleanses the soul. It can be a card or a small object. DON’T TAKE IT.

Politely say no and move on, don’t stop.

If you take what they give you, once it is in your hands they will start asking you for money. Very insistently.

We have heard stories of people being forced to pay $80 to get these fake monks to leave.

Fake monks in Times Square


There are also young guys dressed as rappers who hang around Times Square stopping tourists and telling them that they are the new rising star of the music world and that they have just made a CD that will soon be released on all music platforms.

They will hold out the CD to you. DON’T PICK IT UP.

The consequence is the exact same as what we said the Monks above do: they will endlessly insist on a BIG tip and won’t let you go until you give it to them.

And you want to know what the most interesting thing is? The CD you just picked up in your hand is, in very high probability, 100% EMPTY. You won’t find any songs on it.

Fake CD in Times Square

The Times Square Mascots

We classify Times Square Mascots as not a real scam: you know what you’re getting into.

The message is clear: business is business. Want to take a picture with the mascot? Do it, but be prepared to pay a tip.

5$ or 10$ usually.

Some of them are even “cute”, especially if you’re visiting with kids.

What we strongly recommend is that you AGREE before taking a picture with them. Ask CLEARLY how much it costs to take a picture, take out money already (for example a $5 bill), take the picture and hand it to them.

This way you avoid any kind of surprise.

Times Square Mascots

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