A new scam is targeting unsuspecting tourists and expats alike who are unaccustomed to what euro coins look like.

Especially when many of us today pay almost exclusively with card, handling coins and even doing basic mental arithmetic are shrivelling skills.

And unscrupulous cashiers are taking advantage of this to substitute the two euro coin with an almost identical Turkish lira one, according to the Guardia Civil.

The Spanish police force are urging tourists to check their change carefully to avoid finding the Turkish coin among it, which shares the silver edge and gold inset of the most valuable euro coin.

Two Euro Turkish Lira
The Turkish one lira coin and the two euro coin are almost identical at a glance, but there are key differences

Those who fall for the scam will find that a coin they thought was worth €2 is in fact worth just €0.05.

And, of course, since it is not legal tender in Spain, it is effectively worth zero – unless you get scammed so often and you acquire so many Turkish lira coins that it makes it worth your time to exchange them.

At a glance, the difference between the two coins is that the lira coin features Turkey’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, on the back and a half moon and a star on the front above the value.

The two-euro coin, on the other hand, will have an image of someone or something relevant to Spain if it was minted here, such as the king, Felipe VI; the former king, Juan Carlos I, Miguel de Cervantes, or the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

Other common scams in Spain include staff adding items to your bill that you did not order, or the server adding an extra euro or two to the card machine when you tap it.

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