The Las Vegas Sign Scam is Alive and Well

We’ve written about Las Vegas scams before, and this one in particular, but the
“Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign scam remains one of Sin City’s most irksome and
blatant, and remains in full effect on The Strip.

When visitors hit the Las Vegas sign, they often encounter someone posing as the
“official” photographer or attendant of the Las Vegas sign. They offer to help with
photos in exchange for tips.

These attendants and photographers, though, aren’t official anythings. This, despite
the fact they often wear “credentials” or clothing with official-looking patches or
emblems.

Las Vegas sign scam

He may act like he’s The Guy, but he’s really just a guy.

These clever individuals make a lot of tips (untaxed, by the way), and can even be
helpful at times. During our most recent visit, there was a long line for photos,
and the “attendant” was reminding visitors they can simply bypass the line and take
a photo from the side to speed things up.

Still, these “attendants” are taking advantage of unsuspecting tourists, and our
advice is to let another visitor take your photo rather than “feeding the pigeons.”

At the Las Vegas sign, there are no reserved times, there are no designated
photographers and, well, let’s let the County do its thing.

Las Vegas sign scam

Want to make a scammer mad? Let them take your photo, say “thanks” and walk away.¬†Glorious.

On a related note, when exiting the parking at the Las Vegas sign, make sure not to
turn right (back toward all the hotels and casinos). That stretch of road goes one
way (south), and a right turn into oncoming traffic could be disasterous. Not that
anyone would ever do that. Especially a Las Vegas blog. Probably.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone
  • Bouldersteve

    You mean the Welcome to Fabulous Clark County sign aka Paradise Nev.

  • Michael James

    I had someone take our photo a couple of years ago… and we stiffed her. HAH!

    • That tends to discourage the behavior, but most people cave.

  • Kodidog

    Aha…enterprising SOBs! Thanks for testing the one way traffic, and proving that one CAN survive in some circumstances, if they have busy schedules, and distracting lifestyles..

  • ElectricGypsy

    I’m sure there are scams like this at a variety of tourist destinations around the country. Dudes act official and sell guides at the JFK shooting site in Dallas, for example.

    • It’s true. Not illegal, but it’s glorified begging, and definitely takes advantage of foreign visitors who may not understand what’s going on.

  • Jefe

    Going as far as to wear credentialed-looking uniforms? Unreal.

  • Vegasbymonday

    People will believe anything they see or hear when they visit landmarks. My wife and I, got married at the sign by Elvis and all he said when he arrived was that he has a permit and this space reserved and people cleared right out. It might’ve helped that we had about 40-45 guests with us. We had a blast saying our vows and singing Elvis songs afterwards. The sign also made for awesome wedding photos.

    • Likely a case of “If you say it with authority, people believe you.” Thanks.

  • Photoncounter

    Let me figure out the economics here for a moment…

    A tourist hands over a $600 phone or $1500 Nikon to a stranger, turns around and stands 20 feet away.

    That stranger expects a tip of what? $2? $5?

    Unanswered questions:

    1). How fast can the stranger (scam artist) run across LV Blvd to a waiting bike/car/associate with a nice camera or phone and hoof it?

    2) what can they get for it on Craigslist that night?

    3) what are the chances the average tourist will become another pedestrian accident that we don’t need?

    4) why aren’t these scam artists rounded up before someone gets seriously hurt or killed? Is Metro doing anything?

    • They probably aren’t doing anything illegal. They’re offering a service for a tip (like busking).

  • Alex

    Not really related to the story, but every time I see this world-famous sign I wonder why those ugly power lines haven’t been relocated.

    • Jonesy55

      Because it would cost a fortune and the tourists couldn’t care less?

    • Agreed! Lots of photographers agree, and it would look much better in those thousands of photos being shared around the world.