Behind the Scenes in Buenos Aires with Conor Woodman
What was it like to infiltrate Argentina’s underground counterfeit money scene? Scam City host Conor Woodman gives us the scoop on finding gangs, guns and drugs in Buenos Aires.
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Scam City host Conor Woodman has been in some pretty hairy situations, but perhaps none so frightening as when he was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In this EXCLUSIVE Travel+Escape online interview, he tells us what it was like to infiltrate the city’s underground counterfeit money scene—and why despite its dangers, Buenos Aires has a charm you can’t deny.
What was your scariest moment in Buenos Aires?
When we interviewed the counterfeit money gang it was pretty scary. They were wearing masks and most of them had guns. They were also high on drugs, so it was quite an intense situation.
What did you like most about the culture in Buenos Aires?
The culture in Buenos Aires is fascinating; it’s quite European, but mixed with a dose of Latin. The food is amazing—they definitely have the best steaks!
Who was the most interesting person you met in Buenos Aires?
The most interesting person I met was the famous counterfeit money patron, Hector Fernandez. He is a legend in counterfeit money!
What’s the most interesting scam in Buenos Aires?
The most interesting scam has to be with the counterfeit money; it’s everywhere you go and it’s happening right before your eyes. It’s just unbelievable.
Would you return to Buenos Aires?
Yes, I would love to go back, especially for Carnival. There was such a buzz and the vibe was electric.
Do you think an experienced traveller could get scammed in Buenos Aires?
I think it’s easy for anyone to get scammed in Buenos Aires unless you know the scams to look out for. The scammers are true professionals, so it’s easy to get caught out by them.
“They were wearing masks and most of them had guns. They were also high on drugs.”
Could you sympathize with any of the scammers you met?
Yes, sometimes you feel sorry for them when you get to know their stories. But at the end of the day, what they are doing is wrong and they are stealing from innocent people.
Is there any scam in Buenos Aires that you wish you could have covered in more depth?
Just the counterfeit money.
How are your tango skills?
Hmmm… Let’s say I am working on it!
What was your favourite food in Buenos Aires?
Definitely steak. And the wine there is pretty good too.
Is there anything you really didn’t like about filming in Buenos Aires?
When I was pickpocketed in Buenos Aires I was pretty scared because the guy was huge and it felt like a really dangerous situation that I was in.
How does Buenos Aires compare to some of the other shows?
It has a completely different feel… Watch it and see!