Are you planning on a trip to Manhattan during the holiday? Get ready to be hit on with the biggest tourist scam in New York City.

Tourist Chased Away By Angry Times Square Characters

A tourist from the UK is the latest person to draw attention to the problem with the costumed characters in Times Square. While some tourists see these characters as part of the quirky charm of the popular attraction, many people have had run-ins with the Times Square characters over the years.

Recently, Husain Asaf was walking in Times Square, taking a video of himself for TikTok with Disney and Sesame Street characters. Once Asif said 'thank you' and started to walk away, all the characters he had taken the video with demanded he pay them or delete the video.

Asif can be seen on the video saying, "Mickey Mouse is after me-- don't fall for the scam, people"

The Characters Demand Cash After Stepping into Your Times Square Photos

The characters are known to demand money immediately after they take a photo, charging people $10-$50 per person. The official website for Times Square says the characters expect the tip.

You are not required to tip costume characters, but if you take a photo with one of them please note that a tip is expected.

The characters are not officially licensed, but there are regulations in place about what sort of behavior is allowed on the pedestrian plazas. If you see or experience any aggressive or inappropriate behavior please contact NYPD or a Times Square Safety Officer, or call 212.452.5218.


Many Tourists Complain About Physical Touching from the Characters

In 2019, Newsweek reported that Times Square performers posing as Batman and Spider-Man were arrested after fighting with a heckler, a Spider-Man impersonator allegedly punched a police officer trying to stop him from harassing a family who didn't tip, and a 44-year-old man dressed as Toy Story's Woody was charged with groping women.

A 2016 Times Square Alliance survey found that one in five New Yorkers has been touched without consent by a costumed entertainer in Times Square. And nearly half have had some kind of "unpleasant interaction."

Watch Times Square Characters Reaction When They Aren't Tipped After a Photo



Go Back to Early Days of Wawa With Vintage Photos

Gallery Credit: Eddie Davis

Heartbreaking! Help Find These People Missing in South Jersey

Gallery Credit: Eddie Davis

More From Lite 96.9 WFPG