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Scams to avoid while traveling

For most of us, travelling is a luxury and we spend quite some time saving and planning for an overseas trip. All the excitement of arriving somewhere new and exploring the local scenery can sometimes make us oblivious to possible (and very common) scams.

Very few places are safe from scammers who prey on the unknowing tourist. Here are some of the most common scams and tricks, hopefully this will help you recognize and avoid them.

 

Faulty Taxi Meter

Taxi drivers who operate near airports will often pull the “my meter is broken” trick. Being a tourist, you are unsure of how much regular cab costs are, and by them not recording the trip on the meter they are able to inflate prices tremendously.

If your taxi drivers pulls something along these lines, rather get out and let him know you will wait for a taxi with a proper meter.

 

Taxi/Hotel Scam

Once again with cab drivers. When you let them know your hotel destination, they will try and inform you that this hotel is in fact closed of overbooked and will redirect you to a more expensive hotel. By doing this, they get a tip from the hotel for bringing in customers.

If this happens to you, rather phone the hotel directly and ask if this is true or not.

 

Friendly Stranger

You are walking around the streets looking like a tourist, and you feel something spill or mess on your shoulder or clothing. Out of nowhere a friendly stranger pops up and starts wiping the mess of for you. Don’t be fooled – their hands are often in your pocket picking your wallet and any other belongings.

Rather keep walking and decline their “friendly gesture”- keep a hold of your belongings.

 

Help with the ATM

This is a very common scam that happens to many people – not only tourists. You are busy withdrawing money from the ATM and somebody pops over your shoulder to try and assist you. There are often two of them working this scam, and are actually trying to scan your ATM card while the other reads your pin.

Refuse help profusely and call the authorities if somebody does this to you. Cancel your transaction and grab your card straight away.

 

Group Photos

A friendly local offers to take a group photo for you and your friends. Being unsuspecting you give him your camera and take your place. Next thing you look up and he has run off with your camera.

If somebody offers to take a photo of you – refuse. You can never be sure who to trust.

 

Credit Card Detail Check

You receive a call in your hotel from the front desk asking to confirm credit card details – don’t give them. These are scammers who will often phone at irregular times to try make sure you wont feel like walking down to the front desk to verify details. Once they have your details they will drain your accounts.

If you receive this phone call, always make sure to decline and rather walk down to the front desk to verify these details.

So there are a few of the most common scams worldwide. Hopefully being more aware of them will help you avoid any issues on your next trip!