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Scams on holiday are real, and they differ from region to country. If you have a travel guidebook with you, it will detail the most typical scams in that country. Below is a list of common travel scams to avoid, keeping you safe. Avoiding travel scams needs a healthy dose of skepticism and a lot of common sense. If something appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is!
1. The taxi overcharge
This is one of the most popular types of travel fraud. The driver will claim that the meter is faulty and try to overcharge you. Or you may notice that the meter is running higher and faster than usual.
To avoid this con, you must first determine how much a ride should cost. So that I have a frame of reference, I always ask the hostel or hotel personnel what a ride should be. And, no matter how good the price seems, never get into an illegal cab!
2. Your accommodation is closed
This is yet another cab-driver con. Your driver would tell you that your hotel or hostel is overbooked or perhaps closed in this scam. It’s not the case. Ignore them and insist on getting to the location. Continue to persist if they keep trying. They usually don’t say anything about it. And, even though this appears to be a fraud that no one could fall for, it is. Even if you don’t have a connection, your phone’s GPS will operate. Furthermore, ride-hailing services like Uber hold drivers accountable. This makes it less likely to fall into such situations.
3. The shell game
On the street, you’ll see individuals playing a card game (also known as three-card Monte) or hiding a ball in a cup and having someone guess where it is to win money. Then you decide to play — and you succeed! You stake extra money because you think this is wonderful, then you lose countless times. Don’t be fooled into attending this convention. Always keep in mind that the house always wins!
4. Free Jewelry
A polite individual will approach you for a bit of discussion. They will then slip a necklace around your wrist, a cap on your head, or offer you a small bunch of rosemary in this scam. This is prevalent throughout Europe. They will demand money once you have it on your body. If you decline, they will start making a scene hoping that you would give them money rather than be embarrassed. Allowing anyone to put anything on your body is not a good idea, and receiving anything for free is much worse. If they put something on you, remove it, return it to them, and be firm about it. Then walk away and go about your business. They will not pursue you.
5. The stain on your garments
Someone pours stuff on you while you mind your own business. Although it ruins your day, accidents do happen, right? They apologize passionately and offer to wipe up the mess, dabbing the stain and apologizing. They’re picking your pocket when you’re all worked up. They are long gone by the time you understand what has happened. If the place isn’t already busy, be wary of people crowding around you. Push people away and clean up the mess yourself if this happens.
6. Scam involving motorcycles
You rent a motorcycle and go exploring for the day. When you return it, the owner expects an additional payment or costly repairs because you were unaware of some damage.
Take photos of the bike first to document any previous damage to avoid this. Go around it with the owner to let them know what you’re photographing. When parking your bike, use your lock and keep it out of sight and away from busy streets. An owner may send someone to tamper with the bike or take it, forcing you to pay! Also, always purchase travel insurance so that you can file a claim if something goes wrong.
7. The seductive local
You travel to a new nation and go to a bar, where a lovely local approaches you for a conversation. You can’t believe your good fortune. You enjoy several beers and have a great time at a new pub or club that she recommended. However, after a crazy night and numerous drinks, the woman vanishes. You have to pay an exorbitant bill, with some huge men bearing down on you to ensure you do so. Alternatively, you could be drugged and wake up with nothing on you.
The simple solution is to be careful of gorgeous locals who offer to take you to the best club in the world, fetch you drinks, or are overly flirty. This will happen especially if you’re a foreigner who sticks out like a sore thumb. Taking an aircraft didn’t make you more attractive by a factor of ten.
8. Lunch is over at your attraction
A pleasant local approaches you and advises you that the attraction you wish to see is closed due to various factors. These can be a religious ceremony, holiday, etc. Then they’ll take you to another site or shop, where you’ll be encouraged to buy something or pay a high admission fee.
To avoid this, locate the main door or ticket counter and inspect it. Also, bear in mind that most attractions close for the day, not just for lunch. Look out the open hours before you go, so you know what to anticipate. You can nearly always find opening and closing information online.
These scams are so simple but it is very easy to get caught up in them. Have a general awareness of your surroundings and trust no one. Some of the most trustworthy-looking characters tend to be to best con artists. Good luck on your travels.