RECENT TRAVEL NOTES

10 Travel Scams to Avoid

1. Fraudulent Currency Exchanges

This is one of the oldest tricks int eh book, and yet has the greatest number of victims. It almost always happens in the same way- with a helpful looking local trying to convince you that they know the best currency exchanger. To avoid this age-old tactic, you could either get your exchange changed before you leave your destination or use a trusted service, such as a local bank to change your currency.

2. Overpriced Street Vendors

As a foreigner, you will be enthralled by the street vendors with their many wares. And believe me they know it, and they know exactly how to persuade you to pay a higher price for almost any of their vendor goods. So don’t feel afraid or uneasy to bargain- yep bargain, bargain, bargain!

3. Distraction Scams

This scam is sometimes practiced by an individual, but on many occasions, there are a few people involved in carrying out this act. Being rather straightforward the perpetrators will cause a scene making you feel uncomfortable and use that opportunity to take off with your possessions. To ensure that you don’t let your possessions out of your site at any point.

4. Credit Card Scams

This scam can be carried out in various forms such as scanning the details of your card, tampering with the Atm or posing as a hotel staff in order to get the details of your card. This is but an old trick with many people falling victim to it to date. This can especially hassle if you are using your credit card as your mode of payment during your vacation. To ensure that you check precautionary measures to ensure you don’t fall victim.

5. Fake Photographers

This trick which many locals pull off on tourists has become quite common and hence many tourist destinations now warn visitors to take care and discourage them from this practice. This generally involves local volunteering to take your photograph and in return demands a hefty sum of money or runs off with your camera. A good rule to keep in mind and avoid this hack is to hand your camera to a fellow traveler!

6. Free Anything

It is indeed true, nothing in life is ‘truly’ free! So don’t get carried away with those offers which you receive from street vendors, who engage you in their service or product and once done charge an exorbitant amount for the god or service rendered. In some instances, they may make a scene if you are unwilling to pay the amount stipulated. To avoid this, never take someone’s free offer, coz chances are it never is free!

7. Petition Scams

This generally involves a local coming up to you and requesting you to sign up for a cause or petition, once done they would demand money to support the cause which you have signed up for. The best way to avoid this scam is to not indulge in such actions, after all, you are a tourist and if it is a local cause it does not really affect you anyway.

8. Child Sellers

Using children to either beg or as vendors is a scam which many falls pray too. After all, most people cannot resist a child who persistently falls you trying to make a purchase; most often they will elaborate a rather dire tale while trying to engage you in the purchase, making the entire exercise even more convincing and sorrowful. What you need to keep in mind is these children are put up to these scams by cruel adults who would illtreat them, so you are not doing them a favor by making a purchase from them.

9. Taxi Driver/Guide Scams

Most often that not there will be taxi drivers or guides stationed outside your hotel or stay. While they would generally tell you that they know the shortest routes and best places to visit, once you board their vehicle, they will take you on the longest routes and the priciest shops. So the best is to ask your hotel to find you a reliable driver/guide or pre-book an excursion at the point of booking your trip.

10. Broken taxi Meter Scam

This is a hack which is not restricted to tourist but anyone who does not know the routes or short cuts to get from A to B, however tourist, in particular, are vulnerable to this scam. More often than not the meter is not really broken but the cabby uses this excuse as a ploy to exploit the passenger. The best way to avoid this scam is to check the meter prior to boarding the vehicle.

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