Life Style

Common travel scams to avoid and stay safe

Who doesn’t like traveling? Whether you chose to cross the country to have a nice sunbath or do some skiing, it’s always a good thing to give yourself the vacation you need.

However, as a tourist, you should always be aware of the dangers you might face. Travelling has never been easy, scammers are all around waiting for anybody with no knowledge of the local lifestyle to take advantage of.

Every year a large number of swindles are being registered; many people have found themselves in really dangerous positions after being scammed. We don’t mean to freak you out, but caution should always be taken.

So what you have to as a tourist is to be aware of all kinds of cheat that might threat you. Keep on reading if you want to find all the tips and tricks.

Be aware of these travel frauds

1. Fake tickets

Some travel agencies and also scammers will offer you tickets at a discount. Don’t ever fall for that; the tickets could be fake and by the time you find out they’re already gone with your money.

This could happen with taxis too; a taxi driver might offer to take you to a friend of his who happens to be a local travel agent; don’t fall for that too.

Make sure to always buy your tickets from an official office or a trusted website.

2. ATM helper

When using the ATM never let anyone stand near you. Any of the tourist swindles around will approach you while using ATM to help you avoid local bank fees. Well… that’s what they claim; however, the truth is all they want to do is scan your ATM card with card skimmers and memorize your pin code for later use (draining your account out of money).

Always cover your pin code while using the ATM and if someone ever approaches you; consider using another ATM.

3. The found ring

This is something very common in Europe. Someone might approach you with a golden ring claiming that they ‘found’ it, then, force it onto your finger despite your protests then demands money.

There are various similar kinds of scams such as ‘friendship bracelets’ tied onto your wrists or roses being thrust on girlfriends or spouses. Other similar popular swindles are called ‘the rosemary scam’; a woman would hand you a sprig of rosemary for good luck.

Such bad people will start to make a scene unless you give them money; so beware them and never come near them.

4. Ripoff

If you’ve been traveling the world and visited countries like where traditional items are being exposed and sod, then, you may be noticed how huge the difference is in prices are.

In fact, artisans can make great, well-crafted items that are hand made, but unfortunately, sellers are offering them for a huge profit that exceeds 10000% the real cost. So, avoid being ripped off by buying these items from official stores only and not from souks, etc…

5. Beggars

The majority of beggars are children used by begging gangs to collect money. Many children seem to be blind, deaf or injured. Some beggars might also be pregnant women.

Such sorts of scenes are empathy stimulators, which makes you unable to say no to lean your hand toward your pocket for money. Sometimes, an accomplice nearby is observing you to see where you keep your money so they can pickpocket you later.

If you ever feel sorry for these children give them food instead of money to avoid such kind of scams.

6. Muggers

Muggers are a very common thing wherever you go. They will aim to distract while they rob you. Beware any kind of unusual distractions you receive from strangers and never forget to pay attention in crowded places.

7. Phony takeaway menu

A Takeaway menu might be slipped under the door of your hotel room; if you ever order from it, there is a chance you won’t get any food.

As a matter of fact, the person on the other side of your phone will be provided with all your card details and will be making a large withdrawal later. Always order room service or eat in local restaurants.

8. The fake police officer

This is also one of the most popular ways of travel fraud around the world. Someone might approach you and offer something illicit such as drugs. In the meanwhile, two guys in police uniforms will claim to be police officers then demand you to hand them your passport and wallet.

Don’t ever hand your wallet or passport to anybody unless you’re a hundred percent sure of their real identities.

9. The flirtatious

A fine woman you meet on the street might approach you then seductively invites you for a drink after a nice chat.

When the bill arrives that’s when you realize you’ve been the victim of a travel scam because the bill is much more than you expected. Never accept the invitation of anyone unless you get to know them well.

10. Fake Wi-Fi hubs

Hackers will set up tempting unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots in public locations that anyone would eagerly connect to. That actually gives them access to your computer, passwords, online accounts, personal data and more.

Never connect to any Wi-Fi connections unless you make sure it’s an official one. Make sure to use a VPN to encrypt all your online activities. ZenMate is a good recommendation.

11. The fake wakeup call

Someone might call you at night claiming to be one of the front desk stuff. They might tell you something such as ‘the internal computer system has crashed and they need your credit card’.

It’s just another scam to empty your bank account. Always refuse to give such information and make sure you let the real front desk stuff know about it.

12. The motorbike rental

After you rent a scooter or a motorbike, it gets damaged or even stolen. Don’t worry this might be just another scam. What you need to know is that the damage or the stealing could be done by the owner himself just to find a reason to ask for additional payment.

You can avoid this scam by taking a picture of the motorbike to document any previous damage if present; always use your own lock and make sure to place the bike somewhere safe.

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