12 Major Travel Scams To Avoid Worldwide
(Last Updated On: 03/09/2021)
The world is a beautiful place, but first-time travelers can fall into touristic traps and become the victims of major travel scams. These are the 12 major travel scams to avoid worldwide; from Europe to China, and anywhere else.
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1. Travel Scams To Avoid Worldwide: The Taxi Overcharge – Detour
Heavy traffic, the taxi driver telling you the city tales, and new views from the window make it very easy to fall into the taxi overcharge travel scam.
Getting around by taxi seems like the most comfortable travel option as a tourist, but it can turn out to be one of the most major travel scams worldwide. As a tourist you will not know the fastest and best route from the airport to the hotel, or from one attraction to another, so the taxi drivers may celebrate on your behalf and ask for an outrageous rate or take you on a huge detour, for a trip that should last no more than 15 min.
How To Avoid The Taxi Overcharge?
Research in advance for the accepted taxi rate in your travel destination. Additionally, make sure you have a great map app, that doesn’t require Wi-Fi, so you can check the route at all times, and most importantly, choose a reliable taxi company, or travel by train.
2. The Spill On Your Clothes – Pigeon Trick
If you are planning to travel to Argentina, for example, you should be aware of the pigeon spill on your clothes travel scam. This type of travel scam is very popular in Buenos Aires, when a friendly local comes approaches you, wanting to help since there is a spill all over your clothes.
Imagine you are admiring the center of the city or having a great day at the park, looking around, and suddenly a friendly stranger comes up to you, letting you know there is a spill all over your clothes. You put the bag on the land, look around in astonishment for the spill, and in the meantime the passport, wallet, and all your precious belonging are gone.
How To Avoid The Spill On The Clothes Travel Scam?
Explore like a local, be aware of your surroundings, and try keeping your eyes ahead.
3. Travel Scams To Avoid Worldwide: The ATM Travel Scam
Money makes the world go round, so obviously one of the most major travel scams in the world involves money. One of the biggest travel scams worldwide is the ATM scam when a removable credit card reader basically copies your credentials and then used them to clear all your balance.
How To Avoid The ATM Scam?
If it is absolutely necessary, draw money from a big and known ATM bank. In major banks in Europe, there is security, so the chances of having access to ATM card readers are close to zero.
4. Bump And Grab
One of the classic travel scams in the world, the bump and grab are popular on public transportation, and in landmarks. You happen to be on the train, metro, or waiting in Prague’s square for the famous clock when all of a sudden someone accidentally bumps into you.
While it can be an accident, it is more likely to be a planned pickpocketing bump-in. It can be a split of a second, a “sorry”, and your wallet, watch, or jewelry are gone. The bump and grab scam is one of the most important things to be aware of when traveling in Europe.
How To Avoid The Bump And Grab?
Leave precious possessions in the hotel room, and spread everything you are taking with you: wallet in an internal jacket pocket for example.
5. Travel Scams To Avoid Worldwide: The Swarm
Similar to the bump and grab, the swarm scam, is when you are suddenly crowded by a group of strangers, well that look strangers to you. In fact, these strangers know each other pretty well, and beautifully planned a strange encounter, or swarm. This way it looks totally innocent, while you are surrounded and pickpocketed.
This usually happens in a crowded place, where this group blends in with the crowd and chaos. They begin moving around you and actually distract you as the others grab hold of everything. Keeping your cash in one place is one of the 10 travel mistakes you should avoid in Europe.
How To Avoid The Swarm Scam?
Simply keep away from the crowds, and zip your coat, or keep an eye on your belongings, preferably, place any bag before you.
6. The Friendly Local
The beautiful and friendly stranger is a famous travel scam worldwide. Whether you are walking in the Red Square or Paris, there will always be a friendly local offering their help to reach the Eiffel Tower or show you a good time around town.
Moreover, they will be so helpful in showing all the great clubs around, that you will only the scam the next morning, waking up, and noticing your money is all gone. Thus, a solo trip for example, across the world can be an extraordinary chance to meet locals, but it can also turn into your worst nightmare.
How To Avoid The Friendly Local Travel Scam?
Meeting locals on your travels is great, and one of the best experiences. However, be careful who you trust, and spend nights with. An adventure in a strange country can quickly turn into a disaster, so be cautious.
7. Travel Scams To Avoid Worldwide: The Bracelet Scam
Free souvenirs from a foreign country sound amazing, but there aren’t really free things in the world we live in. Therefore, don’t fall for the free bracelet scam that usually involves a local woman approaching you smiling, to put a bracelet on your wrist.
Smiley and friendly, they will offer you authentic bracelets or necklaces to take home, while all the time their other hand is reaching for your wallet, and jewelry. Offering something beautiful and free is a great distraction and works on many innocent tourists.
How To Avoid The Bracelet Scam?
Don’t fall for free souvenirs, and just keep your eyes open, and kindly refuse to accept any free offerings from strangers.
8. The Begging Child
Dressed in wretched clothes, dirty, begging for money or food, the begging child is one of the heartbreaking travel scams in the world. From Europe to China, there are children standing by the side of the road, singing for a dollar in central squares, or tapping on the taxi window.
Most often these children are not as lost as they look, but were sent to play a role. Obviously, there are children who really are in need of food and help.
How To Avoid The Begging Child Scam?
This is tricky because the world is full of poor children that have no other option but to beg. However, you can offer to buy them a meal or help in another way, than by giving money. This way, you can check their reaction, and if they are truly in need or just after the tourist’s wallet.
9. Travel Scams To Avoid Worldwide: Attraction Is Closed
You checked the opening hours in advance, but to your surprise when you arrive at the temple or shop a local tells you it is closed. Then, when they see your disappointment, they offer to take you to another fantastic landmark or shop, even better than the closed one.
Locals may offer an amazing adventure, but they are actually ripping you off, by asking for an overpriced entrance fee, or taking you shopping where they get a fat commission.
How To Avoid This Travel Scam?
Visiting off-the-beaten-path places is wonderful, just be sure to check the surroundings and if there are alternatives. In addition, research in advance for the best attractions to visit in Europe. If the attraction is free, then there is no reason to replace it with an overpriced one, and the same for shops with great reviews.
10. Let Me Take Your Picture
Traveling solo can be wonderful, and at times full of regret there is no one with you to make the perfect social media picture. The Big Ben or Firenze in the background, you look around and then they come up to you offering to take an amazing picture, from a great angle.
2 seconds later your camera and all the great pics are gone, because the lovely stranger ran off with them. This can happen anywhere in the world, to anyone, because what are the odds this will happen? but it does.
How To Avoid This Travel Scam?
Look for other tourists, perhaps solo travelers as well, or couples. This is the safest way to get the perfect picture and keep the camera, and in exchange, offer to take their picture.
11. Travel Scams To Avoid Worldwide: The Switcheroo
The best way of handling money when traveling is to have small bills with you all the time. Otherwise, be careful with large bills, when paying taxi drivers or in local restaurants. You could be giving a large bill for a small payment, but the receivers will pretend to drop the big bill and change it for s much smaller bill. This way, they shortchange the tourist.
Cashiers, taxi drivers, or waiters, can be the players in this switcheroo scam. You will be the big loser here, if not careful.
How To Avoid The Switcheroo Scam?
State the amount of the bill you are handing out, and know the change you should be receiving back.
12. Major Travel Scams To Avoid Worldwide: Eager English Students
They speak broken English but are begging you to teach them. The eager English students are lurking in cafes and bars, will start a friendly conversation with you, and then ask you for a private English lesson in your hotel room.
Once in the hotel, the eager English student can turn into a nightcap, and you wake up to a stolen wallet and passport. The truth is it is impossible to improve a language skill overnight, and even someone wants to practice their English, this lesson doesn’t have to happen in the hotel room or over alcohol.
In conclusion, smart traveling is the best way to travel these days, everywhere in the world. The reason is that travel scams get harder and harder to reveal. That being said, it has never been easier to travel around the world than today.
Here at Save A Train, we will be happy to help you plan your Fun Places To Visit and finish your trip happily by avoiding Travel Scams.
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