Travelling can bring you good or bad experiences. Some travelers have experienced the worst such as being injured, getting robbed, or getting scammed. Scams in travel industry is not something new. Many people are taking advantage of tourists just because they know less about the place they visit. To avoid getting scammed, you need a healthy dose of common sense and suspicion. Also, do not underestimate a travel guide/book because it usually contains the most common travel scams in the country you visit.
Most common travel scams to avoid
In each country, there maybe different type of travel scams. However, there are the most common ones that seems to happen in most of the countries around the world. Here are some of them you need to be aware of and avoid:
Overcharged taxis. Sometimes, the driver tell you the meter is broken so they charge you a very high rate. Sometimes, the meter go higher very fast that you end up paying much. It is better to be prepared by gathering information of taxi rate of the country you are going to visit. Or, ask hotel staffs for reference. Negotiate the correct rate and if the driver refuse, find driver that will put the meter on. If the meter if the taxi you are in go higher faster suspiciously, have them pull over and and get out. Report the ID number to the tourism board. Today, you can also opt for better alternatives than taxi such as Grab and Uber.
The shell game is common in many countries. There maybe different forms of games performing. For example, you bet which cup containing the coin. First, you win and earn the money from the bet so you want to keep playing and betting more money. You bet more because you think you will win. But then, you realize too late that you lost so much money on this con. Avoid any kind of shell game especially when you have to bet money.
Free friendship bracelet or flower. This kind of scam is getting old but still, many tourists fall for it. This is a common scam especially in Europe. A friendly person will come to you and have a quick chat. They will put the bracelet on your wrist. Then, they will demand money from you. If you try to refuse, they cause a big scene so you will get embarrassed and opt for giving them the money. Hence, don’t allow people to put anything on your body or accept any object without explanation first.
The wrong change is also a common scam. It is when you pay for something and they give you the wrong bills. It may be hard to tell especially when the bills look similar in color. Therefore, it is essential to know the currency of the country you are visiting. It is best to count the bills yourself before leaving. It is even better if you pay with smaller bills so you don’t have to wait for the change.