Travel tips: 5 travel scams to watch out for

Today, there are more people traveling than ever before. According to the World Tourism Organization, there were over one billion international tourist arrivals in 2015 alone. With so many people on the move, it’s no surprise that con artists have set their sights on travelers worldwide. There are several travel scams that are common throughout the world and some examples are below. Read on to find out how you can avoid being tricked by traveling scammers!

Gypsy cab drivers

This is an increasingly common scam – especially in busy European cities such as London, Paris, and Barcelona! The gypsy cabs will often charge tourists high fares for a ride into town after pretending to befriend them during their journey. This money-making trick works by telling tourists that they have a mutual friend or by making up a story to convince them that they need to return to their hotel for some money. Once inside the cab, they will drive tourists to a location where they cannot withdraw more money from their account and demand an extortionate fee for the ride. To avoid being scammed by gypsy cab drivers, always be aware of your surroundings and be wary of anyone who tries to befriend you. Make sure you know the approximate cost of a ride into town before getting into a cab and try to take official taxis whenever possible. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a taxi driver, ask someone at your hotel or in a nearby store for help.

The “mustard oil” strategy

This other popular scam is also predominantly found in Europe. In this particular con, people will approach travelers on buses/trains asking if they want help with directions before spraying them with ‘mustard oil’. When the person reacts badly (due to allergies etc.), the scammers will then request payment for medical bills! If anyone asks you whether you know of any good places nearby, make sure you carry some tissues in your bag or pocket to avoid this. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of the person asking for help, ask someone at your hotel or in a nearby store for help.

The lost ring scam

This common scam is found all over the world – especially in certain tourist hot spots! It typically involves a woman dropping her ‘wedding ring’ on the ground while out sightseeing. When she asks if you can look for it, pick up the ring and ask for cash payment in return. There are many versions of this scam but it usually boils down to picking up something that has obviously been dropped intentionally and trying to extort money from someone who doesn’t know any better. If you do find yourself in this situation, always be aware of your surroundings and be sure to ask someone at your hotel or in a nearby store for help. Be very wary of anyone who asks for money in exchange for returning a supposedly lost item – chances

Fake police officers

This common scam is also seen throughout Europe (e.g. Italy, France). In this trick, fake police officers stop travelers and accuse them of carrying illegal goods such as drugs or weapons. The officer will then confiscate the item and demand a bribe for its safe return. Alternatively, the officer may ask the tourist if they have any money on them before demanding that it be handed over for inspection! If you are ever stopped by a police officer and accused of carrying illegal goods, remain calm and polite. Do not hand over any money or belongings without first getting clarification on the situation. Ask to see identification from the officer, and if you are still unsure as to their authenticity, ask someone at your hotel or in a nearby store for help. If the situation becomes too dangerous, alert the local authorities.

Fake monks/beggars

This common scam is seen throughout Asia – especially Southeast Asia! In this trick, fake monks stop travelers to give money or ask for donations. These ‘monks’ typically use children to carry out this con as they can appear more convincing by approaching tourists with small (but audible!) amounts of money. If approached by beggars who use children, sure you refuse politely but firmly and continue walking.

These travel tips should help you stay safe when traveling to new places. If one of these scams happens to you, try your best not to get too emotional and just walk away! These cons rely on tourists feeling sorry for the other party and handing over large amounts of money as a result. Your safety should always come first so if something feels too good to be true, it probably is!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I hope you find this article very informative. As always enjoy your trip and keep safe! And don’t forget to visit us at:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button