9 Famous Travel Scams And How To Avoid Them
Travel Scams exist all over the world. If you are not cautious enough, you will easily become one of the victims of these scams and your big vacation plans can be easily ruined. Overpricing airfare isn’t the only scam you’ll be encountering on your summer vacations abroad, but there are lots more. Here is some of the common overseas travel scams designed to split you from your newly exchanged currency.
1. Fake Wi-Fi Hubs
Wi-Fi is found almost everywhere these days, some these unlocked connections might be dangerous. The hackers will set up some unsecured hotspots in public places that victims who are unaware of eagerly connect to and the thief’s get easy access to your passwords, online accounts and computers.
You can avoid this by encrypting all your online activities through VPN. When you travel to new place always ask the hotel, airport staff which Wi-Fi connections is the official one.
2. Fake Tickets
This is one of the common scam around. This involves some stranger offering to sell you tickets at a discount or at slightly at high price for avoiding the line or a taxi driver offering to take you to a known travel agent. However these tickets may be fake ones, but by the time you figure it out, the scammers are long gone.
To avoid such cons you must always buy your travel tickets from the authorized ticket counters or official websites.
You can find pickpockets everywhere when you travel. You may find strangers bumping into you or some motorcyclists riding irrationally close to sidewalks when you are on streets, they are exactly looking to cut your bag strap and drive off or snatch your wallet or phone without you knowing.
This can be avoided by keeping your belongings hidden from these pickpockets. Men should place their wallet in front pocket and women should carry their zipper purse in front of them.
4. Fake Hotel wakeup calls
Sometimes you may receive calls at midnight from front desk when you stay in the hotel, asking about your credit card details. This may not be actually from the front desk but the scammers who will make a copy of your card using the details you provided and drain your account.
Such scam can be avoided by not providing any details on phone instead go personally to the front desk and give it.
5. Overcharging for taxi
This is the most common scam, usually when you are new to the place the taxi driver will use the metre but lengthen your trip by taking through the same place many times through different streets without you noticing and then charge high.
Sometimes they refuse to use the metre or claim that it’s broken and charge you 4 times higher than the standard charges. You can avoid this by Studying about tax rates with locals of that place, negotiating the fare before getting in the cab. Make sure the meter is turned on as you enter the cab.
6. Help needed for your baggage?
As you step out of the airport terminal you will find a good generous man grabbing your luggage to help you get a cab or bus or any vehicle. This is done not with goodness in heart but they expect some good fat tip from you. To avoid this, be polite and tell thank you and that you can handle your bag and in case you need help then negotiate the rate as their rates will be extremely inflated.
7. ATM skimmers
This is a new scam where the criminals install an ATM card reader in the machine and when you insert your card it copies the data in the magnetic strip and your PIN will be captured with the camera focused on keypad. In this scam you won’t even know your identity is stolen. The easiest solution to avoid it is to using ATM”s in official banks and typing your PIN number by covering with your hand.
8. Fake police Officers
Fake police scam is a popular on in most of the cities. The scammers pose as cops in tourists spots and ask you to show your passport, baggage and wallets, claiming that they are investigating an issue. And then tell there is something wrong with your visa and you must pay fine or even take money from your wallet without your notice.
To avoid such a situation you can tell them to show their identification or you can tell them that your passport is in hotel and they need to accompany you to the hotel. If they do not agree then you simply walk away.
9. Child beggars
Usually children are sent to beg as the scammers know it’s hard for people to say no to them. Sometimes they send these beggars and an accomplice nearby will be watching you, where you keep your wallet so that they can pickpocket you. It’s not easy to avoid children begging, and if you feel sad, then buy some food for the child.