How to avoid these common travel scams

If you’ve traveled well and far, you know by now that no matter how beautiful the world may be, there are a lot of people that act otherwise. It’s easy to become a target of these people who take advantage of tourists and travelers alike.

Scammers are nothing new and they exist in most places, if not all, around the world. If you’re not careful and too lax when traveling, you can get ripped off or easily be a target by these no-good people.

No matter how smart you think you are, if you’re not observant and alert of your surroundings, chances are you may see yourself in this terrible situation. You do want to spend your trip smooth-sailing, don’t you? Prioritize your safety and security. Know more about the most common travel scams and how to avoid them.

Overbooked or terrible hotel

This is a common travel scam. You arrive at your destination and soon hail a cab to take you to your hotel accommodation or whichever stop you decided to go first. Your cab driver will chat with you; sooner or later you’ll notice they’re referring hotels and talk trash on the one you’ll be staying at. Why? Because they get a commission when they convince you to stay at their referral.

Sometimes, the hotel you booked to stay at looks nothing like in pictures. If you’ve traveled far and long, you may have experienced this. If not, you will experience this in one way or another—where your expectations are very far off from reality.   

Bump and grab thieves

This is probably the most common scam of all and it doesn’t just occur to travelers and tourists as it’s prevalent to the locals as well. Bump and grab is the method these thieves use when stealing valuables from people’s pocket or bag.

These people come in a group or with anyone to look out for them. They bump into their victim while picking their pocket or purse simultaneously. Sometimes, they’d deliberately steal the victim’s purse or belongings and run off. The best way to avoid this situation is to be alert at all times and never put any valuables out of your sight or in places that are easily snatched.

Broken meter and taxi overcharge

Ever encountered a taxi driver that told you “the meter is broken”? Yeah, they do that to set their own price that is most likely higher than what the meter would charge and to simply put, charge more. Next thing you know your fare increases at a shocking rate.

You may prevent this by asking the hotel staff what the normal rate is. Also, before hopping in a cab, ask if the taxi’s meter is working and if not, hail another cab or negotiate a favorable rate.

The ATM scam

Travelers are well aware of this and everyone well should be. Thieves attach ATM skimmers to the card slot where when you insert your card, it could either suck the card, steal your card information, or both.

Use ATMs that are in reputable banks and public places like malls and where there are security guards. Do inspect the card slot as well, lift the number keypad to see whether there’s a skimming device installed.

Travel tour scammers

If a travel tour offer seems too good to be true, chances are it could be a trap and could only cost you a hefty amount of money and lots of headaches. These travel scammers eye on new travelers. So keep an eye out and look for reputable and credible tour companies. If you can DIY it, do so!

Have you ever been a victim of these scams? Share your experience below to warn other travelers. Leave a comment below!

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chinsuareztac
An adventurer at heart, Chie Suarez aims to finish her travel bucket list before she hits 40. For the meantime, she writes for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel—stay and experience the historical part of Sydney. She also writes for the HR Dept UK, professional and knowledgeable HR team that can provide services to your business.
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