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16 Journey Scams Across the World and How You Can Keep away from Them

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In lots of giant cities throughout the globe, thieves hunt from the shadows. They’re armed with numerous journey scams to take your cash. These are the journey ideas you are able to do to keep away from them. 

common vacation scamscommon vacation scams

Sacre Couer is a standard place to be scammed: How you can keep away from journey scams

Fairly just like a lion, stalking its prey on the Serengeti, thieves purpose to mix into their environment whereas staring intently at their subsequent sufferer. They’re ready to catch them with their journey scams.

The excellent news is that, akin to lions looking for weakened gazelles, vacationers can keep away from being robbed by being conscious of their environment. Thieves are prepared to take dangers, however in addition they calculate these dangers.


Crooked opportunists take many shapes and varieties and whereas your time overseas will most likely be spent incident free, it’s vital to be ready.

Here’s a checklist of frequent journey scams to make it simpler so that you can spot the hazard indicators and keep away from any sticky scenario.

1. Bump and Seize

travel scams deb davetravel scams deb dave

Do not fall sufferer to journey scams.

The commonest journey rip-off is the bump and seize, the place a thief or a gang of thieves distract you with a bump after which proceed to raise your valuables out of your pocket and/or purse.

This methodology is hottest in the metro.

Victims of this methodology are sometimes swarmed by a number of people who find themselves pushing them, whereas on the identical time, choose their pocket.

One other trick is to seize the purse of somebody standing/sitting close to the door and get off the metro simply because the doorways are closing.

One of the best ways to keep away from these journey scams is to be one step forward of the thief.

First, unfold out all of your valuables; by no means preserve all of your necessary paperwork, playing cards and/or your passport in a single place.Second, by no means put a pockets or something of worth in both your entrance or again jean pocket.Moreover, people ought to at all times go for cross-body purses with zippers (no flimsy one button purses).

Each time I’m bumped on a subway, bus or on the street, my hand instantly goes to the zipper of my over the shoulder bag.

It might simply be an harmless bump, but when somebody is making an attempt to choose my pocket, they will not succeed.

I’m at all times conscious of my valuables and my consideration instantly goes to my issues earlier than they’ll catch my consideration.

2. Distraction: You could have gunk on you’ Rip-off


travel scams gunktravel scams gunk

Be careful for the “gunk” rip-off.

There are two variations of this rip-off however it begins out with somebody placing one thing, similar to mustard or ketchup (there have been stories of human/animal feces being thrown at vacationers), in your physique.

The thief will both smear one thing in your again or the substance shall be thrown at you from an unknown location.

Then, a seemingly harmless bystander will come to let you know that you’ve one thing in your again or give you a tissue.

The purpose of this journey rip-off is to get you to take off your backpack, purse and/or digicam.

If somebody tells you that you’ve one thing in your again, don’t take off your backpack to test!

As an alternative preserve strolling, ignore any Good Samaritans and solely take away your luggage if you end up in a secure and safe location.

three. Faux Officers


May this be the primary official Bribe?

When touring you’d assume that it’s best to be capable of belief the police or safety. However when touring in India, we got here throughout many faux officers that attempted to separate us from our cash.Each so typically on trains and on the street you’ll come throughout faux officers who ask to see your paperwork.

To get them again, they ask for a bribe. Don’t hand over your paperwork if you happen to really feel that one thing is fishy.

As an alternative, ask them to take you to the police station the place you can be joyful to indicate your paperwork.

Or ask the folks round you for assist. Many pleasant locals in India supplied us recommendation and helped us when in want.

Fallacious Class on Transportation

travel scams train traveltravel scams train travel

Faux officers on trains

On trains in India, we regularly had official trying gents board the prepare full with a pocket book and official badge asking to see our tickets. After they checked out them, they mentioned we had been within the mistaken class and requested for cash.

We fell for this as soon as, however after one other official got here later, took have a look at our tickets and did not ask us for something, we realized we had been simply scammed.

Avoiding this rip-off will be tough particularly in a spot like India the place determining the prepare system is difficult. We frequently boarded the mistaken compartment and needed to pay an improve price. We additionally knew that typically the trains are overbooked, however folks do not present up, so taking the possibility in 1st or 2nd class and paying an improve price is feasible.

How you can keep away from this rip-off

One of the best ways to keep away from paying additional charges is to do your analysis. Ask the desk how a lot it’s to improve on the prepare and know the complete value of the ticket earlier than getting on. Officers won’t ever ask for extra money than they want.

four. Bus Scams

world travel scams bus travel

world travel scams bus travel

Some frequent journey scams on the bus embody;

a stranger serving to you stow your bag above your seat whereas his confederate pickpockets you or slashes your backpack.One other variation of this rip-off features a Good Samaritan that was serving to you stow your baggage instantly takes off along with your bag and/or fingers it off to a runner close to the entrance of the bus.

One of the best ways to keep away from bus scams is to be extraordinarily cautious of overly useful locals, by no means let your luggage out of your sight, preserve your most beneficial possessions as near you as potential and by no means enable strangers to the touch or deal with your luggage.

We have now tips about the best way to journey safely on a bus right here. 

5. Counterfeit Cash

fake money scams when travelingfake money scams when traveling

Get to know the nation’s forex earlier than you go.

The sort of journey rip-off is most typical in eating places and in cab rides.

On the finish of the meal/journey, you hand the worker a invoice and he’ll declare that your invoice is faux, return the invoice to you and ask for a special sort of cost.

The issue is that you simply did find yourself giving him an actual invoice and when you weren’t trying he swapped the actual invoice with a counterfeit one.

To keep away from this kind of rip-off, be sure to familiarize your self with the nation’s forex earlier than arrival, pay shut consideration when paying and use actual change when you may.

6. ATM Scams

travel scams credit cardtravel scams credit card

Use warning on the ATM

All the time use ATMs in respected banks. If the ATM sucks in your card, refusing to present it again, then go into the financial institution instantly.

In Chile, for instance, most of the exterior financial institution ATMs would require somebody to scan their card to realize entrance into the ATM space and just one individual was allowed inside at a time.

ATM skimmers can apply completely different strategies to be able to steal your card and related banking data.

A skimmer is a tool that may be hooked up to the mouth of an ATM and can secretly be aware down credit score and debit card data when prospects slip their playing cards into the machine.

One other methodology of this journey rip-off is to position a sticky or plastic slip within the slot, which can trigger your card to get caught within the machine.

As soon as once more, a “Good Samaritan” shall be available to “assist” you and would possibly recommend that you simply name the telephone quantity, typically a faux quantity, on the machine for assist.

In the long run, by no means give out your private pin to anybody in individual or on the telephone. If you find yourself dropping your card, name your financial institution instantly and cancel the cardboard.

Taxi Scams

There are such a lot of taxi scams around the globe, they deserve their very own part.

Taxi drivers rig their meters or say that the meter is damaged and many individuals pose as taxi drivers when they don’t seem to be licensed or certified.

A typical cab rip-off is that many taxi drivers will take you on a wild goose chase driving you to institutions that pay them a fee fairly than taking you to your required vacation spot.

One of the best ways to keep away from taxi scams is to search for official taxis. It is easy to do a Google search to search out what the official taxi colours are of the vacation spot you might be visiting.

When touchdown on the airport, go to the official taxi stand and at your lodge, have the concierge or supervisor name you a taxi.

7. Pay as you go Taxi Rip-off


travel scam taxitravel scam taxi

Pay as you go taxis will prevent an enormous headache.

This is likely one of the most typical scams you can see all through the world

You could have arrived on the airport or prepare station. You’re exhausted and it’s the nighttime.

Cab drivers, tuk-tuk drivers, motor taxis and extra will method you earlier than you barely have time to get off the platform and provide their providers to take you to a lodge.

They may let you know that the pay as you go sales space is closed, or that there isn’t one there.

Don’t allow them to strain you. Take your time to go searching and ask the suitable folks the place the pay as you go taxi sales space is.

You’ll pay a good value to your lodge of alternative and keep away from being overcharged or taken to the mistaken vacation spot.

eight. If It is Too Good to Be True, It’s

travel scams tuk tuktravel scams tuk tuk

Double test the worth of transportation earlier than you get in.

We have fallen for this journey rip-off. Somebody presents you a journey for a value that appears too good to be true.

You hop within the taxi or in Asia it’s typically a tuk tuk, and as an alternative of taking you to your requested vacation spot, your driver takes you throughout the town stopping at gem sellers, carpet outlets and tea homes.

You find yourself within the fully other way of the place you requested to go and the one solution to get again is to appease them and go into all of the outlets losing your day.

The way in which to keep away from this journey rip-off is to know the approximate quantity of your cab fare earlier than getting within the taxi. And if the worth sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

9. Over Cost Rip-off

scam cities taxis around the world

scam cities taxis around the world

Dave and I’ve fallen for this one so typically it’s embarrassing. We have truly had an argument within the taxi telling one another we had been simply scammed!

One of the best ways to keep away from being overcharged by a taxi is to agree on a value earlier than moving into the cab.

Additionally it is good to have a tough concept what a taxi prices. We had been simply in Cuba and there are no Ubers or Lyfts in Havana, however we did our analysis earlier than going and realized that quick journeys in a Taxi Specific prices about $5.

That gave us a tough concept the place to start out so we might choose the space on longer journeys.

10. The Swarm

trevi fountaintrevi fountain

Huge crowds on the Trevi Fountain

Much like the distraction, the swarm sees you surrounded on a bus or subway by a bunch of individuals.

It appears harmless sufficient. It’s crowded and they’re transferring round you to discover a house. Whereas folks nudge and distract you, others rummage by means of your luggage and take what they want.

Our Expertise

Dave and I had been victims of this in Namibia. The type gents squeezed nearer into our seat whereas the bus stuffed up with folks.

We laughed with them as we acknowledge how tight the quarters had been and didn’t discover till we left the bus that our shiny new digicam was gone.

In the long run, one of the best factor that you are able to do to keep away from these journey scams is to be ready.

The web must be your finest buddy, Google must be used religiously and it’s best to by no means go away the home with out correct journey insurance coverage.

Bear in mind to remember; be cautious, however most significantly have enjoyable!

11. The Ring

ring scams in europe

ring scams in europe

We had the ring rip-off occur to us in Paris, however it is usually well-liked in Rome and different European vacationer locations.

Locations just like the Eiffel Tower and Colosseum appear to have a number of ring scamming happening

As you stroll alongside a avenue, a hoop falls on the bottom in entrance of you, after which a girl runs to choose it up asking whether it is yours. Actually, I used to be tempted to say sure, I want I did as a result of while you say no, the “variety” passerby presents to promote it to you.

If you say you don’t need it, they preserve badgering you till you hand over some cash. Lots of scams occur round well-known vacationer websites like Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur, so at all times be on guard in any metropolis’s well-liked vacationer locations.

12. The Pleasant Native

travel scams localstravel scams locals

Laughing with locals

I hate to say ignore pleasant locals. We’ve reached out to vacationers in our hometown of Toronto to supply recommendation or instructions, however I do recommend being conscious that they could have various motives.

Typically folks will say they need to observe their English or study your nation, however after you chat for a bit, they recommend that you simply include them to their workplace or store

You are feeling obligated to be good to your new buddy and shortly end up in a high-pressure gross sales scenario to purchase artwork or jewellery.

13.  It is Closed In the present day

wat phowat pho

Make sure that sights are literally closed by checking your self.

Many instances you may go to enter a vacationer attraction and locals will let you know it is closed earlier than you’ve got an opportunity to see for your self. Do not fall for this journey rip-off.

They’re going to speak you into one other attraction that is not pretty much as good and that they are going to get a kickback from.

All the time look and see for your self.

That is frequent in South East Asia.

14. The Begging Child

travel scams indiatravel scams india

Work together with children, however do not give into begging.

Younger ladies will typically method in locations like India with a child of their fingers.

Typically instances, it’s only a doll or a younger lady given a child by criminals to prey on the feelings of vacationers.

Do not give into this or assist the prison rings.

There are a lot of related scams like this with maimed or injured beggars too. You are feeling sorry for them and are compelled to present cash.

After watching Slumdog Millionaire my coronary heart sank. Dave and I truly noticed blind singers on trains in India that clearly had their eyes scorched out by prison rings. It is unbearably unhappy.

However if you happen to give to them, you might be solely serving to the lads/ladies who put them there.

If you wish to give cash, discover a charity to present you as an alternative.

Do not give to children on the road.

15. The Switcharoo

middle east travel scams

middle east travel scams

We fell for this within the Center East in Marrakech. We had been going to an area household for dinner and purchased some figs at Jemma el Fna Market to take with us as a present.

We tasted the scrumptious juicy figs and ordered a big bag to take with us to dinner.

Whereas speaking away to one another, we did not discover that he went to the again and stuffed the bag with previous rotten figs.

It was fairly embarrassing to indicate up at a home with a bag of dangerous figs.

I’ve heard this occur to folks on a much more costly scale. When shopping for souvenirs, be sure you watch them wrap it up. Folks have been scammed with low-cost carpets, handicrafts and jewellery.

Double test every little thing earlier than you permit the shop or market.

16. The Bracelet

scam for money jewelry

scam for money jewelry

I (Deb) get this one quite a bit. It is not uncommon on seashores and in cities.

A lady will come as much as me to supply a free bracelet, or a crown and as an alternative of ready for me to say “I do not need it,” they put it on and will not take it again.

The extra you attempt to give it again, the extra they provide their providers to braid your hair or promote you extra jewellery.

I’ve realized to present a agency head shake after they method to allow them to know “I do know what they’re as much as.”

I can often inform now when somebody goes to attempt to put one thing on my head or arm.

It is all about catching them within the act earlier than they’ve an opportunity to pounce. It is fairly wonderful how rapidly they are going to flip and stroll away while you say no.

I admit, I used to be in a great temper on our final go to to Istanbul and when somebody put a crown on my head, I paid them. Every so often, I do know I am being scammed, however hey, even a number of the scammers are folks to proper? n

Remaining Ideas

Simpler targets for journey scams can embody confused vacationers, drunken messes and overly anxious first-timers that are inclined to clutch their valuables to be able to defend them.

Merely put; if you’re assured, conscious and most significantly, sober traveler than they’ll most likely transfer on to a neater goal.


Have you ever ever been duped? Inform us what Widespread Journey Scams you have fallen for around the globe.

top travel scamstop travel scams

How you can keep away from frequent journey scams


Learn Extra:

 Why You Want Journey Medical Insurance coverage

Night time Bus Journey: 11 Suggestions for Security, Survival, and Sleep

 Prime 10 Journey Tricks to Keep Wholesome Overseas

Prepare Journey in India: Suggestions for Navigating the Indian Railways

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