The first thing about any travel plan is finance. Moreover, money matters make or break a plan. Therefore, when one intends to travel they want to keep their foreign exchange or plastic money safe.
To keep travel goods and cash safe people use a variety of locks and bags. However, what many people do not realize is that there more ways of robbing one of money. We are talking about travel scams. This is a smart way of robbing people – much cleaner and lesser chances of being caught.
As a result, many people choose places that are considered quite safe. For instance, many will opt to visit the UAE instead of Rio or pick London over Havana. Sometimes the exciting and super vibrant place gets overshadowed for perceived safety concerns.
However, one thing is certain people get scammed in places such as Switzerland and Singapore. As well as they also get genuinely helped in places that are notorious.
Therefore, always be wary of such conmen. Keep yourself aware of the possible scams and steer clear of shady people. For your knowledge, we have listed our best tips. So that for each location you remember these and stay safe. Most importantly never stereotype, there will be good and bad both everywhere.
Google & social media is your best friend
This is ironic because it is likely that you found this article also on Google. But hey! There you go Google has the best information. So which ever country you plan to visit, check it on the internet. There are plenty of travel groups on Facebook, trending hashtags on Twitter, and plenty of blog posts that guide you about past travel scams one has heard about.
Most countries have app operated cab service nowadays. However, if you have landed with no app or trouble for such cabs then you got to take the local taxi service. This means you have chances of being scammed.
My friends have reported a few cases where they have had the below experiences
- Taximeter is out of order – This means they will overcharge you. To beat this always check the route distance and do not agree with their price rate.
- Long routes – In certain parts of the world even in the US taxi drivers have taken the longest routes, to inflate the bill. Again you can beat this by following a google map.
- Taxi driver recommendation – Many times, taxi drivers warm up to a traveler. As much as we insist that one should be cordial, we recommend trusting your gut. Do not fall into their traps. If they say the place is closed on the day, be firm in going to that place or better still check it. They have certain commissions on bringing business to another spot.
- Licensed vehicles only – Always book or hail licensed taxis. Latin America is a gorgeous country, However, many kidnappings happen by the use of unlicensed vehicles.
Spill or Throw on you
This may sound outdated and very much of a film script. However, it is true. One is an outsider in a new country trying to adjust. Therefore, when something so natural as this happens you can get a little distracted.
A very friendly person comes and offers to clean up your jacket or coat. Their main purpose is to wipe away your wallet. It is a very common technique practiced especially in Europe.
You can simply avoid this, by smiling and walking away by saying “that’s ok I am going for a change .” The key is to make distance and step away.
Remember anything that diverts your attention should not distract you enough to forget your senses about your cash and cards. This may happen with a staged fight, a huge crowd of people gathered, or something distracting.
Free could be trouble
Remember time is money! No matter how friendly a country is you can be scammed. So if someone comes to you to try a perfume, wear a bangle, or try a pair of sunglasses be sure to say no.
Previously, many have been given bracelets and trinkets to try. Once the stuff is worn they demand money. This is a pure scam. Just to avoid the situation, most people end up paying twice or thrice the amount of money for the item.
Do not let the people put things on you.
ATM is personal
Technology is almost uniform in the world. Yes, you may find it slow at a few places. However, do not ever take help for using ATM in a new country. While making payments, at a shop if someone suggests another machine to waive the ATM fee – step back with your card. It is a known trick to steal your card information. Try to use ATM machines that have a door and some privacy.
Well, a little recreation will never hurt anyone. But be very careful. In some places, druggies or hookers ( all a part of this scam) show up. You can be scammed in many ways. They will offer you to buy drugs at a dirt-cheap rate. You end up thinking the price of pot is so low here so why not!
Well somebody will think like that. The moment the deal is about to seal, bang you see cops. This is all planned. The cops will then take your wallet, passport, and other items.
Never hand those. Defuse the situation by walking away or saying I am reporting to the nearest station.
One more tip, separate your valuables and documents. Do not keep everything stacked in one place.
There are ticket-selling booths and official websites for the real deal. Anything outside this equation is wrong. Anybody selling discounted tickets is selling a scam so do not say yes to the deal.
Count the change
Wherever you make a payment always count the change. People have been handed different currencies of lesser value. At times, the change given is lesser than what was supposed to come. Trust people but always count your change.’
If the shopkeeper shares how you can sell their stone, ring, or carpet at triple the price of what you are paying. Please slap yourself, this scam is common in Asian countires. Greed is bad. Honestly, the product they are selling you is also fake and by the time you bring the bulk items back into the country to make three times the profit. You will be quite sad.
Try to carry bags that are sturdy and good with locks. Wear your bagpacks on the front. this keeps your laptops, cameras and other expensive items safe. also a cross body bag serves a great purpose for keeping things safe and in close proximity.