Don’t fall for these travel scams! part 2

Shady people love to take advantage of tourists, and if you’re not careful, it’s easy to become a victim. Here are some of the most common travel scams around the world part two.

Injured Or Child Beggars

Usually deaf, blind, or pregnant, sometimes accompanied by a “helper”, beggars will ask you for money. Women with babies are common (they might not even be theirs). Children are also frequently used by begging gangs to collect money. Why? Because it’s difficult for most people to say no to the old, injured, or young. Sometimes an accomplice nearby is just watching to see where you keep your wallet so they can pickpocket you later.

How To Avoid It:
It’s practically impossible to distinguish who is legit and who is not, so my policy is to never give cash to street beggars. However I do buy food or giveaway old clothes to them. Then your money isn’t going to a gang.

pexels-photo-796526.jpeg


Group Photo Offer

While hanging out in a busy tourist location or landmark, a local offers to take a group photo of you and your friends. As you’re getting ready to pose for your awesome new Facebook jumping shot, you look up and realize your new friend has completely disappeared. With your expensive camera.

How To Avoid It:
This one is tough, you really need to read the situation. I’ve happily handed my camera over to other people for a group photo. But it’s almost always me asking them for the favor, not them offering out of the blue. Busy city attractions are the most risky places for this. If you have to, ask fellow tourists instead and return the favor for them.

people-mother-family-father.jpg


Fake WiFi Hubs

While you can find WiFi almost anywhere these days, some of those free unlocked connections might be dangerous. Hackers will set up tempting unsecured wi-fi hotspots in public locations that unsuspecting victims eagerly connect to, giving the thief access to your computer, passwords, online accounts, and more.

How To Avoid It:
Always ask the hotel/coffee shop/airport staff which wi-fi connection is the official one. Especially when you see a tempting unlocked connection. To encrypt all your online activity, use a VPN, or virtual private network.

pexels-photo-842548.jpeg


Motorbike Rental Damage

After you rent a moped or scooter, it gets damaged (or even stolen) overnight. The owner will demand additional payment or expensive repairs as compensation. What you don’t know is that it was the owner or his friends who caused the damage or stole the bike from you.

How To Avoid It:
Take photos of the bike first to document previous damage. Use your own lock, not one provided by the rental guy (who may have a 2nd set of keys). Don’t tell the company where you’re really staying, and make sure there’s a safe place to leave the bike overnight. If damage does occur, take it to a repair shop recommended by someone other than the bike’s owner.

pexels-photo-730069.jpeg


Fake Bus/Train/Plane Tickets

Someone offers to sell you train tickets at a discount, or avoid the line and pay a slightly higher price. Maybe a taxi driver offers to bring you to his friend who’s a local travel agent. However the tickets they are selling aren’t real, and by the time you figure it out, the scammers are gone with your money.

How To Avoid It:
Always buy transportation tickets from the official ticket office or website.

pexels-photo-69866.jpeg


Travel Scammers Suck!

The truth is that no matter how prepared you think you are, you’ll eventually fall for some sort of travel scam. But don’t let this discourage you from traveling the world. Think of it as a rite of passage. Sure, it’s embarrassing to be tricked out of your money, but there are always worse things that could happen. It’s just a learning experience. At least that’s how I look at it! Check out Part 1 for some more tips!!

Have any questions about travel scams? Have you ever been a victim? Drop me a message in the comments below!

 

Leave a Reply