When planning a trip it’s easy to get caught up in researching which sites to see and which restaurants to visit, and why not, travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But there is more to planning a trip than just visiting the tourist attractions. Scam artists prey on starry-eyed tourists who let their guard down and often play on the traveler’s kind and trusting nature, desire to save on holiday purchases and lack of local knowledge. Nothing can ruin a trip faster than getting scammed out of your hard-earned travel funds, but if you keep your eye out for these five travel scams, you’ll make sure your next trip is hassle free.
Picture it. You’re roaming around a local souk looking slightly lost and kind person comes up to you offering directions or sightseeing advice when, suddenly, he or she ties a woven bracelet around your wrist in a double knot then demands payment. If you refuse, the scammer starts yelling that you’re stealing the bracelet and basically attempt to scare you into paying them. Seems so silly, but it happens more often than you think. Be wary of overly friendly people offering services you neither want nor need and tell them to remove the bracelet before you call the police.
Tricky Taxi Drivers
If you thought taxi drivers in NYC had tricks up their sleeves, think again. Unfortunately for all the good ones, cab drivers have a bad rep for ripping off travelers and it’s not uncommon for you to pick up a bad seed even from somewhere seemingly safe like the airport. Some of the most common cons are inflating fares or telling passengers their selected hotel/bar/restaurant is closed, but never fear, they know a better one just down the road. Many taxi scam artists will refuse to turn their meters on and try to tell you that they are off shift so they can’t turn it on. Lies! Always travel in licensed cabs and, if possible, agree on a fixed fare. Also, insist on going to your original destination and see if it is actually closed for yourself. If all else fails, have the local police number handy.