How to Avoid Common Travel Scams


Many destinations around the world have creative locals who are looking to take advantage of nsuspecting tourists. While many travelers may think they’re too savvy to fall for these tactics, the truth is, anyone is susceptible to travel scam pros. Make sure you travel smart and read up on the types of scams that are out there, so they don’t happen to you. Here are several travel scams, courtesy of NomadicMatt.com, that are currently  popular:

The taxi overcharge
This scam is simple: The driver will tell you the taxi meter is broken or you will notice that the fare on the meter seems to be rising quicker than it should. To avoid falling victim to this type of scam, do your research ahead of time and figure out the appropriate cost for a taxi ride in the city you are visiting. For added assurance, verify this potential cost with a hotel employee before you call the cab. Try to find a driver who will agree to this rate ahead of time, and always make sure they’re licensed at your destination.

Closed attractions
When you are in another country and hoping to visit a specific museum or other attraction, a local stops you and says that the destination is closed that day or simply
closed for lunch. The person then guides you to another location, where the pressure is
on to purchase something or pay a lot for entry. To avoid this pitfall while traveling,
check the attraction’s ticket counter or main entrance to view for yourself the hours thatthe venue is open.

The freebie ploy
If you are vacationing in Europe, be aware of a scam that involves a friendly person
coming up to you and trying to put a bracelet around your wrist “for free.” Once you’re
wearing it, the individual will demand money and if refused, will make an embarrassing
scene to convince you to give in.

Spill on your clothing
If you are in another country and all of a sudden, someone “accidently” spills coffee or
another beverage on you, the first thing you should think about is whether you are about
to be scammed. Typically, the perpetrator apologizes profusely and causes such a
scene that you don’t notice they are picking your pocket at the same time. Always be
mindful of unfamiliar people who are close to you, and insist that you clean up the spill
yourself. Then, distance yourself from the perpetrator immediately.

A fake petition
While sightseeing, beware of a local approaching you and asking you to sign a petition.
While seemingly innocent, the goal is to get your signature and then demand money asa cash donation.

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