Looking for a vacation? Time for new experiences and relaxation. Visiting exotic places, enjoying good food, meeting new people …or so they say. For a moment, travel excitement and preparations make us forget about the other side of the coin.
Variations on travel scams are numerous and ever changing. If you travel frequently, informing yourself on some of the details about travel scams will pay off for sure. Most travel scams occur where a mass of people is, still if you are in a more rural destination it doesn’t mean you can walk with your eyes closed.
- How Do Travel Scams Work?
- Online Travel Scams
- Travel Agency Scams
- Common Travel Scams Around The World
- Dodgy WiFi Hubs
- Fake Tour Guide
- Taxi Scam
- Money Exchange Scam
- ATM Fraud
- Beggar Scam
- Limousine Service Scam
- Overbooked Hotel
- Friendship or Welcome Gift
- Closed Tourist Attraction
- Photo Scam
- Vehicle Rental Damage
- Flirting Scam
- Fake Tickets
- Wakeup Call
- The Spill
- Dodgy Tours
- Fake Officers
- Bar Bill
- Fake Souvenirs
- The Shoeshiner
- Poor Baby
- The Switcheroo
- Game Of Cards
- Inflated Invoice
- The Tea Ceremony
- Room Service
- The Pigeon Drop
- Broken Camera
- Border Scam
- The Hook
- Fake Petition or Donation
- Bad Drug Deal
- Found Item Scam
- Flat Tire
- How To Avoid Travel Scams
- The Bottom Line
How Do Travel Scams Work?
Language barriers, unfamiliar surroundings and cultural differences mark tourists as easy prey for travel scams. Be ready before and during your travel. You can be sure that scammers have their own schemes already prepared to take advantage of tourists. They catch them off-guard while they’re unaware and uninformed.
Dishonest people use confusion to scam travelers. Sometimes, they approach like a helpful friend. If you are new to the place, they will try to exploit your weaknesses: greed, guilt, lust, ignorance, or fear.
The variations are many, but the situation is the same. One way or another you are acquainted with a fraudster who runs the show and goes away with your cash.
It can happen on social media, travel websites, or the city itself. As usual, the target is a person with money who is unfamiliar with the place.
If you don’t want someone else to mess up your vacations, we suggest taking responsibility. Avoid visiting places without any prior knowledge. We’ll show you the common scams and how to avoid tourist traps.
Online Travel Scams
Here’s where it begins. A person wants to find a ticket for their destination. If possible, they will take the cheapest tickets and the fastest flights. If they’re cautious, they may read about the best booking agencies before they book.
That’s your first line of defense. If a brand is good enough, you’ll hear about it. You’ll find good reviews, friendly staff, and honest offers.
Problems usually arise when people look for low-cost opportunities. Be wary if you find very different prices when you look outside of the official websites. That includes small travel agencies, social media ads, and vacation websites. If you choose to go with these, you may be at risk of the following common schemes.
Free Ticket Scam
Scammers create fake websites where they sell free tickets to any destination you could possibly like. You’ll have to sign up on their official page to qualify for the offer.
They may pull a variation of the advance fee scam on you. For example, they ask you for a registration fee to collect your tickets. Or they ask you for your credit card, even if it’s free, you know “to confirm your identity“.
All it takes to fall into the trap is to visit their website. They may approach you on social media, cold email you or you became aware of their promotion through an advertisement. Once you are in, they may ask for a fee or use a phishing scheme.
The scammer sends the victim a message impersonating their travel agency. As the email shows, “the flight hasn’t been confirmed yet.” They give you a link where you have to log into your account and validate it.
The URL they send may lead to the official website or a clone. In any case, they try to steal your information and take the money. Phishing scammers will often try to target frequent travelers.
Property Rental Scams
In some countries, local prices may be higher than usual. With Airbnb, you get the essential service for much cheaper than hotels. The protection and trust level is high with such an intermediate website. The deal, of course, depends on the owner’s terms and reputation.
If a landlord insists on certain fees, tourists aren’t likely to question them. After all, each country follows different conditions. Make sure to know what those conditions are. You don’t know if you get what you are paying.
If you’re not adding extra protection by using an intermediate service like Airbnb, Booking or HomeAway, then make sure you do the double of your due diligence. The property may be shared with ten other clients and this fact is omitted in the description or it could be that the property simply does not exist at all.
Do they insist on paying upfront? What’s the lease agreement? Have you seen the property?
Bait And Switch
When using unknown sources to book your tickets and accommodation, pay attention to how you spend your money. If free tickets didn’t do the trick, maybe discounts do.
Shaddy websites could advertise their offers and show you prices that are multiple times better than on regular websites. The problem is, they charge more than what they make you think.
What started as a low price can quickly turn into a double of the amount after hidden made-up fees are applied. These costs can add up either after or before you paid the advertised amount.
They charge you more than the average agency, and you work with someone you cannot trust. Problems usually also arise if you want to make some changes or require support which does not respond to your calls and emails. It’s a double problem.
Bait and switch scams come in many forms, so learn more about them to travel safely.
Travel Agency Scams
The easiest way to minimize the risks of travel agency scams like shown in the following examples is to use only known and trusted web sites. When conducting business online, including making travel arrangements, do your homework before you bring out your wallet.
All they need is a website, fake testimonials, and a good sales pitch. They set up fake travel agencies for a few weeks, get hundreds of enthusiastic tourists who pay for plane tickets and apartment bookings, and then close the “shop”.
Fake agencies may also use dubious payment conditions. Their prices don’t meet the usual market offer and are usually much lower. This is how they lure you in. They may also reject payment methods with buyer protection.
Some agencies will use much lower pricing and then when you book you realize that you paid just to “hold” your booking and then if you want to actually reserve it you have to pay again.
Fake Travel Discounts
Booking sites continue to deceive customers through pressure tactics and fake “offers”. Even large and popular websites continue to put pressure on consumers by giving a false impression of a hotel’s popularity, not showing full costs in advance and promoting dishonest discounts.
Sometimes you can recognize this tact when you are urged to buy a room at a particular offer or price point, because it is “the last one”, even though rooms are still available. Regulators have put pressure on these companies, but these practices continue. It is up to the consumer to be aware of these schemes.
As a frequent traveler, you may hear of “travel clubs.” You pay a subscription fee every year to get privileges, such as member discounts. Sometimes, you get a free cruise trip!
Whenever you find these opportunities, don’t believe them easily. In other countries, scammers sell fake memberships to tourists. Those who register for the program get a “travel agent card.”
With this member card, you can stay in top-notch hotels anywhere in the world with a deep discount, or so they say.
Although these cards exist, companies don’t accept every single card user. Fake memberships cost you more money than what you’ll save with them, if not steal from you on the spot.
Common Travel Scams Around The World
Dodgy WiFi Hubs
Wifi spots are convenient for travelers. If you work online, coffee shops are nice places to make money while traveling around the world. But it’s not always a good idea, especially if the network does not ask for authentication. If you use free WiFi, make sure your data is protected.
Use a VPN to keep your connection private. As a rule, don’t send sensitive data when using a public WiFi. If a website asks you to create an account, reserve it for your personal network. With a smartphone, you can easily test whether the network has vulnerabilities.
Fake Tour Guide
Someone you meet on the street offers to be your guide. He can supposedly take you to a special secret place that no-one knows about. He may in fact take you around a little bit, however sooner or later you end up in his shop. You may feel an obligation to buy something, because after all he did take you around didn’t he? If you buy something, he may even change the price on you and demand more.
A different approach to the fake guide scam begins when you notice that someone is walking in front of you. The person will keep looking back to see where you are going and remain a few steps in front of you. Most likely he will chit chat with you and tell you stories about the place you are currently at. After a while he will demand payment from you for the “guided tour”.
Make yourself aware of the overcharges made by a taxi cab driver. If you are visiting a distant country your first time, there are chances you won’t know how much that countries currency is worth. The taxi driver will have no trouble charging you a higher amount, have the taximeter tempered with or drive a few miles in circles.
Also you may be out of change and only have big papers in your wallet. You give the taxi driver a hundred dollars, but he will claim that you gave him a lesser amount or that he can not return you any money.
Negotiate the rates in advance or make sure that the distance measuring device actually works before you get into the car. If the taxi driver refuses to turn on the meter or tells you that it is cheaper without the meter, get out and choose another driver. Taxi scams come in many different varieties, however, most taxi drivers are not cheats.
Money Exchange Scam
When traveling abroad be sure to know the current exchange rate for the currency that your visiting country uses. Exchanging rates will vary from one money exchanger to another and some will have outrageous fees or exchange rates.
Be extra cautious if the exchanger gives you lots of money paper. This scam occurs especially in countries with a weak currency where you potentially need hundreds of money notes for the equivalent of a few US dollars.
In this scenario you may want to exchange a few hundred US dollars. You go to the local money exchanger and you ask him for his terms. He will give you a good rate and terms. You agree and give him the money and he starts to count the local currency that he needs to give you in exchange.
He will pull out a big pile of money, possibly in the smallest denomination possible in that country. There are so many papers that he needs to make stacks of 10 or even up to 50 papers for one stack. You carefully observe the counting and nothing seems to be amiss. He is counting correctly all the time.
At the end there may be many such stacks on the table. The counting is nearly finished when he runs out of these papers with a smaller denomination and gives you one or more money notes that have a higher value. He says he gave you too much money and if you could possibly return him the rest, even if it’s in your home currency.
While you look in your wallet, he will snatch a few of those stacks and you will never notice what happened. A brief moment of your distracted attention is enough for these quick fingers to trick you. You may realize what happened hours or even days later.
- Never be distracted, even for one second when exchanging money.
- Never return any money to the exchanger.
- Try and do a recount once more right after you have finished the exchange.
Someone will approach you at an ATM to help you avoid local bank charges. What they really want is to scan your credit card with the card skimmer in his pocket and watch you enter your PIN number so he can empty your account later.
Your credit card could be copied and the PIN stolen even without anyone nearby. An ATM machine could be manipulated and you would not even notice. A tiny camera could record your fingers, while a small device is put above the credit card insert tray to read your credit card chip.
Even if everything is fine with the cashpoint machine and no “real scammer” is trying to take your money, you may still fall for a different scam on a perfectly legal ATM. And that is in the form of currency exchange rates. An ATM may have an option to charge you in either your home currency or the local currency.
Always choose your home currency, because they will give you a really bad exchange rate if you choose the local currency. This shady practice is perfectly legal and you can only imagine how many people are offered these bad exchange rates and how much the ATM operator earns this way.
A skinny child, wearing ragged clothing, asks you for money so she could buy some food. Perhaps it’s not a child, but an adult already. They tell you a heartbreaking story about how they came to be starving.
In some countries, begging is run as an organized business. Children and adults are used as well to collect the cash for a ringleader. These people often receive very little benefit themselves. If you feel softhearted towards someone that looks hungry, it is best to offer them food or a service instead.
It is advisable to never give out money unless you can somehow make sure that they are telling you the truth.
Limousine Service Scam
A “limo driver” who says he’s just gotten off duty and could use some extra money will approach you and offer you a ride at a bargain. If he won’t scam you by taking a longer route or charging you way more than he promised, he may hold your luggage inside the trunk until you have paid him the desired extortion fee.
This typical tourist scam is mostly done by taxi drivers and sometimes tour guides. On route to your hotel, the driver informs you that your hotel is either closed or overbooked and that he can take you to a different hotel. At that hotel the driver will receive a handsome commission.
Ring your hotel beforehand and make sure it is open. Ask if they offer a shuttle service and then schedule a pickup. If your driver or guide still tells you that the hotel is not available, insist that he takes you there anyway.
Here, you can find a detail guide to avoid hotel scams.
Friendship or Welcome Gift
A friendly man or woman will approach you to greet you and then put a friendship bracelet around your wrist. Or put a locally made necklace around your neck, a hat on your head or anything else in such a similar manner.
Once you have it on you, they will demand money. If you refuse, they will start making a scene, hoping that you would rather give them some money than make a scene of shame.
Do not allow anyone to put anything on your body, and be extremely careful when you accept something for free unless there is a good reason for doing so. If they put something on you, just take it off, give it back to them and be firm. Ignore them, keep walking and move on.
Closed Tourist Attraction
Someone tells you that the museum or attraction you wish to visit is closed at the moment or is under construction. They will of course know someone who can help you out and they’ll take you to a different and much better attraction.
Whether you really see this attraction or not, you will sooner or later find yourself in a shop. And you won’t be allowed to leave until you make a purchase.
Ignore these people and insist on going to your original destination. If they keep trying, just continue to insist and move on. They will usually give up and find their next target.
While you are hanging out at a busy landmark, a local offers to take a group photo of you and your friends. While you prepare to pose for your great photo, you see your new friend is already on the run.
If you want a photo to be taken, you should be the one asking them for the favor, not them offering it out of the blue. As usual, busy city attractions are the riskiest places.
In a similar variation a local will offer you to take a photo with him and then demand money for taking the picture of him.
Vehicle Rental Damage
You rent a vehicle, have fun with it and when the time comes to return it, you run into a problem. The vehicle “appears to be damaged” in places where there were no scars before. The owner demands an additional payment or expensive repairs because of the damage you caused.
To avoid this, first take multiple photos of the vehicle to document any previous damage. Walk around the vehicle and be thorough. Let the owner see this and show him/her all previous damage. Use your own padlock if you use a bike and keep it off the main road as much as possible when you park it. Sometimes an owner will send someone to break the bike or steal it so you have to pay for it.
But these scams don’t limit to travel. It can happen to anyone, which is why we created this guide to avoid car rental scams.
You sit in a restaurant or take a stroll on the streets when a gorgeous woman approaches you. She might pose to be a tourist or a local who wants to show you around. After chatting for a while, you are seductively invited for a drink at a nearby bar. You continue the conversation and have a few drinks along the way. When you ask for the bill, you’re surprised to see the total sum which will be outrageous. Only then you notice the big boys guarding the exits. At the end you are forced to pay that overpriced bill.
The simple solution is to be wary of attractive women who are unusually fast to flirt with you. It may as well be every man’s dream to be propositioned by an attractive woman, but you need to be aware that this scam exploits exactly this innate desire. A similar scenario may as well happen to women, but it is not as common.
Be suspicious when you are invited to grab a drink with someone you just met. If you want to go out together, propose a bar of your choice instead and observe the reaction. Don’t leave any of your possessions unattended either. The person you are talking to or a nearby helper may attempt to defraud you.
You’ll get better at avoiding these misdirections if you’re also experienced with catfish scams.
You arrive at the station and someone comes to you with tickets for sale and claims that they are sold at a reduced price or that you can skip the ticket queue. You buy a ticket just to find out later that it is a fake and invalid ticket. The seller? Nowhere to be seen and your money is gone.
Some of these salesmen even bother to dress officially. Always buy your tickets at an official ticket counter or window.
After a long adventureous day you get back to your hotel and fall asleep right away. In the middle of the night, you are suddenly woken up that there is a problem with your reservation and that you need to confirm your credit card details. The problem is that it’s not the front desk who is calling you, but a scammer who will drain your bank accounts.
Make it a habbit to never give out credit card details over the phone. Instead go down to the front desk in person the next morning and see if there is indeed a problem or not.
You’re jostled in a crowd somewhere as you feel something plop on you. Someone spills a food condiment or fake bird dropling on your shirt. A friendly stranger approaches, offers profuse apologies and begins to wipe off the offending mess while pawing your pockets.
Be alert and aware when people get too close in your way. The best thing to do in such situations is not to let anyone help you. Instead, try to clean up the mess yourself.
It is a good idea to travel with a well established tour company so you know you are getting what you pay for and your safety is paramount. Do your research, check the reviews and ask for recommendations. Always book through reputable websites and suppliers. If you travel with a dubious provider, you could be stranded, injured, sick or at least go bankrupt with part of your holiday budget.
Fake police officers appear to be everywhere around the world. Travelers will often fall for their tricks and be scammed by these faux authorities. Sometimes they are in their uniforms, other times they may be dressed like a regular civilian. These pretenders will stop you on the street and show you their bogus badges. They may ask for your personal ID and, issue you a fine for no apparent reason or insist to search you for counterfeit bills or laundered money.
You will be made aware that you can pay the fine on the spot. If you have given them your passport, they could require payment to get it back. If you have given them your wallet as well, they might require the same for the wallet. Because you don’t want to have trouble with the authorities in a foreign country, you pay up.
Authentic police officers may indeed ask you for your personal ID. Let them know that your passport is stowed away and locked up in your room safe, and if they can accompany you to your accommodation. Ask them to identify themselves as well and if they can give you the phone number of their police station, so that you can confirm that they are who they say they are.
Be polite and explain to them that you’re just being careful. Real officers will not have a problem with that.
If you do show them your ID, don’t let it be taken out of your hands. Police officers should not ask you for any kind of fine on the spot. If they try to issue you with a fine, tell them you will deal with the matter at the local police station.
They may say that you can pay the fine on the spot and it will be cheaper, but you should insist that you want to take care of the fine at the station. The fake pretenders will hightail and move on to their next victim.
You arrive in a new country, decide to set off and experience the nightlife with a drink in the local bar. A friendly local comes up to you and gets you talking. As the night drags on and the drinks flow, the locals begin to disappear one after another. What remains is you with a welcome gift: an overpriced bar bill.
Is this local carving or painting genuine? Was it made locally? Are the materials obtained sustainably? Unfortunately, all over the world, you come across handicrafts and goods that are not made by local craftsmen but are labeled as being authentic, though in fact are mass-produced in a factory elsewhere.
Unless you are an expert in the items you buy, you will probably not notice the fake. This is a minor annoyance, but just something to keep in mind when shopping.
A shoeshiner, approaching an unsuspecting foreigner, “accidentally” drops an object in front of him. The foreigner notifies him that he has lost something. In his gratitude, the shoeshiner offers to shine his shoes.
While scrubbing, the foreigner is told a sob story, guilt-tripping him the entire time. He asks for a “small sum” of money. If the traveler refuses to pay, he gets angry and makes a scene.
A woman with a baby comes up to you and wants you to buy food for her baby. The child will actually look malnourished and unhealthy. You believe that if you give her the money, she will buy something else (alcohol or drugs, nothing for the child).
You offer to accompany her to the store where she actually buys this product. Little do you know that she is going to another place where she can sell the product you bought for her. And she will actually buy something else – nothing to help the child at all. A very sad scam, which is not as rare as you might think.
It’s a common mind trick among scammers to take advantage of other people’s compassion.
Be careful on the markets when you see a wonderful item at a bargain price. After some haggling, the owner agrees to sell it to you. But while you weren’t paying attention, what was wrapped for you is not what you have bought.
Watch your items carefully while they are being packed. It is common for sellers to take advantage of distracted customers by replacing the purchased product with a cheaper version.
Furthermore if what you were buying was a branded item at a cheap price, you most likely got yourself a knockoff.
Game Of Cards
You’ll see people on the street playing and having fun with a card game. Or they may be hiding a ball in a cup and someone is guessing where it is. This applies to any street magic, shell game, or card tricks you can think of.
Today is your lucky day and you’re invited to play. You make your first small bet or two and win. Then, the stakes are raised, and you lose it all.
You have more chance of winning the lottery than this, seriously.
The best way not to lose is simply not to play.
Often people believe it is offensive to ask for prices in advance, especially if something is offered to us with an implied gesture. You can always be polite when you ask for the price before you order anything from a bar, restaurant or a similar location. Additionally, make sure to check the bill for any duplicates or items you did not originally order.
The Tea Ceremony
Basically, a group of people who speak decent English will approach you at a popular tourist site and perhaps ask if you could take a group photo of them. They will act friendly, chat with you for a while and try to find some common points of interest. After a while, you will be invited to go with them and take part in a “traditional tea ceremony“.
You will then be taken to a tea shop, where you can taste different teas varieties while the host goes through the ceremony. After a while, the people who invited you will disappear and when you ask for the bill you notice just how expensive it is.
There is a knock at your door and two people claim to be the hotel room service, cleaning ladies or inspectors. One is waiting outside, while the other comes in to look around. While you are distracted, the first thief slips in and takes your valuables.
Do not let people into your room unless you were expecting them. Call the hotel reception if someone suddenly shows up.
The Pigeon Drop
The pigeon drop scam is an elaborate scheme with many variations. A con artist may approach the mark (or pigeon) in a public place with a suspiciously large sum of money which they’ve supposedly just found. They propose to share the money and they agree to trust you with the bag of money in the meantime. They will call a “financial advisor”, who will organize to clear the funds and make sure they can legally claim them.
There’s just one little catch: the mark must be willing to pay the financial advisor a fee for his services. There is usually at least one more person involved who appears to be just an innocent lucky bystander such as the mark is. That third person is immediately willing to pay the fees, which makes the targeted person more comfortable in doing the same. You get to keep the found money bag, so what can you lose?
All of the involved people are of course partners. Once everyone pays the fees, it’s time for the exit. Somewhere in between also the money bag got switched. Perhaps while you were at the ATM to get the money for the fees? Once everyone is dispersed you have time to look at the money bag again, and who would have known, the contents of the bag are now different.
Just about everyone walks around with either his cell phone or a real camera and taking pictures. A “tourist” will come up to you with a camera and if you could take a picture of them. The camera won’t work in the first place. When you hand it back, the “tourist” makes a weird hand-move and the camera drops to the ground.
He may either ask you to pay for repairs or someone will lift your wallet while you are distracted or bending over to pick up the object.
This fraud often occurs together with fake police officers or officials. You arrive at a border crossing and are then approached by a “visa officer” who offers to speedily process your entry visa. You will be cheated out of the fee or you will find out in a few minutes that you need a real visa because it is a fake.
Always go to the official border office to get your visa and find out about the visa fee before you pay.
You are sightseeing and walking around town when someone strucks up a conversation. Finding where you are from, he will say he has a close relative who lives there. “Could you come to my shop and help me write a postcard for him?”
The goal here is to get you to the shop, perhaps offers you a drink and later pressures you into buying something. The psychological principle of reciprocity is in play here: he gives you a drink, is nice to you and perhaps tells you some local information, so you are socially obliged to buy something from him (more about confidence tricks here).
Fake Petition or Donation
This deceit may be appealing to your sense of social responsibility, but do not be fooled by your senses. You are at a popular sight when someone, often pretending to be deaf, presents a petition to you.
You may want to sign the petition, no harm in that, right? Unfortunately it is only a prelude to a request for a “donation”. If you refuse to pay, they can make a scene, either to make you pay up or to distract you while you are being pickpocketed.
Bad Drug Deal
You’re in a foreign country, usually in a party place, and someone offers you an illicit substance. If you say yes, a police officer (either real or fake) will appear on the scene. You have two choices; either you get arrested or you can pay the fine (bribe) on the spot. Caught in the act, you are more likely to pay the bribe than take your chances.
Found Item Scam
Somebody near you picks up a valuable item off the ground and asks if you dropped it. When you decline, the person starts to curiously and closely examine the item, letting you know just how valuable it actually is.
They make you a really good offer if you take the valuable item. It’s “a win-win situation,” since you get a bargain and they make some money to buy food. When you later take the item to an expert you find out it’s a knockoff.
You park your vehicle outside of a shop or restaurant and go about your business. Upon your return, you notice a flat tire on your vehicle. Misfortune happens, what can you do?
Soon after you are approached by a friendly helper who offers his help. You are taken to a mechanic around the corner and the helper receives his commission. You don’t have much of a choice if you don’t want to drive around with a flat tire.
If by any chance you see another mechanic nearby, at least try changing your mechanic shop, so that the scammers don’t get rewarded for their scam.
How To Avoid Travel Scams
If you are well prepared, you can protect yourself against the majority of scams. You don’t have to walk around uptight and always on the lookout if something will happen to you. Being aware of the various schemes and heightening your senses is enough protection. Con artists will always try to invent ways to cross your defense lines. Things can happen, but don’t forget to enjoy your vacation in any case.
Scammers use vague excuses to justify their means. It’s a dog and pony show to take advantage of tourists. Anything distracting works well to empty your pockets and you will be targeted on the base of these emotions:
- Guilt. Parents disguise kids to incite compassion. They run in groups with a grim expression begging for a tip. They make up life stories about poverty, illness, orphanism, or child abuse.
- Lust. A beautiful woman befriends a tourist and invites him to a club. After a few drinks, the woman banishes, and the victim has to pay a costly fee. There are thugs disguised as cops to make sure he does.
- Greed. A seller approaches to sell you a fake item. He talks about the money you can make once you resell it in your country.
- Fear. In duty-free shops, some scammers dress like cops and ask for identity IDs. The victim pays a fine on the spot to fix the supposed problem.
General Tips To Avoid Travel Scams
Every situation may demand a different response. Sticking to a few basic rules of thumb will, however, help you avoid a lot of the scam schemes.
- Verify, check and compare. Whatever the occurrence, travelers have their power back in this digital era. When you’re riding in a taxi, make sure you have your GPS enabled and are following the route along the way. Prior to booking your accommodation, inform yourself about the company and read the reviews. Same goes for anything else, use your smartphone.
- Be especially alert when you are in a crowd. The best place for a con man is right under your nose. Keep your belongings safe so that they are not stolen if you are distracted. Some will invent charges and try to make you feel ignorant. You should find out about the usual scams in advance or consider traveling with someone familiar with the culture.
- Using travel insurance is usually a good idea. Travel insurances may protect you against theft, illness, injury and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong if you pick the right one.
- Fraudsters do not like to answer questions. They don’t want you to miss the offer, and they want you to move quickly. Next time you find yourself in such or similar stressful situations, you should get out of the scene as soon as possible.
- If any situation gets really dangerous or out of control, you might want to weigh your chances and give the thief what he wants. Sometimes it’s better to lose your money than bring yourself in danger.
The Bottom Line
Anybody can find themselves in the middle of a scam from time to time. What matters is what you do after it. You can take control, learn how to avoid it in the future, and report the crime.
Apart from putting things in place, you will protect others from the trap if you report it. Best of all, you can resume your deserved vacations with peace of mind.