5 Common Scams You Can Avoid While Travelling Abroad

While travelling abroad you might encounter some shady people after your hard-earned money. Even the most experienced travellers get caught off guard with sneaky and clever scams. These scammers target tourists as they are unlikely to go to the local police, they won’t stay for long and have money to spend. Although some scams are obvious and standard such as overpriced food and souvenirs, some of these “businesses” try to trick you. Here is a helpful list of some of the more common scams in 2019 and how to avoid them.

1: Broken Taxi Meter

Right from the start of your holiday, as soon as you leave the airport or the train station you would be greeted with an overwhelming amount of Taxi drivers. Some of these Taxi drivers often charge an absurd amount to non-native speakers of their language.

How to avoid it:

Best way to avoid falling for this scam is by using a well know companies, such as Uber or lyft. Some places don’t use things like Uber so the next step would be to look up local fairs online and ask the driver beforehand on how much it would be so you can compare it.

2: Taxi Exchange Scam

Some Taxi scammers abroad charge a fair and “low” price compared to the competitors however, they have another trick up their sleeve. These scammers would accept your cash payment only to hand “your money” back and say that it is counterfeit, when it’s not your money that they are handing back. What these scammers do is that they use sleight of hand to change your real money into fake money then they pretend as if they are checking it before handing it back then asking for more.

How to avoid it:

Get familiar with the currency you will be using. Don’t forget the bank or the post office won’t give you counterfeit money, so anyone claiming its fake, most likely has just scammed you. A nice and easy way to avoid this scam is by documenting the serial number on the cash you’ve given to the driver so if its “fake” you’ve got proof the driver has exchanged it.

3: “Free” Bracelets or A Token

When visiting tourist attractions, you might get greeted by a friendly man or woman, sometimes even dressed like monks, putting on you what’s seems to be a free bracelet or token. Once you’ve taken the “gift” they would demand for money. If you decide not to give them money, in some cases they will threaten you by claiming they will get the police involved or even go as far as attack you.

How to avoid it:

As silly as it seems many tourists still give these scammers money, hence why they still do it and there are so many of them. An easy way to stop these people from bothering you, is to completely ignore them and don’t let them put anything on you, so they won’t even try to continue and would rather try with someone else that seems easier to manipulate.

4: Fake Rental Damage

If you find a rental company that’s much cheaper than the rest, that’s probably for a reason. Although you can find some genuine companies that are extremely affordable, some try to pin any damage on the vehicle on you despite it already being there. Be careful, whenever they ask you to sign something as these companies love to exercise their rights and legally take your money when it’s not really your fault.

How to avoid:

Do not sign anything until you know exactly what you’re signing. Make sure you record any damages prior to the rental, using something like your phone camera and read through what you’re signing.

5: Flirtatious Local Women

Some scammers scam by manipulating men, these scammers attempt to get your attention and interest in them by dressing up nice and flirting. This is so they can take you out to an overpriced nightclub and then make you pay for the bill, or in worse cases they even drug you to steal your belongings such as money and passports.

How to avoid:

Notice if anything is out the ordinary, and ask yourself if this would happen in your home country? Not much is worse than being robbed for your money and crucial travel documents, that will most likely be sold for illegal activities.

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