Most people think that travel scams happen to naïve and trusting tourists only, but the more sophisticated ones are not an exception either. When it comes to travel scams, there are many subtle and surprisingly creative ways to be deceived. So take a look at our list of common travel scams and tips to avoid them if you plan a trip soon.
Extra Items on the Bill
After a nice lunch at a café, be sure to check the bill, because in some cases it may contain things you didn’t actually order. The crooked establishments usually count on tourists who are always short of time and don’t take the trouble of being more watchful. Never pay for an item you didn’t order, even if it’s already on your table. Another trick to take into account is upping the prices of menu items. So be sure the waiter doesn’t show you the pricier version of the menu later.
Avoid Phantom Apartments
Renting apartments from local residents can be even more convenient in terms of the location and the price, but your apartment might not actually exist. A little foreknowledge can keep you one step ahead of the owners of phantom apartments. Try to book your accommodation through reputable agencies with reasonable prices. Very often the too-good-to-be-real prices are the indicator of fake apartments. Unless you double check the validity of the advertisements, never send payment to an untraceable account via a money transfer.
Pay in Cash
Keep your cards in your sight not to allow the shopkeeper or waiter to copy your information or much easier and safer, pay cash. While paying in cash do a slow count. When you pay with too large a bill for a small payment, check the change you’ve been given. And at the very least get familiar with the local currency once you are already abroad.
Beware of Pickpockets
For experienced pickpockets filching your wallet is a matter of seconds. They usually distract naïve tourists is such a creative way that is beyond any suspicion. Under any circumstances ignore them, even if they pretend to be social workers or tourists advising to beware of pickpockets.
Avoid Fake Tickets
Another famous scam is selling fake tickets. There are usually lots of strangers traipsing around popular tourist attractions and trying to sell amazingly realistic tickets. Be sure to buy tickets from official vendors only, not to be fined or even arrested.
Agree on the Price and Details of Your Hotel Room in Writing
In order not to become too paranoid, take precautionary measures getting the price of your accommodation in a written form. Some cunning hotels claim that you misheard the price, when you agree on it on the phone. The side effect of all these precautions may be turning any stranger you meet into an object of suspicion.
Beware of Taxi Drivers
If you have already planned a visit to a foreign country, research fares beforehand to know exactly how much a trip should cost in the local currency. One more thing: before letting the driver load your luggage, you should agree on the price, so as not to be deceived.