Travel scams are rampant in any foreign country that you visit. It is commonplace in all countries as these scams essentially happen to tourists who have little to no knowledge of the country they are visiting. This makes it all the more important for you to equip yourself of as much information as you can before heading to overseas. Becoming aware of the prices for transportation and food among others will not only save you from getting ripped off but from getting into serious physical dangers too.
Instead of getting paranoid about traveling abroad without a local with you, all you need is to be alert and cautious whenever you strike a deal or business transactions. Here are some of the most common travel scams you need to be aware of when traveling:
This usually occurs if you happen to find yourself in a minor violation or accident. These unscrupulous people, upon discovering that you are a foreigner, will claim that there is something wrong with your passport or that you have incurred a major criminal offense under their law. Of course, the usual blackmail spiel will come afterwards, as these “policemen” will threaten that you will most likely be incarcerated if you do not pay a handsome fine instead. You can solve this scam simply by standing your ground and being willing to be accompanied to the police station. These people will most likely change their stories and let you off the hook instead.
Taxi meter scams
This is obviously a common scam in all points of destination from all around the glove. Taxi cabs that wait for customers outside international airports will strike a fixed deal with you instead of utilizing the installed meter on their vehicles. There are also those who claim that their taxi meters are broken while some simply tamper with the meter to speed up its settings as the vehicles move. You can totally avoid this issue by setting transportation arrangements with your hotel instead. Most hotels nowadays offer free pickup and drop off services to travelers staying for two nights or more.
As you walk along the streets of a tourist destination, there will be one or two people who will distract you either by use of entertainment or by accidentally bumping into you. Once your attention is someplace else, another group of people are expertly riffling through your bags, pockets, and jackets. It’s already too late for you as you noticed that your personal belongings including your money and passport are gone a few minutes or hours after the incident.
Drugged inside restaurants and bars as well as on public transportation
If you want to have a memorable vacation from beginning to end, better stay safe and never accept food and drinks from strangers you meet in restos and public transportations. Some unscrupulous people simply abuse the tradition of hospitality and take advantage of foreigners by drugging them and stealing from money them once their victims fall unconscious. The drugs used in this modus operandi may range from simple sleeping pills to deadly substances such as scopolamine, nembitol, and rohypnol. Although there are good Samaritans around you, it’s just difficult to spot who has good intentions and who are only after your money and personal belongings.
I love travelling and have been to all fifty states. My ultimate dream is to visit every country in the world in my lifetime. I believe that travelling expands the mind and provides new perspectives. Along the way, I have found ways to save money, among them using specialized travel agencies, like Sundance Vacations. You can follow them on Pinterest.
Image by garryknight via Flickr