Having travelled for many years, I have come to be familiar with a couple of scams. So I decided to share with you how to avoid it and what to look for.
Taxi’s– Here I have seen two different scams. One where the taxi driver takes the long way and charges you per meter. You should always google before you get into the taxi so you are aware of approximate journey ride. Second, is a flat fee which is more than what a meter would be. This is typically offered to travellers who stay in 5 star hotels. Negotiate how much it would cost before getting in, ask your hotel what it would typically cost.
Camel ride– Where the price does not include coming down from the camel. This is typically found around pyramids of Giza. How to avoid it? Negotiate for the price ahead of time, and if you can get a local guide to do that for you!
Bracelets– In certain capitals of Europe, you will find people approaching you in a friendly way to offer you a “Friendship” or “Good Luck” bracelets. When you try to take it off, they will demand money, if you refuse to pay they will scream that you stole it from them. You can avoid it by not engaging.
Flat Tire – You drive in Caribbean, where there are lots of pot holes and dirt roads. When you enter town a young guy runs to your car and points out your wheel for you. This is a scam to steal money from you or to charge you for looking at the tire. Do not leave the car, I drive for a couple of miles before pulling over to check it out. (After all you may actually have a flat).
Souvenirs – Lots of people buy art or hand made local goods. Only to come home and see the paint wash off and find a sticker that says “Made in China” when you bought it in South America. This also applies to art, which was photocopied and not at all original. Take good care to examine the goods before paying money.
Jewellery: If buying jewellery, do not be fooled by cheap prices, gold price is the same everywhere, if it is more than 30% lower than back home be skeptical. Go with reputable company or learn how to distinguish gold and precocious stones from fakes.
Gypsies: This is probably your biggest concern when travelling in Europe. There are many different scams, usually there are many people involved and often they are children. There could be a distraction or they could be begging for money. Try to stay away, hide your valuables and pay close attention to yourself and not whats going on around. Do not put your wallet in a pocket and if you have a backpack or purse, keep it in front and make sure there is a zipper. Also, do not take more money than you need for that day.
Exchange cash– There are many places where you have people standing and yelling exchange, especially in Buenos Aires where you cannot get their currency abroad. While, it is illegal, the exchange rate is better however, you maybe at risk of a person running away with all your money or giving you fakes.
Fake Guides– I have seen it all too many times. People approach you asking if you need a guide showing you some sort of document. They will charge you more than an official guide and probably will make up information on the way. Same goes for maps, which are usually free at the tourist office.
Camera theft – a person approaches you in a crowded tourist attraction and asks if you want your picture taking. While you are standing striking your best smile, he runs off with the camera. While travelling solo you are at mercy of others for photo taking, it is best to ask a person next to you who speaks the same language as you!
There are probably more and more ways to get scammed, however, the chances of it is low if you are aware of your surroundings!
Leave A Comment