The Most Common Travel Scams (And How to Avoid Them)
While there are countless scammed issues warned by newspapers or travelers out there, many of us still keep thinking that they are smart enough to avoid those shady people. However, the truth is, it does happen to the best of us, not except you, not except me!
To that end, it is important to acknowledge yourself the most common travel scams as well as how to avoid them. As you know, those who sees through life and death will meet with most success.
Broken taxi meter
This is the very first issue you might face with when travel to a new land, especially abroad countries. Many cases were arisen by many car drivers near train stations or airports. However, this might happen everywhere.
The common trick is that the taxi driver will inform about the broken meter once you have already got into the car and begin to drive. Next, they will make a deal of a really ridiculous price.
I was nearly a victim of this scam when I traveled to Costa Rica. There were dozens of taxi drivers who tried to draw me to this scam. My experience to this is trying to negotiate rates before getting in the car or checking out the meter to make sure it still works.
In case the driver denies to turn on the meter or inform that it has been broken down and offer a cheaper deal for the tune without meter, I sincerely advice you to get out the car and find another taxi whose meter is working well.
Free rosemary or bracelets
The victims of this travel scam usually are women. Somebody will approach to make conversation in friendly way. Then, they will place a rosemary or bracelets to your wrist for “free” as the first-met present or wishes for luck.
Once you agree to wear it, these guys will ask for money. If you don’t give them, then they’ll start to cause a scene.
The best way to avoid such scams is to be wary of someone giving you anything, especially when you are in touristy places. I’m saying that all cases are scams. There obviously are many really friendly who just give you rosemary for luck. However, if there is nothing ensured these things for good reason, just ignore it and walk away.
Fake police officers
This happens mostly in many big cities. The script will be start with one person trying to approach you and offer drugs or other illicit items. While chatting with them, there will be one or two more people with police-liked dressing appear and ask for your wallet or passport. In fact, these guys aren’t police officers.
In such cases, many people will take down their guard and give these “polices” what they are asked. However, the best way to know whether they are real or not is require them to show you their ID cards or inform that you’ll call to the police office to clarify who they truly are.
In case, they can’t present such basic information to you, just keep walking.
There are many different names for the scammer in this case, hi-tech thieves, data thieves, etc. However, the common tricks for this travel scam is that these shady guys will take advantage on your RFID chips located on bank cards and ID cards, using a RFID handheld scanner to hack your personal information.
This is a sophisticated attitude because the thieves, without distracting you or touching your wallet, still enable to take your data away, usually within 3 meters.
I was once a victim of this scam. But luckily, I didn’t lose a big amount and thanks to the local police and bank cooperation to block my bank account. However, after that experience, I started using RFID wallets.
Actually, there are tons of RFID wallets out there on the market. But, to choose the best one and to know whether it works or not, drop your money on reliable brands or directly test it with an RFID scanner.
Flirtatious Beautiful Women
What would you do if a beautiful and attractive woman approaches you, chatting and inviting you to a nightclub? 100% Agree? Well, no! I know that this is the common dream of many men to be propositioned by young attractive women, but be wary, this might be scam.
In fact, many travelers claimed that these women played tricks on them like disappearing after a wild night and forcing them to pay the bills. Or getting worse, their valuables were stolen.
These cases are the most common scams happening to travelers that either I was heard or experienced. Hope that my sharing and guide will help you. But importantly, don’t let these small things disturb your dream of traveling around. Think of it as a rite of passage. Good luck!