3 Common Travel Scams and How to Avoid Them
Traveling internationally can be full of excitement and fun until you meet a scammer. Sadly, these kind of people exist wherever you go but you can avoid being scammed. Here are a few tips.
Travel Scams Happen
Luckily, I haven’t been scammed too badly during my travels. When I lived in Greece, taxi drivers would try to cheat me all the time. When I didn’t speak the language, I am sure I lost out on money. The funny thing is they still tried to cheat me even though I clearly spoke Greek fluently. That was super frustrating. In any case, I got smarter later on and technology got better. I eventually only hailed taxis using a reliable app called TaxiBeat.
In Athens, I experienced another kind of scam was pick pocketed on a bus. In Mexico City, a crook tried to steal my purse while I was taking a photo. Luckily, the local police caught him.
Other than that, I have heard worse stories from friends who travel often. They unfortunately fell victim to various types of creative travel scams. It can happen to the best of us.
Many travelers these days, whether in group or traveling solo, are being taken advantage of by shady people who act friendly and helpful. This is why you need to be alert and careful at all times when going to a different country. Scammers should not give you stress and hamper your vacation no matter what.
Listed below are some usual travel scams you might experience during your trip and how to avoid them the best way possible:
Travel Scam: Broken Taxi Meter
As I mentioned earlier, Athens taxi drivers tried to scam me numerous times. The funny thing is they’d do that even after I learned how to speak Greek fluently.
Here’s the scam. After hailing a taxi and getting into it, the driver will then start driving and tell you that the meter is broken and charge you a crazy amount. In fact, this is one of the most common travel scams everywhere. Many taxi drivers are using this to trick travelers from across the globe.
To avoid getting scammed, you can rent a vehicle instead of riding a taxi. Booking car hire in UK for example, is popular among tourists instead of taking the iconic black taxicabs because it can be expensive, and you can easily fall victim to scammers if you hail one. With a rented car in UK, you can comfortably visit all the tourists’ spots you want to see without wasting your money. Plus, rented cars are convenient, safe and fast mode of transportation.
Travel Scam: Money Changing Glitch
Prior to your trip, make it a point to research everything about your destination first. You need to familiarize yourself with the country’s currency, so you would know what type of money is being used. When you are to change currency, see to it that you go to a legit money changer. If you don’t, other people might overcharge you or give you the wrong conversion. Always count your change before leaving a store or restaurant.
Pick Pocketing and Different Sorts of Robbery
As I mentioned earlier this happened to me in Athens. It was while I was squished on a very packed bus. When I got off, I realized that my wallet (tucked deep inside my bag) was gone.
Wherever you go, you must secure all your possessions, especially your bags. Thieves nowadays are getting smarter and smarter with how they can rob travelers, so you better be cautious of your surroundings. They can do various ways to steal something and before you know it your wallet or gadget has been taken away without you noticing it. While you cannot avoid walking around in a crowded place, you have to pay more attention to your belongings and never let anyone divert your attention to something else. This might just be a trick to get your valuables.
The bottom line is you must stay safe wherever you travel. Regardless of how safe a certain destination is, you still need to be attentive of your surroundings. Scammers are just everywhere and will do whatever it takes to steal something from you. In order to avoid any of these travel scams, be wise and learn to protect yourself.
Traveling is not just all about fun, rather the responsibility you put on all your actions each country you visit.
Have you ever been scammed during your travels?