Travel Scams Even You Could Fall For
Let’s face it: Travel scams are alive and well in many major cities worldwide. While most locals are generally helpful and sincere, scoundrels and fraudsters often lurk around undetected. They cheat countless tourists on a day-to-day basis. To avoid being a target of their ploy, here are a few travel scams to watch out for.
1) Overcharged taxi rides
Instead of bringing passengers straight to their destination, cabbies are infamous for using longer routes and roads with heavy traffic. Others even claim to have broken meters and rides are charged at an outrageously expensive rate. To avoid getting ripped off, arrange your cab ride with a reputable company. Better yet, familiarize yourself with the map and public transportation system to explore the city through the locals’ eyes.
2) The friendship bracelet or rosemary
When approached by a sweet man or woman offering free friendship bracelets or a sprig of rosemary, it is best to keep your distance. Said to be symbols of good luck, this travel scam may give the impression of a pleasant gesture at first. Upon receiving this devious gift, chances are you will be forced to make a donation. When you don’t comply, these con artists may even cause a hostile scene. So whatever you do, don’t allow them to touch you and decline their offer respectfully.
Protip: Keep your money out of these scammers’ sight with the Vibe 25 Anti-Theft 25L Backpack. This innovative bag is built with reinforced Pop and Lock features to help secure your valuables. The tamper-proof Roobar Style Locking system is also great for when you are roaming around the city, as it keeps the zippers intact at all times. The all-around eXomesh® protection prevents your belongings from falling out, should someone attempt to cut and run.
3) Charity petitions and donations
Invoking sympathy in tourists is another hoax employed by many scammers. This fraud comes in various forms, including passing fake petitions and disguising as a deaf-mute person. More often than not, you will be solicited for donation to support their fake organizations or be passed well-written cards, asking for funds to help with an unidentified charity. They appear innocent and may even leave without hesitation. However, your belongings and personal information could be in their hands.
Pro-tip: With the Vibe 150 Anti-Theft Cross Body Pack, these savvy thieves won’t stand a chance to fool you. Equipped with RFID-blocking pockets and material, you can face these scammers confidently at any distance without stressing over the security of your credit cards and passport information. This cross-body bag is made of additional advanced anti-theft technologies like the Carrysafe® and eXomesh® slashguards, which allow you to explore the city streets at ease while safeguarding your valuables against potential pilfering.
4) Gang of pickpockets
The most prevalent yet dangerous type of travel scam is being tricked by a gang of pickpockets. This theft usually works in forms of distraction such as inquiring for directions, spilling food or drinks on purpose, as well as creating a frenzied argument – allowing the accomplice to rummage their way through tourists’ possessions when they are heedless of their surroundings.
5) Beggar young mother and child scam
Tourists are looked upon as walking dollar signs, so don’t be shocked to see mother and child beggars gravitating towards you. Usually, you will be asked for money to feed her baby– in which case, you naturally sympathize and donate. Little do you know, the child doesn’t even belong to the young lady, and your money ends up in a syndicate’s pocket. As hard as this may sound, the safest means of preventing this travel scam is to not entertain them.
This article is adapted from Pacsafe’s Travel Blog.