Nothing ruins a perfect vacation faster than falling for a slick travel scam. Scams can ruin a trip and force travelers to spend more money. These scams include unscrupulous taxi drivers and trips with unforeseen expenses.
You might get a text message, a phone call, or a flier in the mail or stumble on free or inexpensive vacations. These offers are usually the product of dishonest businesses and scammers. You may pay unforeseen costs, or even worse, you’ll discover it’s all a fraud after you’ve paid.
Fortunately, information will shield you from travel fraud. This post will give you expert tips for identifying and avoiding the most prevalent scams that prey on unsuspecting tourists.
1. Book Your Trip with a Reputable Site
One of the top reasons tourists become victims of scammers is booking their trips with imposters. Be wary of the people and companies you procure vacation services from. Conduct due diligence on a website before you make contact, and if it is within your region, make a point of visiting physically.
Scammers also spoof websites by setting up travel sites almost identical to the original site. Confirm the website’s credibility by cross-checking the URL to ensure it is legit.
Remember also to avoid scammers when getting any other service online. If you are a gambling fan, use reputable and licensed online casinos to play your favorite pokies.
2. Take Your Time Before You Act
Whether reserving accommodation or paying, don’t allow yourself to get pressured by service providers to take action.
Con artists want you to take action with little thought. They are going to pressure you to make a decision quickly.
For instance, you might get a call informing you you’ve won a no-cost cruise, but you need to cover the booking fee immediately to guarantee your seat. They aim to keep you from second-guessing yourself.
If someone posing as a corporation tries to rush you to decide immediately, take the opposite action. Most likely, it’s a hoax. When in doubt, end the call or remain silent.
3. Avoid Street Money Exchanges
Although they could appear helpful, locals who offer to exchange money on the streets are typically frauds. They prey on travelers unaware of exchange rates and currencies. They intend to deceive you with false information, steal your money, and replace it with unusable paper.
Always exchange money at reputable banks or well-known currency exchange desks to be safe and avoid financial loss.
4. Watch Out for Pickpockets
Scammers proficient at distracting people with pickpocketing usually target crowded tourist sites with maps, petitions, and signs. They might throw items on the ground right in front of you, making you glance down so they can pickpocket you with an accomplice. Or they use the appearance of spilling something on you by accident as a pretense to steal.
Carry as little valuables as possible in belt pouches or crossbody bags to keep them safe. Never grasp for dropped objects; keep valuables in front pockets and out of reach. The best defense against theft in dense groups is to avoid distractions.
5. Don’t Ride a Taxi with a Broken Meter
This fraud has been known to be pulled by cab drivers around train or airport terminals, although it can occur anywhere. A cab driver will tell you that the taximeter is broken once you get in and proceed to charge you an absurd amount (hundreds of dollars).
Before getting in a cab, ensure the meter is functioning or negotiate the costs. Get out of the cab and find a different taxi if the driver won’t switch on the meter or says it’s cheaper without one.
6. Avoid ATM Helpers
Tourists often fall prey to a range of ATM crimes. Someone may come up to an ATM claiming they can assist you in avoiding costs from your local bank. To later empty your account, they want to watch you input your PIN and then scan your ATM card using a card skimmer they carry around in their pockets.
When using an ATM, only allow people to get close to you. Always cover the numerical pad using your other hand when entering your PIN.
Reports show that 40% of crimes related to ATMs occur at night, so you should be even more vigilant if you transact in a foreign country.
7. Avoid Public Wi-Fi Hubs
While Wi-Fi is available practically everywhere, some free, unsecured connections could be risky. In public spaces, hackers will install alluring free Wi-Fi hotspots to which unsuspecting victims will be happy to connect. This will grant the hacker access to your gadgets, login details, and online accounts.
Always ask the coffee shop, hotel, or airport personnel for the official Wi-Fi connection, especially if a tempting, unsecured connection is visible. Use a VPN to secure everything you do online.
8. Avoid Gemstone Deals
A local mentions his successful business of purchasing jewelry and precious stones and reselling them in your country for profit. They promise to show you where to get the most outstanding deal and how they do it.
Most of these products are scams! Regardless of the fantastic offer, only purchase pricey luxury goods while on vacation abroad. Anything that seems too good to be true is most likely a travel scam.
Take heed of these travel guidelines to avoid scams and safeguard your hard-earned cash and valuable time. Do extensive research on the destination in advance so you are aware of the common schemes.
Use only reliable modes of transportation. To avoid con artists, exchange money securely within banks, and avoid offers that seem too good to be true.