No matter where you go in the world, there will be shady characters and pool looking to make a quick buck!
The best way to avoid and scams and chambers is to know what to look out for.
Taking advantage of gullible tourists is big business! If you aren’t careful, you could become the victim.
It’s easy to think that as a traveler, you are smart enough to avoid being scammed. Truth be told, it being scammed happens to the best of us.
Whether it’s being ridiculously overcharged on taxi rides to mistakenly revealing your credit card information to a potential scam artist, knowing what scams exist is a good starting point.
There are lots of different scams but I have just mentioned five below to help you avoid losing any money and keeping you safe.
For this scam, cab/taxi drivers on airport and train station routes are often known to try this. But it can indeed happen anywhere. After getting into the taxi and the driver starts to drive, they will tell you that their meter is broken and try to charge you a ridiculous fare (this can in sky high if you aren;t careful so watch out for this scam!).
You should negotiate your rate before you drive off, or at least ensure that the driver’s meter is actually working before you hop into the car. If they refuse to turn on their meter, or tries to tell you that it is cheaper without using the meter, then hop out and get another driver.
Again, this travel scam usually happens with taxi drivers. En route to your accommodation, your driver will try to tell you that the hotel you staying at is closed or over-booked and conveniently offer to bring you to a hotel that is more expensive, where they will of course receive a nice commission!
Give your hotel a call in advance to sure that they are open. Ask them if they offer a shuttle service from the airport and then arrange a pickup. If your driver still maintains that your hotel isn’t available, insist that he takes you anyway.
While WiFi can be found almost anywhere today, some free unlocked connections might actually be dangerous. Hackers can set up unsecured wifi hotspots in public locations that entice unsuspecting tourists to eagerly connect into — giving the scammer access to your device, pass codes and online accounts etc.
Always ask for the official wifi connection and password in the hotel, coffee shop or airport. Sometimes this is written on the wall, on the menu or on the receipt. To give yourself some security, try encrypting all of your activity online using a virtual private network (VPN).
More to come
These are just a taster of the scams out there. The main thing is to watch out for suspicious behaviour, especially involving money. Be vigilant and trust your gut instinct.