Let’s face it. There are good people and there are people who are… let’s just say that their ethics are questionable. Many of us are NOT aware that there are many scams happening around the world especially when you are travelling. Being a tourist makes you very vulnerable to scams due to many reasons.

It’s always good to be aware, be knowledgeable and be ready. This time, we have done our research and compiled a list of SEVEN travel scams that you should be aware of at all time!

1. THE BROKEN CAMERA – Location: Worldwide

Someone will approach you and ask if you will take a group photo of them with their friends. Of course, on goodwill, you will agree. Unfortunately, the camera or the phone does not work and when you hand it back to the owner, he will fumble and drop it on the floor, usually causing it to smash. The entire group will start hackling you for money to repair the device or they will just pickpocket you during the commotion.

Tips on avoiding?
Just enjoy yourself and stop being Mr Nice Guy or Ms Nice Girl. As harsh as it sounds, it’s to protect yourself from countless troubles.

2. THE MAP SELLER – Location: Europe

A friendly map seller will approach you with the intention of selling you a map. They will open the map in front of you to show you how detail it is and what good information that it gives you. This serves a distraction so that an accomplice will get the chance to pickpocket you.

How To Avoid?
Always buy maps from the local bookstore or convenience store and keep a copy with you. When approached, quickly reject and walk away.

3. THE OVERNIGHT BUS – Location: Bangkok

Sometimes, overnight buses seem to be a good option to travel, considering how cheap it is and you get to save on accommodation as well. Not this one. You will end up paying more in fact considering how they will rummage through your bags in the luggage compartments and take whatever valuables that they can find.

Want to Avoid This?
If you are taking the overnight bus, keep all your valuables with you at all time. Use locks to secure your bag if needed. If possible, just avoid the overnight buses. There are always alternatives.

4. THREE CARD MONTE STREET HUSTLE – Location: Paris / London

The game is simple. Three cards. Guess which one is the Joker among the three cards and you win your bet. Which usually will never happen. You will always lose. Even if you win, their accomplice will trail you and pickpocket you after you walk off from the game.

How can you avoid this scam?
Simple. Don’t even look. You will never win. And now you know.

5. THE GETAWAY TAXI DRIVER – Location: Las Vegas

This is a least commonly used travel scam. When you arrive at your hotel, the nice, helpful taxi driver will help to take out your stuff from the car boot. He will then act as if he is in a rush, gets back on his car and drive off as quick as possible. Why? This is because he actually left one of your smaller and less noticeable bag in the trunk!

Tips on avoiding the scam:
Pack smart and always be aware of the amount of bags that you have. Make sure it’s correct when you get off the taxi regardless of how rushy he is. In fact, don’t pay the driver before you confirm the number of bags.

6. THE FLIRT – Location: Worldwide

An attractive female will approach a lone male traveller and starts to flirt with him. She will then ask him to get a drink with her at a local bar. What happens next can go two ways, bad or really bad.

Bad: The bill comes at the end of the night and the price is shockingly high. The women? Nowhere to be found.
Realy bad: She spikes your drink with a drug when you are unaware. The next thing you know, you will wake up in your hotel room with everything taken away from you. Yes, that includes your money, passport, gadgets and practically everything that is valuable.

How……… do I avoid this?
Don’t fall into temptation. If you really need a female companion, go to a bar/eatery of your choice instead of hers. Even so, always be aware of drink spiking. NEVER leave your drinks unattended.

7. FAKE FRONT DESK CALL – Location: Worldwide

Here’s another travel scam. Your hotel room phone rings. It’s from the front desk, informing you that there are some “problems” with your credit card details and asks for your credit card details as a “confirmation”. Next thing you know, there will be an unknown charge on your credit card bill which will cost you thousands of dollars. This will usually happen in the middle of the night when you are too lazy to head down to the counter to sort it out.

Can I avoid this?
Yes, you can. When you receive such calls, tell them that you will come down to the counter to sort it out. Head down to the counter and verify the validity of the call. If it’s a scam call, inform the manager on duty on such activity.

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Author’s Note: We know that this might have been one of the most unpleasant posts that you have read in our website but trust us, the experience will be MORE unpleasant if you ever fall into one of these scams. Prevention is always better than cure. 

Please, inform your friends and loved ones as well. No one has to fall for these scams and be parted from their hard earned money. 

3 thoughts on “7 Scary Travel Scams You Never Knew About

  1. Blake P says:

    Didn’t know so many! Great to know these before travelling, especially the midnight bus scam. I think that can happen anywhere.

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