According to the Telegraph, over-friendly locals, hotel workers and taxi drivers can turn to be criminals. Such people realize that tourists are easy picks and will apply any non suspicious methods to scam them. Therefore, it is important for you as a traveler to be able to identify potential scams and escape them.
The following are 5 types of scams you are likely to encounter while travelling.
- Fake Vendors
Cases have been reported of people having their credit card details stolen and emptied. One trick that fake vendors use to trap people is taking photos of such credentials without being noticed. To be safe, do not use a credit card at any stall or shop. Use cash, and, when you have to use the card, make sure no data is captured. More so, protect your PIN.
- Hotel Scammers
In some countries, drivers will collude with hotel owners to lie to tourists. They convince them that something has happened to the hotels they had booked and take them to others. They end up overpricing them. To be safe, find a reputable travel agent and do not give in to such claims.
- Overfriendly Strangers
Not every friendly person is a criminal. However, do not expose yourself to any risks. A tour guide from a reputable institution can be trusted. When mingling with any stranger, know your limits. Do not eat anything they give you or go to secluded places with them. Such people might end up harming or robbing you.
- Cheap Charters
In many countries across the world, you will find charters that carry tourists’ luggage for them. These can be buses, taxis or carts. Some of these transporters rummage through the luggage and steal valuables. In one unfortunate event in Spain, a group of scammers stole goods from passengers by hiding one of their own in a large bag. Nobody realized anything until the passengers contacted the affected charter with complains.
- Street Scammers
This category has the highest number of reported cases. The criminals in this category use different approaches. One is offering free products such as fruits or flowers then demanding for pay. They take advantage of tourists’ vulnerability. Others will take photographs and demand for pay.
In yet another tactic, a stranger will volunteer to take images of you using your camera or phone. When you hand them the gadgets, they run off with them.
Finally, I cannot leave pickpockets out. They will follow visitors everywhere and take advantage of distractive activities to steal from them. For instance, they will set up magic or music shows then steal from you as you focus on the performance.
The solution to any form of scam lies with personal alertness and dealing with credible travel agents only. If you suspect something, trust your instincts. Again, if possible, always be accompanied by a guide. It might be too demanding, but your safety precedes everything else.