No matter where you are traveling, most likely there will be someone there happy to scam you. We aren’t suggesting you should assume everyone is on the take, but some common sense and foreknowledge can go a long way.
The Rose Scam
If you get offered flowers while in a tourist area, particularly around key dates like Valentines please understand that you are going to be charged an outrageous amount. Will your Significant Other appreciate it? Maybe, will they hate you if you don’t succumb, probably not.
Technically this isn’t a scam in the sense that you can say “No” and walk on but the size of payment required may well make you feel scammed!
The Room Inspection Crew
While in some countries, be careful if two men in real uniforms present up at your hotel door demanding they need to inspect your room. One will most likely try to entertain you while the other one goes through your things.
If you aren’t sure whether someone is hotel staff, by all means make them wait outside the closed door until you call and check.
The Petition For Charity
While walking through the streets of some countries be alert if someone comes up to you demanding to be mute or deaf and asking you to sign a petition or some money. Whilst this could be legitimate watch that their hands don’t have a knack for finishing up in your pockets while you are working with your signature.
The Peanut Payday
If you are ever resting at a table and somebody walks up to you placing some peanuts on your table while asking you eat them, just remember, they’re not free! He will give go and pour peanuts on other tables, but if you’ve consumed the nuts by the time he gets back, he’ll be demanding payment.
The Busted Camera
A worldwide phenomenon. Be careful if someone asks you to take a photo of them and the camera does not work. Sometimes, when you try to return it to them, they will botch it and let it fall. And guess who they are going to demand payment from?
There has been a variation on this one in Hong Kong, where the passenger Door glass shatters. The Taxi driver demands payment and threatens to call the police. If the Police come you will be fine, call their bluff and see if they will make the call.
The Helpful Pickpocket
It’s Common, someone will advise you of pickpockets in the city. Their assistant will be watching you to see where your wallet is. It is of course instinctive to pat it, or check your bag when warned, and then they know where to aim when they bump into you.
The Map Vendor
Added general scam, be careful if anybody tries to sell you a map, or asks for help reading one. Sometimes they will open it in front of your face to cover up their gluey fingers pilfering your pockets. This should be less common now we all have maps on our phones
The Fake Police Officer
Be cautious in Latin America and Southeast Asia if a police officer asks to check your money because fake notes have been in rotation. When they hand you back your wallet you may notice that some of your money has gone. Of course a genuine officer would provide you a receipt and an incident report that you could file with your insurer, to try and get reimbursed.
The Distracted Cashier
If you ever walk into a store and the cashier seems confused on her phone while you are swiping your credit card, be alert…she could be catching a picture of it to replicate it.
The Slow Change
A general scam throughout Europe and Asia, the cashier will sometimes calculate your change pretty slowly hoping that you lose tolerance and accept whatever she gives you. Of course, it’s usually less than what you should be getting.
The Hurried Taxi Driver
A common scam, taxi drivers will sometimes seem in a dash when dropping you off. They will support you get all your bags out and then take off in a rush. What you didn’t understand is that one of your less (and possibly more important) bags is still in the car.
Of course it’s impossible to list every scam and we would never keep up with the innovative criminal mind. Be alert when you travel, just as you would be at home and you should be fine. If you do get caught put it down to a life lesson, and try to move on without feeling too bitter about it. Of course if there is a meaningful amount of money involved please report it to the Police and make an insurance claim using the crime number.
Don’t forget to check out our other articles like our How to avoid these 7 Travel Mistakes