The 5 Most Common Travel Scams And How To Avoid Them

If you’ve already traveled a little, then you may have realized that some ill-intentioned people sometimes tended to want to rip off tourists.

It must be said that when you arrive in a country where you know nothing, you become an easy victim.

To avoid this kind of bad experience, I’ve made you a list of the 5 most frequent scams encountered on trips. I myself have been a victim of some of them, so I speak knowingly!

The Out-of-service Taxi Meter

It’s a well-known scam, especially around train stations and airports. You get into a taxi, the driver starts driving and then informs you that the meter is out of service. So, at the end of the race, you end up paying much more than the normal fare.

How to avoid this scam?

Never get on a taxi without agreeing on a price or checking with the driver that your meter was working. If you can’t do it, turn around and look elsewhere. Not all taxi drivers are scammers.

A Full Or Closed Hotel

Another scam that takes place in taxis. You give the address of a hotel you have spotted in your guide and, on the way, the driver tells you that the hotel is either full or closed. His goal: to take you to a more expensive hotel where he will receive a nice commission.

How to avoid this scam?

Call your hotel before you go and make sure it is open. You can even ask them if they offer a shuttle service so as not to take the taxi. If your driver continues to tell you that the hotel is not available and insists on driving you elsewhere, tell him that you have a reservation, even if it is not.

Free Bracelets Or Flowers

It’s a scam that mainly affects women. A man or woman approaches you with a smile, starts talking to you and grabs a free friendship bracelet on your wrist or hands you a bouquet of flowers to bring you luck. Once you have the item in hand, it then asks you to pay. And when you refuse, it starts to get angry.

How to avoid this scam?

Do not allow anyone to give you or hang on to something and always be suspicious when someone wants to offer you something for free (unless there is a good reason, of course). This scam occurs mainly in tourist areas. Ignore people who approach with something in their hands and keep going.

Spill Something On Your Clothes

A scam very common in Europe. You walk down the street when suddenly something falls on your shoulder (usually sauce or bird droppings). A stranger then gently approaches and begins to wipe your shoulder while discreetly pulling your wallet.

How to avoid this scam?

The best thing in this situation is not to let anyone help you. Why don’t you go to a public toilet and clean your clothes?

Fake Police Officers

Another scam that is very present in the big cities. In general, you are approached by offering you illegal things such as drugs. While you refuse, one or two policemen approach you with their badges. They ask you to present your identity papers and wallet and steal from you. They’re not real cops.

How to avoid this scam?

Never hand over your passport or wallet to anyone. Ask them for their identification card and let them know that you are going to call the police to check that they are who they claim to be. You can also tell them that your passport has stayed in a safe at the hotel and that they can follow you if they want to. If they don’t like it, leave.


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