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June 6, 2012

Three Tourist Travel Scams to Look Out For While Traveling Abroad

by AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing

In an article from PRWeb featuring three travel scams compiled by Lets Fly Cheaper – the Business Traveler Experts – advice is given on how to recognize and avoid these unfortunate tourist scams.

  1. The Slow Count. This is most commonly found in busy tourist areas. The cashier counts out the buyers change very slowly with continual pauses in the hopes that the buyer will take the change that is given to them and leave with less money than is actually owed to them.

Solution: One should always double check the change that is given back to you regardless of where you are.

Money-Changing “Errors.” In this type of scam, the cashier or cab driver will insist that the buyer short-changed them and only gave them a one when truly they already gave them much more. Or they will give back change for a twenty when a fifty was really given.

Solution: Pay in exact change or else use the smallest bill possible and learn what the currency looks like in the country you are visiting. Only use authorized money exchange places. Pay attention to what you paid and be sure to get the correct amount of change back.

  1. Fake Police Officers. A thief will pose as a local police officer (most tourists do not know what the standard police uniform looks like) and will come up to their victim. Then they will proceed to say that there has been a problem with counterfeit money in the area and will ask to check your wallet. They will go through your wallet, give it back to you with the “all clear” and will leave before you even have time to realize some of your money is gone. Reports have been made also that sometimes these scammers don’t even mess around with the lie but will simply take your wallet/passport and run!

Solution: DO NOT voluntarily hand your wallet or passport over to anyone without first checking that individual is legitimate. Do some research before your travels to determine what the local law enforcement officers look like. If anything doesn’t add up, ask for identification including their precincts’ phone number and do a quick google check on your smart phone to ensure it adds up.

  1. Tour Guides Leading You Astray. This scam works with an attractive tour guide approaching tourists and offering them a very inexpensive deal to be their guide for the day. While taking them to major tourist attractions they also stop at local shops where the tourists are prompted to shop. The qualities of the products are very cheap and yet they are being sold at expensive rates. The tour guide was a fake and led the tourists into a trap.

Solution: Always book tour guides through your hotel or a reputable tour company.

Be smart and informed before traveling abroad to avoid travel scams.

Traveling abroad and visiting the sites can be a very enjoyable time as long as you do some research beforehand to avoid these shady scammers across the globe. Always err on the side of caution especially on unfamiliar territory.

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