first_imgDon’t be a victim – read up on these 10 most common cons and scams that most often catch out travellers abroad so you don’t get stung.1. Hotel tout scamsAnyone who has travelled at all in poorer countries will be familiar with the following scene: 1. A bus arrives.2. Touts swarm around the tourists like locusts in a cornfield. They demand that the new arrivals use their services. They often make wildly misleading claims about the qualities of their hotel or tour.3. The more persistent of the touts will grab a traveller’s bags and take them to a waiting taxi, leaving the traveller virtually no choice but to go with them, or cause a scene by calling the police. RelatedTop 10 travel scams and how to avoid themWondering how to stay safe when abroad? Start by brushing up on the most common travel scams, and more importantly, how to avoid them.Travel Scams & How to Beat Them: Skyscanner Travel Podcast #08The most common scams that face unwary travellers around the world, from Beijing to Bolivia, and how to avoid themAround the World in 80 Scams: Book reviewAround the World in 80 Scams: Book review 9. Currency exchange scamDespite ATMs and credit cards, many travellers still change money at borders. A common scam runs as follows:1. A traveller wants to change a fairly substantial amount of money. He hands it over to a money-changer.2. The street money-changer may attempt to slip old and worthless notes or even newspaper into the wad of local currency.3. If the traveller does notice the trick somehow, the money-changer can simply apologise and hand over a genuine note, and will have lost nothing.10. Timeshare scamsA timeshare company promises that, if the customer is not satisfied with the property, the timeshare company will rent it out and guarantee the customer a high return. The company will then simply disappear after a year or two, leaving its customers without any guaranteed return on their money at all. Fraudulent timeshare companies sometimes try to lend their scams credibility by, for example, sending their customers official-looking, but fake, documents from government organisations._Article by Peter John, author of Around the World in 80 Scams_Want more? Listen or download our free podcast about travel scams and how to avoid them here: wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map 2. Taxi meter scamsIn many countries, taxi drivers are required to install meters in their taxis. Unfortunately, they can still cheat their customers in a couple of ways:1. Taxi drivers can simply break the meter, then ask for whatever they feel like at the end of the journey.2. Even if the taxi driver lets his meter run, he can still manipulate it in any number of ways, for instance, changing the settings on the meter, so that it shows the higher, night-time fare for day-time journeys.3. Robberies at ATMsThough not limited to Latin America, robberies at ATMs are particularly common there.1. The criminals approach someone using an ATM when there is nobody around, usually but not necessarily at night.2. The criminals then simply demand any money which the victim withdraws.3. The criminals may distract the victim while the victim has the card in his hand, steal it, and then demand the PIN.4. If the thieves are not in a hurry, they may demand that the victim withdraw more money from the bank account.4. Fake goods scamsIf it can be made, it can be faked, and if it has not been faked, that is usually because it is not worth the bother, rather than because counterfeiters have scruples or are afraid of the law. For example:1. Fake fur, fake ivory and fake medicines particularly in Africa and East Asia.2. Fake Trilobites on sale in Morocco and plastic dinosaur bones in Mongolia.3. Bootlegged CDs and DVDs everywhere.4. Fake jewellery and counterfeit leather goods grace markets worldwide.5. Fake cigars in Cuba and fake rum in Jamaica. 5. Clip joint scamAs with so many problems from which young men suffer, this scam starts with a drinking bout and ends with serious trouble.1. A couple of attractive young women approach a couple of tipsy victims, eventually luring them to their employer’s bar.2. The women order champagne and the evening progresses. The men do not think to ask for a menu, and do not ask how much the drinks are.3. Eventually, the two women go to the bathroom together. They do not come back.4. The men are then presented with an outrageous bill. If they refuse to pay, they are physically threatened by burly bouncers.More: Scams and the City: why local gen is king in BeijingFollowing the most frightening hour of his recent life, Skyscanner’s Sam Baldwin reflects on lessons learned on the streets of Beijing6. Internet cafe spyware scamCrooks have not been slow to exploit Internet banking, which many travellers use while away:1. Crooks who have nothing to do with the management of an Internet café take advantage of lax security policies there to install spyware on its computers.2. Once they have the customers’ logins and passwords, it is relatively simple for the scammers to raid the customers’ bank accounts.3. The traveller will only detect the scam once he realises that his bank account has been emptied.7. Begging gangsOne of the oldest scams related to begging is the begging gang:1. A gang master will recruit children, the disabled or the very old, and teach them how to coax or steal money from tourists.2. He will demand all of their takings, and in return give them only enough food to keep them alive.3. He will often keep them in line with physical abuse.4. He may underfeed them or ply them with drugs so that they look more desperate.5. He may also train some of them to pick pockets while others distract tourists.8. Fraudulent ID checksIn many countries, it is compulsory to carry photo ID. Tourists often do not realise this, or leave their ID at their hotel. Fake policemen (or real police officers on the make) therefore know that they can stop tourists and levy “on-the-spot fines” if tourists do not have their ID with them. This is rarer in Europe, but there are plenty of reports of this happening in Asia and Latin America.last_img

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