Going on holiday or travelling – especially on your own, can be daunting. Regardless of where you go there is most likely going to be a few individuals that will go out of their way to scam you out of your money, and if they don’t scam you, they will just take it without you knowing. So what are these holiday scams? Luckily for you, we are here to tell you about the most widely used holiday scams to avoid abroad.
How Can I Avoid Scams On Holiday?
If you want to know a few tips and tricks to keep yourself out of being scammed, then you’ve come to the correct place. In this article, we are going to be informing you on how to save yourself from being tricked and what to do if you feel yourself falling into one of these situations.
So believe it or not no matter where you are from or how lovely your country or hometown is it is almost guaranteed there are a few scammers amongst every community. And they don’t necessarily have a stereotypical appearance they can look like your average male or female commuters, pickpocketers in London often are portrayed as ordinary members of the community travelling to their destination – which is exactly what they want you to think.
Being scammed can also have an effect on you personally – it’s embarrassing, nobody wants to feel like an idiot when they realise that the woman that was helping them wipe coffee off their shirt, has actually taken their wallet in the process.
So what are the most popular scams used abroad? What can you do to protect yourself and ensure that you are safe and prepared for your travels? – continue reading to find out!
Pickpocketers have been around for as long as people can remember, they are particularly frequent in busy locations and are still to this day a huge issue in London.
Although members of the police forces have cracked down on pickpocketing, there is still a significant amount of this scam happening in London. This scam is often accompanied with a pointless question or an “accident” this can range from spilling a drink or food on an individual to distract them while they make off with their belongings undetected.
These scammers often ask unsuspecting commuters a random question or ask for directions saying they are lost, and swiftly take their phone or wallet without being noticed.
Recently pickpocketing has been a serious issue in Barcelona, and it has officially been named the worst country in the whole of the world for pickpocketing. However, it’s unlikely as a tourist you would be aware of these facts as Barcelona is known for its incredible monuments and beauty.
Avoid This By
To deter pickpocketers from targeting you, you should constantly keep your valuables inside a bag with a zip or a separate compartment for any expensive items, we like this anti-theft bag by Jeekeo; you could even consider purchasing a small padlock for your daytime bags. These items include things such as mobile phones, purses, wallets, any jewellery you take off and any money or tickets.
#2 Hacking Through Public Wifi
You would be surprised about how many people fall victim to this common scam every day; fake wifi hotspots are typically set up in busy locations used for socialising or airports.
Although it’s incredibly tempting, you should never log on to a wifi hotspot that doesn’t show it has security and that hasn’t been advertised as free in the place you are at.
Once you’ve logged into this fake wifi connection, within seconds, hackers will be able to get hold of all your personal details, along with your bank details. The next time you check your balance, they may have already drained all the money from your account.
Avoid This By
Never logging in to a wifi connection that you are not certain is genuine, you can check this by asking the staff at the establishment you are at for the real wifi or simply not logging onto the wifi at all. Also look out for posters and advertisements advertising free wifi, they often use this to bring in customers and business.
#3 The Broken Taxi Metre
This scam is usually common in places such as Thailand and India, once you enter the taxi to set off, your driver will inform you that the taxi metre is “broken” before you can object or you even know what’s going on your driver has already left, and your journey has begun.
The trip will seem extremely long; this is because your driver is driving as he pleases to rack the metre money up. Also when your journey is over your driver will finish off by asking for an insanely high price that he’s made up because of the “broken metre” and of course you have to pay it.
Another scam typically carried out by taxi drivers is the “your hotel is fully booked” often tried to fool tourists. Once you are in the taxi and on your way to your destination, your driver will begin to stop and break the news to you that your hotel is “fully booked”, do not believe them.
The likelihood is that your hotel is not entirely reserved whatsoever, the taxi driver will then proceed to try and take you to another more expensive hotel where he will receive a large cash commission.
Avoid This By
If your taxi driver is insisting your hotel is fully booked or the hotel is closed, call your hotel, and double check your reservations and the hotels check in times. It’s always a good idea to check this before your taxi journey just in case.
#4 Injured Or Child Beggars
Another common scamming method, although be careful how you react to this kind of situations as some of these could be genuine. Often present in rural poorer areas gang leaders will send out child beggars or injured people to try and collect money for them, they commonly use the elderly and pregnant women as well.
If you speak to some of these people they genuinely have some of the most heartbreaking back stories to their lives, they are stuck in this trade as the gang leader who they supply money for, in return provides them with water and food to keep them alive.
Avoid This By
Offering to buy these people food or drink instead of supplying their cruel gang bosses with more income.
#5 Late Night Hotel Room Calls
If you receive a random phone call in the middle of the night from the “hotel staff” do not even bother answering, your hotel’s staff will not disturb you in the midst of the night for any reason.
They will continue to tell you that there’s been an issue with your payment method regarding your room, hang up the phone or say that you will sort it out in the morning.
Avoid This By
When you’re drowsy and disorientated, you can fall into any of these scammers tricks, just simply do not answer the phone.
So there you have 5 of the most common scams that can happen on holiday, these scams can happen anywhere across the world, so you need to be vigilant of your belongings and be careful.
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