Be wary and trust your gut!
The world is full of shady scammers, preying on tourists for to make quick dollars!
Knowing what be cautious of is the best way prevent yourself being a scam victim. You might think as wise, mature traveler, that you are too smart to be scammed.
Think again, being scammed can happen to the even the most skeptical among us.
Scams come in the form of ridiculous charges in cabs and taxis to you unknowingly revealing credit card details to the scammer.
Having some prior knowledge gives you a little edge before you venture out. Loads of different scams are out there!
Below, I have just five of them. Hopefully, this helps you avoid unnecessarily losing your money while also keeps you safe.
“The taxi meter is broken”
In this one, usually, cab or taxi drivers at the airports or busy tourist spots are renowned for this. But that’s not to label them, it can really happen at any point.
Upon getting into your taxi, the driver will start to drive away, telling you that “the meter is broken”, thus they will try charging you an extortionate taxi fare!
Negotiate your fare prior to him driving off! As a basic tip, check that the meter works before you hop in. If the driver refuses to turn on the taxi meter, just hop out into another one.
Again, this scam usually would happen among taxi drivers.
On your way to the accommodation, the driver will start telling you that where you are staying is at full capacity or that it is closed, while conveniently offering to cart you to much more expensive place to stay, where they have struck up a deal with the owners to get a commission for bringing you there!
If you haven’t booked in yet or even if you have, then give your accommodation reception a call just to double check that they’re open!
Also, you could ask them do they run a shuttle service from airports so you can arrange to be picked up.
Even if the driver still tries to say that your hotel or hostel isn’t available today, then insist that he brings you anyway and get out!
Unofficial WiFi networks
Free, unlocked Wifi networks might actually be dangerous if you connect to them.
The hackers can establish non-secure hotspots in public locations that then entice tourists to connect to them — giving them access to your device and data.
If you are in a bar or cafe, please always ask the staff what the official wifi network is along with the correct log in details.
This is often on a wall poster, the menu or on sometimes on the bill/receipt. For the more tech savvy among you, try encrypting your online activity by using a VPN (virtual private network) for extra security.
That’s just a taster!
These are just an introduction to the many scams out there. The number one tip is to be on the look out for shady characters around ATM’s, street sellers and taxi drivers! Trust your gut and keep your money safe.