Do You Know Of These Travel Scams?

“Mahn, he ripped me off with $100, be careful while you visit there”.

Such conversation is pretty common amongst backpackers and you definitely know what we are talking about if you have been part of one. Stories of scams are routinely exchanged among travelers and if you think that victims are those who don’t travel much, it’s definitely time to think again.

Tourists make tempting targets for tricksters all across the world. Shady people simply love to take advantage of travelers, and unless you are careful, it’s easy to become a victim. In a study, Barcelona was named as the world’s worst city for holiday scams, while visitors to Paris and Rome were also warned to be cautious. Let’s talk about some well known scams and see as to how one can avoid it.

Local Taxi Meters

Probably most common of the scams in the world where the cab driver tells you that the taxi meter is faulty and later overcharges you for your ride.

How to avoid it? 

Try to know how much your trip would charge approximately before starting, hotel staff can give you fair reference. Negotiate the rates ahead if the meter is not working. Try to get taxi whose meters are running properly.

Overbooked Accommodation

Again this one is common and can be happening with cab drivers mostly. They will tell you that your accommodation is overbooked or closed and suggest you that they take you to a different accommodation.

How to avoid it?

You can confirm your accommodation by calling them before starting your journey. If your taxi driver tells you that accommodation is not available, still ask him to take you there and continue to insist on the point that you want to stay in that accommodation only.

Free Stuff

This is a tricky one. A friendly person will approach you and give you some free stuff (something to wear or taste) and insist for you to have it. Once you have it, they will demand money for that stuff, and create a scene if you refuse to pay.

How to avoid it?

Don’t allow anyone to put anything on you or your body. Be cautious about accepting anything for free. Ignore these folks and keep walking ahead.

Fake Police

Quite popular scam in large metro areas. Someone would approach you offering illicit items and suddenly from nowhere police officers will appear asking you for your passport and money.

How to avoid it?

Ask for identity of officers or call to local police to verify their identity. Tell them that you have your passport in your hotel, mostly they will not come with you to your hotel.

Tourist Attraction Is Closed

A friendly local or taxi driver in the area would inform you that the tourist spot you wanted to visit is closed. They will guide you to different attraction or shops where you would be pressured to buy something or pay lot of money for entry.

How to avoid it?

Find the main entrance of the attraction yourself instead of taking local’s word for it. Check at ticket counter and confirm before believing anyone.


This one is again seen wildly across globe. A child beggar who is probably injured, or an infant with mother would approach you begging for money. Most people can’t stop the urge to help a child or woman. You may be surprised to know that their might be someone observing you and pickpocket you later.

How to avoid it?

It is not easy to distinguish who is legit and who is not. Instead of giving them money, buy food or cloths or something else for them.

Fake Tickets

Someone offers to sell tickets of bus/train/air/shows at discounted rates. Be wary of these people as tickets in most cases are fake and the faker is gone by the time you realize it.

How to avoid it?

Buy tickets from official websites and counters.

Beside these there are rented vehicle damaged scam, flirty local women scam, free Wi-Fi scams which we have heard of and experienced.

Honestly, how much ever you are prepared, you may eventually fall for a travel scam, and trust us you are not first. But don’t let these things discourage you from travelling the world, these are part and parcel of learning new things in life.

Let’s explore!

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