Tips on How to Avoid Tourist Scams
While travelling is often regarded as a pleasurable break from the usual routine of daily life, you must ensure that you arm yourself with enough presence of mind and street smarts while enjoying your trip abroad so you won’t get caught in various tourist scams.
Scammers and con artists usually prey on unsuspecting travelers for good reasons—they’re unfamiliar with the place, they carry loads of money and they will accept help from anyone when they’re in trouble since they’re in a foreign land.
To avoid being robbed of your money and enjoyment, here are some tips on how you can avoid being scammed while travelling abroad.
1. Do your homework. The internet offers a wide resource of knowledge and almost everyone has access to it nowadays. It wouldn’t hurt to Google about your travel destination, so that you can be familiar with the common scams that you can avoid during your trip there. A little knowledge can definitely go a long way in saving yourself from being scammed.
2. Outsmart pickpockets. Oftentimes, you get awestruck with the beauty of the scenery and before you know it, you already lost your wallet, jewelries, gadgets or even worse, your passport and other important documents. As much as possible, do not bring your important documents with you while strolling in the street. Also, it would be better if you don’t bring your wallet. Bring some cash and spread them in various pockets of what you’re wearing. Some tourists even hide money inside their shoes. This may sound ridiculous but it’s a good way to outsmart pickpockets.
3. Stay alert. Being in a foreign land can be quite challenging especially if you’re first time to visit there. You will surely encounter a lot of situation wherein you will need the help of other people. However, while it’s not bad to ask for help, stay alert whenever someone offers you a helping hand. Some con artists pretend to be good Samaritans when in fact, they are the one who caused you the trouble in the first place (e.g. jammed ATM, stain on your shirt, etc.) so they help you. While you are overwhelmed by their “kindness” they are already taking advantage of the situation to get something from you (money in the bank, your wallet, gadget, jewelries, etc.)
4. Agree on fees ahead of time. Taxi scams are so common among tourists. Since you are unfamiliar with the place, you don’t know the basic rate that a taxi driver would normally charge to his passengers. As a result, he takes advantage of your ignorance and charges you a very high price. To avoid this situation, you should know the basic fare in the place where you are going and negotiate the fare ahead of time. By doing this, you will not be surprised by the amount you have to pay after getting to the place you’re heading to. The same thing goes for tourist guides. Make sure to negotiate the fee before advancing to your trip.
Save yourself from frustrating experiences while travelling abroad. Scammers can be really smart but you won’t fall into their bait if you can outsmart them.