One of a jet setters worst nightmare is to have their holiday ruined by being caught up in a scam whilst away.  Unfortunately, it can be hard to avoid these tourist scams as we can often be caught off guard whilst in a foreign country. We are here to give you top tips on what to look out for when travelling and how to avoid these scams and stay safe whether your travels take you to.

Beggars

Any country you go to there will always be beggars asking for money and sometimes they are young women with children or people who are injured. This can be hard for tourists to see, especially children so it is more difficult for a tourist to walk away. However it is a set up, usually by local gangs, to get as much money as they can.

How to Avoid This

Avoiding this scam can be difficult as it is hard to tell who really is on the street begging for money because they need it. We suggest that you never give out your cash as you don’t know for sure if it is going to a gang. If you find it difficult to do this, buying clothing or food is best to give to them as this way your money is not going to waste.

Keeping your money safe

Whether you’re carrying the local currency or have your trusty bank card on you, there are traps set up by locals to try and take your money from you.  When using an ATM machine, locals may approach you, appearing friendly and offering help. However, they most likely have a card skimmer close to their body which they are able to get your card details from. More than often they will watch you enter your pin number so they then have all your bank details to withdraw funds from your account. If you are carrying cash in your wallet or purse, these are easy to pick pocket if your bag is not secure and you are not alert.

How to Avoid This

As obvious as it may sound, DO NOT let people close to you when using an ATM and always cover your pin number with your hand.  If you are having hassle with a local who won’t leave you alone then walk away and try again in 10 minutes until you are alone. Money belts can be purchased from retailers worldwide to keep money and other important items close to you.  The small belt is worn underclothes and is secure for all your personal belongings. Find more ways to keep your cash safe here.

Taxi Travelling

A taxi can be your best option to travel places on holiday or if you need to get to a destination which isn’t so close to where you are staying.  Taxi drivers can adjust their meters throughout the journey or when arriving at your destination claim their meter is broken and charge a ridiculous price.

How to Avoid This

Before getting into a taxi, arrange a price beforehand and if this is not possible there is no harm in going to a different taxi driver as not all of them are going to rip you off. Once in the taxi, we suggest you keep an eye on the drivers meter making sure they are not changing the fare. Or to be really organised, pre-book transfers before your flight.

alcohol awareness scam tourist

Alcohol Awareness

One of the worst scams you can be caught up in. Having your drink spiked can leave a nasty result and you can end up losing everything as well as putting your health at risk. It is easy for this to happen as holiday makers can be more relaxed when drinking abroad as they are on holiday.

How to Avoid This

Our advice is that you do not accept drinks from people you don’t know and you keep an eye on your drink at all times as it is easy for scammers to slip what they need into in order for them to have what they want including your passport, money and phone.

Fake Police

Seeing the police can be a symbol of trust and security when you are in a foreign destination.  In larger cities, fake police can be a scam tourist’s fall for resulting in losing their belongings such as passports and money. The fake police scam can often involve a local to make it appear more convincing however it is all part of the scam to take your valuable items.

How to Avoid This

It is best to not carry around all of your valuables and if you can, leave them in your hotel safe as this can avoid them being stolen.

Freebies

A common scam tourists can often be faced with is locals giving tourists freebies and AMAZING deals.  Freebies often include bracelets or flowers being given to a tourist usually by woman. Once you have the ‘freebie’ they have given you they will then try and demand money from you and cause a scene to make it appear as if you have stolen the goods.

How to Avoid This

To avoid having to pay for the so called freebie, if you are offered goods by locals as a kind gesture, do not accept them and simply say no and walk away. It might be that they are being genuine however there could be a nasty outcome if this is not the case.

If you’re looking to find your next holiday or are all ready booked to go away, we hope these tips help you stay safe and avoid getting scammed abroad.  Don’t let this stop you from travelling the world but be cautious of the common scams out there.