Popular Tourist Scams and How to Avoid Them

Whether you’re traveling or not, being the victim of a sophisticated (or less so) scam is a damn nuisance. Not only can it harm your wallet, or worse your identity, but the hatred you end up harbouring for the unseen scammer is a frustration anyone can do without.


It’s a sad reality that in certain places these dirty con artists, grifters, tricksters, but let’s just blanket them as pests to society, target travellers. When travelling you are more susceptible to these snakes in the grass, and they know it, too.


Different scams are in more commonly in operation in different tourist hotspots, and Travel Insurance Reviews is here to shed light on a few of them, so that you know what to look out for and how to avoid these dodgy dealers.


Faulty Cab Metres

Cab drivers across the globe are known for pulling this cheeky move on unsuspecting travellers. Most commonly occurring near airports and bus terminals, where travellers have freshly arrived, may not properly understand the currency and taxi rates, and they will inform the traveler that their metre is faulty or broken, before charging you an extortionate amount for the fare.

How to avoid: Always negotiate rates with cab drivers before getting in the taxi. Better yet, avoid getting in the taxi with said “broken metre” drivers, it is more likely than not they are trying to pull this silly old trick on you.


The Closed Hotel

We don’t mean to keep ragging on the world’s taxi drivers here, but if they didn’t keep pulling these tricks we simply wouldn’t have to! This one involves your faithful taxi driver informing you that the hotel you have booked is either closed or overbooked (but you already booked there?). This is so that they can take you to an alternative, where in actuality they receive a big old commission from your wonderful new hotel for them taking you there.

How to avoid: It never hurts to contact your hostel to ensure that, yes, they are open and that your booking is intact. And, whilst you’re at it, ask if they arrange airport transfer or have recommendations for transport to their location.


The Free Bracelet “for You, My Friend”

Many scammers will approach you offering you a free bracelet or something similar, and chat with you in a friendly manner whilst doing so. However, at the completion of the friendly, “free” gift, they will begin demanding that you pay them something, and if you refuse they will usually first begin questioning why you don’t want to help them “your friend”, before even becoming aggressive. It’s unfortunate, because they seemed so lovely and nice at first, gah…

How to avoid: Simply don’t allow any of these fake friends to put anything on your body, walk away in a courteous manner, reciprocating their false niceness. They may try and hassle you a little further but you just have to step up, don’t take their nonsense and ditch them.


The Friendly Guy Who Wants to Take You to Your Destination

This isn’t an outrageous scam, but it’s bloody annoying… It also usually occurs at places tourists frequent, such as bus terminals. If you look like you’re lost and don’t know where to go, you will often be approached by a person who knows exactly where to go. They hassle you to tell them your destination in, for example, the terminal, and they will force you to follow them there. You know where this is going – at the completion of your friendly walk to your destination the person will then demand money for the service, in the same manner as the aforementioned bracelet scam, it’s a real pain.

How to avoid: Simply tell these jokesters you know exactly where you’re going and that you don’t need any help. They might kick up a little fuss like the bracelet guys, but once again, don’t give in to their sad little scheme…


Insurance is Pivotal

Make sure you have the proper insurance to handle any of the outrageous scams some of these menaces try and play on unsuspecting travels. Compare at Travel Insurance Reviews and find the plan that will deal with any stresses that may arise from falling victim to one of these pests, you never know when it will happen…


Our travel insurance reviews helps you save time, worry and loads of money!