Are you planning to travel abroad? If so, there are several travel scams you need to be aware of.
Travel and tourism are on the rise, and experts have predicted significant growth in the travel industry, preferably in the next few years.
Technological advancements have improved communication and transportation and provided people with the technical tools needed to perform regular activities.
People can easily book airline tickets, reserve rooms in hotels, and get an idea about the activities that different places offer, all online.
Previously, one of the most significant issues while traveling was language barriers as people had to struggle in doing simple tasks, such as ordering food or hailing a cab.
Today, smartphones’ advanced applications have removed the language barrier as they provide prompt translations.
Another issue is that many people, when they go abroad, become victims of travel scams and end up paying huge amounts of money or purchasing low-quality products as a result.
Many people get scared when they hear stories of common scams, and thus reconsider their decision to travel.
The truth is that scams are prevalent in different countries as all types of people exist everywhere, but one cannot avoid traveling abroad just because of the fear of suffering scams.
Below is a list of a few scams that you can easily become a victim of, and knowing beforehand about them will help you in averting them.
Common Travel Scams
1. Taxi Fares
Taxi fares vary from place to place, so most people generally trust taxi drivers. Due to less or no information, people often pay twice or even three times the original amount.
A hotel is typically the first place people hail a taxi for, and they usually end up paying extra as they do not have the energy to bargain after a flight and simply want to relax.
An easy way of averting this is to read about taxi fares and learn about the legal methods of payment prior to traveling. Ask the cab-drivers to run their meters so you can pay them accordingly.
Tourism points like Pigeon Forge, a mountainous town in Tennessee, welcomes hundreds of visitors annually. A smart approach for traveling to such a popular location is to search for hotels near Pigeon Forge, TN online and book your accommodations ahead of time.
Many hotels in Pigeon Forge offer airport to hotel shuttle service, and you can save your taxi fare by taking advantage of their service.
2. Money Exchange Deals
A money exchange deal is an old trick, but innocent people often fall for it. Exchangers take a big currency note, and they change it with one of smaller value and argue that the customer has not paid to the fullest.
They often do the trick with similar-looking notes and speak so persuasively that customers end up ignoring their gut feeling and trust the money dealer.
Sometimes they give less money than the real deal and rush customers to leave the place without counting, and when the customer returns, they refuse to accept their mistake and lay the blame on them.
Customers need to double-check the notes before handing them over and count them before leaving the place.
3. False Exotic Tours
Technology has given scammers new ways to con people, and some are using it very creatively. Some people show you exotic pictures and quote you a comparatively lesser price to lure you into purchasing their tour.
In this type of scam, either the place is not as exotic as they show in pictures, or it does not offer the luxuries they have mentioned.
You can compare tours and ask around before signing up for one. This will save you from falling victim to the spoiled trip.
4. Shell Game
Some scammers might invite you for a game of cards and let you win the initial two or three rounds. No matter how hard you try to leave, they will convince you to play some more, but you will find yourself constantly losing after the initial rounds.
People who become shell game victims often have to pay a handsome amount of money, and the scammers do not leave until they extract money from them.
5. Contaminated Drink
Another overly used trick often shown in movies is that scammers spot you, get flirtatious with you and get you a drink.
Travelers may try hard to avoid it, but these scammers have become more competent and try different techniques to convince them to take a sip.
If you’re not familiar with this travel scams, this is how it works. The scammers lace the drink with heavy drugs, and once the victim passes out, they steal everything all of their possessions.
6. Rental Scam
A rental scam is difficult to avoid. When people go on vacation, they rent bikes and boats to enjoy the city as locals.
When they return the vehicle, scammers show them a dent or other damages and force them to pay for it. No matter what you say to convince them, they believe that you did the damage and have to pay for it.
Experts say that you can avoid these scams by recording videos of the item being rented as soon as you get your hands on them. That way, if they try to blame you, you can show them proof that you are not responsible.
7. Menu Price List
People do not usually cook when they travel and like to dine out as they want to taste the traditional cuisine. Some travelers have complained that when they order food, waiters give them a different menu.
Not only this, but tourists sometimes also have to pay additional charges due to a lack of information regarding the original prices. Most of the time, people get frustrated and have to pay hefty amounts for the meal.
People travel for different reasons, and some of them start planning for another trip as soon as they are back from their previous ones.
Traveling has become relatively easy as smart check-in counters in airports have reduced queues. Online hotel booking has saved people from the hassle of wandering here and there to book a hotel, and mobile applications help people communicate with other language speakers.
Traveling has increased, and so have travel scams. Scammers are coming up with innovative ways of extracting money from travelers. Hence, if you’re planning to travel soon, it is best to read extensively about different scams to be aware if someone tries to con them.