Top 10 Common Tourist Scams you need to Avoid when Travelling

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Imagine you land up at a station and there’s a bird poop landing on to your shoulder and a considerate man comes and helps you to clean the shit, or lets say you stumble upon a very beautiful lady and like a gentleman help her pick up her stuff forgetting all about your own stuff, or somebody poured something over your clothes and keeps on bragging you for apology and dabs your pockets. Friends and foes there are ‘scam-bugs’ hovering around you, who are seemingly real but not all that real, their only aim is to pick your pocket. Always remember a mantra while you travel: if it looks too good to be true, it must be too good to be true.

10.Gems and other resale scams

Gems and jewellery

Thinking of buying stones or expensive gems, when you see it, you can’t just believe they can be so true in their appearance. Think again – those gems are going to be worthless. Or for instance you went to Bhutan, and desire to spend in silver. Well think again. Today’s fashion is to make a dress out of rugs and call it a designer piece. Similarly any inexpensive metal can be camouflaged to be a real one. It is advisable to buy authentic metals from authentic jewellery shops.

9. Faux products

faux products

BEWARE THE BAIT AND SWITCH. Some unsavoury vendors will display the genuine fragrance at low prices to catch your attention but substitute it with a fake one before handing you over. These products might be too good to be true. You find a ‘Fastrack’ watch at an attractive price and end up buying a ‘Fartrack’ with same appearance instead!

Why they sell the same products at cheap rates? We never ask this question to ourselves because we’re ignorant. But, we may not know that such fake products are cheap because of their sub-standard quality. They might contain toxic chemicals harmful for your skin. The best way to check authenticity of the product is to look for its barcode. If the product is genuine, it will have a barcode.

8. Timeshares


“Sir, we have special gifts for you!” Sounds familiar, right? And they will almost fall over you to persuade you into their “scratch the card and win a prize” scheme and you buy the card from this seemingly innocent retail guy who has a commission on every sale. If your luck makes you win a lucky draw and are given holiday coupons with free accommodation but instead you land in a dingy hotel room. But, again you will be lucky enough to come out with your wallet intact.

7. Lucky draw


Supposing the fact, you are standing on the platform or the airport. You stand aback when you are approached by a man. He offers you with a free coupon to give a chance to travel to Phuket, pataya or any other country. And simultaneously, ask for your number and address. If you are lucky to smell something fishy, it’s the end. But, if you are gullible to fall into such traps, they will make you come to a hotel where you will be shown a 90 minutes presentation and hook you to their money making projects. It is another money chain company.

6. ATM scams


You never know, the sticky fingered peasants hovering around you like vultures waiting for their prey. It’s a common practise among the scammers to put a plastic card within the card slot. How does it work? The moment you enter your card into the slot where the plastic card is also stuck, your debit card gets stuck. And these scam-bugs will try to assist you showing their apparent genuine concern to help you out and surreptitious see your fingers moving over the pin or promptly ask for your pin. To avoid such situations first check the card slots, if you find it, simply throw it on the ground and stamp on it looking around, so that no one sees it.

5. The math genius: inflated hotel bills

hotel Bill

The hotels pick a lot of money from the laymen. It is just because the costs are hidden and you have absolutely no clue what is chargeable and non-chargeable. The hotel might charge you, against your knowledge, exorbitantly for its services like Wi-Fi or tourist cars.

This can be avoided if the room services can be cut off. It’s always feasible to go to public hotels and use phone-books to hire cars and use cell phones for accessing nets. The more you get dependent, the more they are picking money from your wallet.

4. Hotel scams


There is always lobbying among the taxi-drivers or the auto-rickshaw drivers. They will tend to take you to a non-advertising type of hotel, where the receptionist speaks with Hindi accentuated English, with unfamiliar and unfriendly staff. The rooms are dingy, but they are always up to target you and especially target those, who came for a short trip and are almost completely new to the city or country. Like a well-oiled machine, they worked together to ensure you handed over all your cash immediately, and fleeced you for a couple of tours while they were at it.
So make sure to check the name and address of the place before you’re conned. Precaution is better than cure.

3. Beggars

beggar _jpg

Not only in the parking lots or sidewalk or underground railway corner, you find beggars sitting with a kid in her lap who keeps on sleeping and describes “tall stories of woes” and it sounds pathetic, arousing your compassionate feelings, isn’t it so? But let’s get to the bottom line: it’s a scam, trying to emotionally persuade you, so that you end up giving up money.There are agents who make the beggars earn the money and these stories of woes are all got ups and they fool you by making the situation sound very genuine. Distress scams’ succeed because the crooks have a ‘glib tongue’, they make every story plausible– and that’s the essence of a con artist’s tricks and is especially effective when it preys on your conscience.

The best way to avoid such distress scams is not to be credulous to fall for any of their stories put up by these scam beggars because the bottom line is: it’s all fake!Even if you are moved by their stories, give them small amount of money and not almost giving bundle in the first place unless you are Shashi Tharoor (who gives 500 as a tip for a coke).

2. Pickpockets

Pickpocket -jpg

The scam artists or the con artist usually work in pairs and their main work is to distract you. They might seem to you a common man, but who knows that behind these innocent eyes is the scam artist trying to keep an eye on every move on you. If you are distracted or slightly disoriented, or to busy to look around you or might be just standing in a crowded place or you stumble upon someone and by the moment you realize and understand, the work is done, Gone in 60 seconds, like a magic. The best way to avoid such scams is to carry a little less amount, if you know the expense. The most common type of pick pockets is that the pickpockets have their basic intention of ‘slash and steal’. They usually carry small razor and will slit the bags in such a way, you hardly have time to realize especially during rush hours. The best way to avoid is to always keep a check on your back pockets or just carry the wallets in your hands or not putting the wallets in the usual place in the purse.

1. Airport taxis


After hours of wretched flight, you see the taxi-drivers or rickshaw drivers tearing over each other to persuade you to safely drive you to hotel and supposing the fact that you don’t have your hotels booked, it might sound appealing to you when they suggest you with cheap hotels where you can put up yourself, so that they can get some kind of commissions from the ‘hotelwalas’. They will chance upon you when you are tired and bit disoriented, where the scammers like this taxi drivers will take advantage of travelers and the most obvious way to rob you off is that the drivers apply every trick in their book to try and extract every penny and run you down the streets and sometimes they drive very fast, so that the traveller end up paying unreasonably higher prices.

The best way to avoid the two of the above kinds is that, get your hotels pre-booked or even if your travel was unexpected and you don’t know where to put up yourself in the city or country, then get the numbers of helpline desks which gives you every updates of any information you can ask for, texting you in a minute of all the details or Google out the hotels of your type and get your hotels booked

Secondly, if you are new, compare the fares before you travel anywhere and if you smell something wrong or fishy in the taxi you are travelling, stop it immediately and pay and look for another. This world works on scams including ministers and netas, so what is the harm these petty street scammers are doing?

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