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Most Common Travel Rip-Offs And How To Avoid Them

As a traveller, you have most likely dealt with some unexpected expenses along the way. Whether it is extra fees at the airport or scams staged by the locals, rip-offs are a typical issue that many travellers have to encounter. Today I will talk about the most common travel rip-offs and how to avoid them.

New and inexperienced travels are the most common victims of such scams; however, you can avoid them by staying vigilant and active. This is easier said than done; sometimes, even the most experienced travellers make a mistake and fall for these cons. So, to help you out, we have prepared a list of some common travel rip-offs, about which you should know. Keep reading to learn how to avoid these popular scams. 

Taxi Scams

Taxi scams, Travel Rip-Offs

Many new travellers are regularly ripped off by taxi drivers. One of the most common taxi scams is the broken meter. When you sit in a taxi, the driver will say that the meter is broken and charge you a lot of money when you reach your destination.

Another common taxi-related scam is a closed or overbooked hotel. In this scam, when you tell the taxi driver your location, they will tell you that your hotel is either closed or overbooked, and they will take you to a different and more expensive hostel, where the taxi driver gets a commission. 

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How To Avoid Them

The best way to avoid taxi scams is to use ride-sharing apps like Uber to book rides from the airport. However, if you are travelling to a country where uber or any other ride-sharing app is not operational, you should negotiate the rates of the taxi before you get in. make sure to ask different drivers to get the best rate.

Furthermore, plan your route and make reservations for your hotel or hostel before you leave.

“Travellers Tax”

Travellers Tax, Travel Rip-Offs

When you go shopping in a foreign country, especially one that has a lower currency rate than your own, you will meet many vendors and shopkeepers who will increase the price of their products. This one of the most common travel rip-Offs in many countries. This extra money that people try to scam out of travellers is caller travellers tax. 

Furthermore, negotiating with these people can be very difficult because of the language barrier.

How To Avoid It

The best way to prevent travelers tax is to get a trusted guide who can haggle with the vendors for you. Choose a family member or a friend as a guide because most travel guides are often scams themselves.

The Disappearing Travel Guides

The Disappearing Travel Guides, Travel Rip-Offs

Like taxi drivers, you need to be aware of tour guides as well. Many scammers will offer their services as a travel guide. When you reach a tourist attraction, like an amusement park, or a museum, they will offer to buy your ticket for you, so that you don’t have to get in line. They will then disappear with your money or credit cards. 

Some scammers will also put online advertisements for their services and even add fake comments to their posts to make them look legit. 

How to Avoid them

To avoid this scam, you should simply avoid hiring travel guides. Google has info about everything, and you can use google maps to navigate around any city. As far as the language barrier is concerned, you can also use google translate to make things easier. 

Therefore, let your smartphone be your tour guide and steer clear from local con artists.  

The Group Photo Scam

group photo,

When you are visiting a popular tourist spot in a new country, you may be approached by a friendly local offering to take a picture of your group. When you are getting ready to pose in front of a beautiful muniment or breathtaking scenery, you may turn around to realize that the friendly local has disappeared with your expensive camera. 

Some locals may also offer to take your photos in their camera, but they will charge you a lot of money after they are done; furthermore, you also need to protect your cameras and other filming equipment like drones, bipods, and lenses from pickpockets. 

How to Avoid It

Firstly make sure that you don’t hand your camera to every other person to take a photo. If you need to get a group photo, ask other tourists to help you out, and then return the favor for them. 

Secondly, you should get a good quality camera bag to keep all of your filming equipment. A high capacity camera bag is especially necessary for Vloggers. You can visit cameraseals to check out some excellent reviews about cameras and camera accessories like bipods, travel bags, and a lot more.  

Fake Open WIFI Networks

When you are travelling, getting an internet connection can be quite tricky as you don’t have your sim card. You may be looking for an open connection, but be careful of fake WIFI hubs. Scammers create public networks, and when you connect to them, they can steal your personal information, passwords, and credit card info. Make sure you don’t get fooled by these types of common travel rip-offs and scams.

How To Avoid Them

Open networks are very dangerous. They are not secure, and anyone with a little experience in hacking can steal your data over them. So be very careful when you are connecting to one. 

Optimally, you should buy a local sim card so that you can access the internet whenever you need it without any worries. You may also find an open WIFI network near your hotel, but keep in mind that hotel networks are always secured. If the hotel managers ask you to access an open network, they are most probably a part of the scam. 

Furthermore, you should be careful when connecting to open networks at the airport, coffee shops, restaurants, and other public areas. 

Bar Scams

Bar Scams

So, you landed in a new country and are ready to have a good time. You make a plan to check out the local club scene and hit some local bars to have a drink or two. 

In these situations, it is common for a friendly local to walk up to you and strike a conversation. They might seem like a genuine person, and tell you about the local sights that you should visit and the activities you should do. However, they might also be pushing you to drink more, and before you know it, you will be drunk, and the “friendly” local you were chatting with won’t be around. 

You’ll check your pockets and find that your wallet is gone, and you’re stuck with an overpriced bar tab to pay for. This can be an extremely overwhelming situation, to the point that you can’t even think about a solution. 

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How To Avoid It

Now, not all people are trying to con you, but there is nothing wrong with staying alert. You should always be cautious of your belongings, and keep in mind that if anyone is trying to get you drunk, they probably don’t have the best intentions for you. 

It is also important to know that no matter how careful you are, sometimes you can’t avoid pickpockets. Therefore, you should have a back plan and some emergency cash to get through a difficult situation. Don’t carry around too much cash anyway, and make sure to keep copies of all your important documents in case they get lost or stolen with your wallet.

Final Thoughts

Travelling is very exciting and fun, but it isn’t as easy as you may think. Apart from the numerous logistical problems, you may also have to face many scams and frauds. However, if you are aware of how these common Travel rip-offs and scams, you can easily stay safe from them. Some of the common scams are mentioned in this post. Therefore, if you ever encounter them, walk away and contact the authorities. So that’s all, and we wish you a safe and fun vacation.

Author Bio

Muhammad Ahmad Khan is a CS student, athlete, travel enthusiast, and passionate writer who works on a wide variety of topics including but not limited to fashion, fitness, travel, interior design, tech, and combat sports.

For more than two years, he has been contributing informative and relatable scripts, but never at the cost of an entertaining and exciting read.

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