seems that each country you travel in has its own scam 'specialty',
a favorite among the local thieves. It is true that some countries
are free of scam artists and offer travelers nothing really
to worry about. But other countries, like Egypt and Italy,
have professional scam artists, people that make a living
off of the unwary traveler. It is helpful to ask other travelers
about popular local scams. Here are some of the more common
scams encountered by travelers:
may be approached by several locals, who shove maps or cardboard
below their face, blocking their view of their bag and pockets.
Hold on to your belongings tightly and walk away.
though someone tells you that you must pay them to take
your camera into an attraction, it may not be true but rather
a way to make more money for themselves
compartments may be gassed, whereby passed-out travelers
are then robbed. It helps to keep a window open to prevent
this, as well as tying your door shut.
out for extra food charged on your food bill at restaurants
of inflated prices when making purchases but don't automatically
assume that you are being ripped off
may spill something on you and then take advantage of the
distraction and steal your bag while you frantically try
to wipe it off. Refuse assistance and leave the area.
snatchers often ride in pairs on scooters or mopeds for
a quick snatch and get away. Carry your bag on the shoulder
opposite from the street-side.
who offer to ship your purchase home for you (or even wrap
it in a sealed box for you) may switch the product when
it is out of your sight, giving you a possibly broken, inferior
or just plain different item than what you had paid for.
You would probably not even notice the switch until you
got home or were in some other difficult position to return
drivers may try to convince you that there are no more buses
or trains running (probably not true) so you feel that a
cab is your only transportation option. Check for yourself
or look for other means of finding out for sure.
accepting a ride or other service, an exorbitant price may
be demanded. If you refuse, police may be called that will
no doubt decide in favor of the vendor. Always ask for (or
negotiate) the price before accepting a ride or service.
It is extremely difficult to negotiate a price afterwards.
you view a particular attraction, a local resident may strike
up a friendly conversation with you and tell you about what
it is you are looking at. As you move along, this person
might then continue to share his knowledge about other interesting
sights. However, after such an encounter, don't be surprised
to be asked for money for the 'tour' that you have just
the pyramid grounds in Egypt, we were constantly coming
across Egyptian men who asked us for more money to continue
our walk. These people were NOT affiliated with the pyramids
in any way. I'm sure many travelers agreed to pay this unnecessary
Istanbul, after negotiating the cab fare ($8.00 U.S.), I
paid the driver with a ten dollar bill (to include the tip)
when we arrived. He took the bill and turned away, and then
turned back and showed me a one dollar U.S. bill and insisted
that he received the wrong bill. It was apparent that it
would be his word against mine, so I gave him another ten
had a male friend who visited Greece. Appearantly, while
in a city, a group of little children suddenly crowded around
him. They were really cute as they jumped up and down and
acted merry with thier happy exclamations. Then, they ran
off. My friend looked down at his waste, to find that his
fanny pack, back pack, and pockets had been nearly emptied.
people know how to rig ATM machines so they won't give back
your card after you insert it in the machine. When the machine
freezes, someone comes over to "help" you and
offers to fix it if you are able to enter your pin number.
This will always be unsuccessful and you leave thinking
nothing will work. As soon as you leave, they clean out
your bank account.
you experienced a scam or know of one that we have not mentioned?
We would love to hear about it so we could post it here and
help other travelers out!