Traveling is probably one of the best experiences you can have. It’s one of the best ways to learn new things and give a new perspective to the old saying “You have a life”. Traveling is one of the best ways to understand how big the world is and that people are responsible for creating a culture and establishing patterns of life for certain regions. That process of adoption is the very process of learning about different cultures and absorbing their vibes, even for the shortest period of time.
However, while traveling can make you incredibly happy and even be the main reason for you to make shifts, on the other hand, it can be a very difficult time because of frauds and travel scams. So, we have prepared a short list of the most common travel scams that can cause you a huge headache.
One of the most common types of scams, without a doubt. You are not even aware of them. You become aware of the scam once you realize that your ride is taking too long. So, before you want to call a taxi, you need to be aware of the variety of scams that taxi drivers usually run. The most frequent scenarios are when taxi drivers claim that the meters are broken or even give you a rather high fare, which ends up being overcharged. Taxi drivers who hang out at airports and hotels are usually notorious for overcharging, but this can happen anywhere you go.
A useful tip is to ask the hotel staff what the expected price is for the destination you intend to reach. The second thing you need to do is ask the driver to turn on the meter as soon as you get into the car to avoid being overcharged. Another thing you should do is always drive in licensed taxis, like Bratislava airport taxi, if you’re traveling to Slovakia, and you’re on the lookout for taxi scammers trying to rip off tourists. Also, raise an alarm if the driver tells you that the hotel you booked is overpriced, overbooked, or even closed.
In this case, they will take you to another more expensive option, where they will be given a nice commission for leaving you. For this, you may face personal safety issues if you are taken to an area of the city that you are not familiar with. Thanks to technology now, you can easily find the nearest route and tell the driver to take it that way or even guide you.
Bump and Grab
This is probably one of the biggest fears for every tourist. Hits and grabs are very common on trains, subway stations and buses. Since some cities and tourist spots can be crowded, tourists you can get overwhelmed by the number of people in these transport hubs and popular places. Usually, their focus will not be as sharp as before and they become vulnerable. In these scams, scammers will “run into” tourists and while they’re distracted, the scammer will pick their pockets or bags. Tourists should never have their money or wallets readily available in their front and back pockets.
Instead, it’s much more practical to carry a discreet money belt or even a zippered cross body bag. It is very wise not to keep all your personal belongings and valuables in one place. In this case, if you become a target for pickpockets, at least you will have your personal documents with you, so you can easily get home.
This is one of the most common scams in big cities. Usually, tourists will meet a policeman’s face due to the fact that tourists are not aware of this custom. A fake policeman will explain that there is some kind of problem in the area, and will try to report you in the made-up scenario. Next, the officer will ask for your passport and wallet. You should never give your personal belongings to anyone. If there is a persistent demand for your personal identification, then you have the right to request your identification and insist on dealing with the matter at the local police station.
One of the most common travel scams is the “attraction closed” message. People are usually approached randomly by locals who speak perfect English and inform you that one of the most popular places is closed for various reasons such as religious ceremonies or holidays. After that, you will be directed to another place where you will be pressured to buy something or you will be charged a lot for the entrance ticket. If you want to avoid this, you should go to the ticket counter and ask if the information is correct or not.
Some of the best memories are made on road trips and long distance travel. This time it simply reminds us why life is worth living. However, when we are traveling, we have to be careful of pickpockets and scammers who can make our travels a living nightmare.