Tourists are very often unfamiliar with the area they’re visiting, its people and customs, and need guidance to get around. Luckily, most locals are friendly and willing to help. But there are those whose smile and friendliness is just a mask, and their real goal is taking advantage of tourists and taking their money or belongings.
These scammers are specialized in tourist frauds, and they are smart. Their schemes are usually very complex and hard to see through. They’ve developed ways to stay undetected, and the victims realize they’ve been conned only after the scammers are long gone. They know their local laws very well and sometimes don’t go to jail even when caught.
To help tourists avoid these kinds of troubles while visiting other countries, a UK-based travel website shared an infographic with the most common tourist scams and locations where they most often occur.
“Many of the most successful gambits require a naive and trusting tourist. But don’t think it can’t happen to more sophisticated travelers, too,” American traveler Rick Steves penned.
“There are many subtle ways to be scammed — a cabbie pads your fare, a shop clerk suddenly inflates prices, a public Internet terminal records your password, or a waiter offers a special with a ‘special’ increased price. Be smart: Know what you are paying for before handing over money, and always count your change.”
Just remember - If a bargain appears too good to be true, it is too good to be true.