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Travel Scams: Top Tricks and Tips

There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling knowing you got scammed on your travels, so we have compiled a list of the top seven most common travel scams together with one of our Travel Insurance providers.  Travelling overseas can provide some amazing experiences and leave incredible memories, however, sometimes things going wrong.  One particularly annoying mishap is being scammed, and sadly, it can happen anywhere.

Firstly the broken taxi meter, which means you are forced to pay a lot more for your trip.  This is a worldwide scam so always ensure the meter is on, or negotiate a fixed price.  Next is the ‘closed attraction’, where taxi drivers claim the place where you want to go is closed, and instead they take you to an alternative attraction where they’ll usually receive a commission.  In Arabic countries, the ‘free henna’ is a popular scam, in which people are offered a free tattoo, followed by a demand for payment.  We recommended to say no and keep your hands firmly in your pockets.

Also very good advice is to check bottled water is sealed when you buy it, with a common scam seeing street-side vendors filling up old water bottles with tap water.  The ‘boy and the biscuits’ is next, designed to pull at your heartstrings. A young seller gets their goods ‘knocked over’, cue tears and payment from the apologetic tourist… something which repeatedly happens throughout the day.

We also recommend that you to stay away from unofficial ‘guides’ who insist on taking you around an attraction before demanding cash. . .sometimes quite a lot!  The final scam is the ‘dropped phone or wallet’. Here, a scammer will demand payment in order to get your wallet, phone or other important belongings back, after pick-pocketing it from you.

In saying all this, the vast majority of travel is done safely and without incident.  However, we really recommend that people travel with vigilance as one never knows.


Show me a universal life manual and I will show you a ready-made scam.
Life is spontaneous.  Live and learn.”― Magnus Nwagu Amudi



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