Fraud & Scams, don’t fall for it!
You may encounter many scams or scam attempts while you’re travelling on your holidays. Here is an overview of different scams to be aware of during your trip.
In every country, criminals have their own ways to scam tourists, but there are a number of scams that occur around the world.
The expensive taxi ride, you immediately get to see the entire city
One of the best known ways to cheat people is to make them pay too much for a taxi ride. The driver takes a longer road than necessary, the meter rises too quickly or the meter is broken and the driver indicates a high amount himself.
It is often much better to agree on a price before you get in the taxi.
When you take a taxi it is smart to know what to expect. For example, ask at the reception of your stay about what you should pay for a ride. Then ask the driver what he will ask for that ride and if this amount is much higher than stated at the reception you should not board. Even if you try to negotiate and the driver does not want to go with the correct amount, you do not have to board.
What can you do about it?
When you are already in the taxi and you see that the meter goes up much too fast, you just have to get off. Copy the number of the taxi ticket and report it to a local tourist office. If the driver indicates you can’t take a certain road or you have the idea that the driver is on the road for too long, check the route yourself online. If necessary, do this before you board the taxi so that you can indicate that you know that you are driving incorrectly.
You are asked to help with something
You get into conversation with someone somewhere and this person asks you to help him or her with something. Do not go into this, because you are often led somewhere where you are then pressured to buy something. Of course you can just have conversations with others, but never just go with strangers and don’t be too friendly.
Someone gives you a bracelet or a cap
If you’ve ever been to a big European city like Paris or Rome, you probably know this trick. Someone comes to you (often a street vendor) and gives you an item. This is often a bracelet or a cap. Then they ask for money for this. Don’t trust them when they say that one bracelet is free and do not try to tackle it.
Also, don’t put your hand out because in some places people will sometimes even put on the bracelet forcefully. Did you get something in your hands or did they put something on you? Just take it off, give it back and walk away. They will not run after you, because this can only cause problems for them.
Extra costs when renting a car, motorcycle or scooter
When you rent a vehicle, the rental business can try to ask you for extra money in certain ways. This can be done, for example, by asking a lot extra for the last refuelling if you yourself have not refuelled the vehicle. Or by saying that you have caused damage and that you have not indicated this on submission. The first is easily prevented by simply refuelling yourself before you bring the vehicle back. For the second scam, you have to take photos when collecting and delivering the vehicle yourself. Ignore it when it is said that the rental business has already done this. This way you can check yourself if damage has indeed occurred without your noticing and you have proof when this is not the case.
Spilling something on your clothing
It sometimes happens that someone on the street “accidentally” throws something over you, such as water or another drink. Then the person apologies and tries to help you to clean it up. In the meantime, however, you lose your wallet, either by the person himself or by an accomplice. To prevent this, you better push the person away and then clean up the dirt yourself. Also, do not take too much money with you or keep the money in a less accessible place, such as in a bag or around your neck.
The attraction is closed
It sometimes happens that you are at a place of interest and that it is so quiet that it looks like it is closed. There may be people who come to you and tell you that it is closed for some reason. Then they try to lead you to another place of interest or a store for which they naturally want money or where they want you to buy something. Keep in mind that sights don’t just close. It is therefore better to look up opening times in advance or to be informed elsewhere.
The petition with donation
At large tourist spots, you can come across people, often women or children, who ask if you want to sign a petition. They often do this in such a way that you have absolutely no idea what the petition is for. When you decide to sign it, it may happen that you are subsequently asked for a donation. In many cases you will be rolled off your wallet during the conversation. Therefore, always ignore these people and just keep walking when someone asks you for a signature. In addition, make sure you keep your money in a different location than in your pocket or the front pocket of your bag.
If you need any advice regarding potential scams you can contact us:
We hope this helps Team Consumer Rights