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Be In the Know: Common Scams that Target Tourists

While we would like to say that there would be no issues that can hit you while you’re out traveling, we’d be lying. Today, we wanted to talk about the common scams which specifically target tourists. Here are a few of the more common scams we’ve experienced ourselves:

“Airport” Taxis

When you’re new to a place, the first thing you will see after you exit the airport will be taxis. No matter how tempting it is, do not get into an ‘airport’ taxi. They will usually be sprawled out one after another yet no one will be lining up to get them—no one but tourists.

This is because locals know that airport taxis jack up the price by at least triple the usual fare. They take advantage of the fact that you are not familiar with the routes and will keep going through odd side streets to keep the fare running. Avoid them when you can. If it is available to you, always make use of the conveyance of a hotel or resort that you’re staying at.

If you’re comfortable with using ride-hailing apps, use those instead.

Foreign Currency Exchange Deals

If you need to have your currency exchanged for the local currency, your first order would be to approach a foreign currency exchange establishment. You need to be very, very careful with this one. You need to load up a browser that you trust and search up the recent exchange rate. This way, you won’t get swindled into accepting a rate that is way lower than what you should actually be getting.

Also, be very careful if there are any establishments offering a higher rate. Chances are they’re fraudulent establishments and will simply take your money and give you counterfeit bills.

“Free” Gifts

If you’re walking around a town or a busy metropolis, be very wary if someone usually dressed in religious clothing approaches you and tries to give you something like a medallion or a rosary. This is a common scam and once you accept the ‘free’ gift, you’ll be harassed for payment.

That little medallion or rosary you got there? They’ll charge you around $100 for it. This is a common scam in areas where fake Buddhist monks are seen around. You would be well better off by politely declining any free gift that’s given to you by complete strangers.

Before You Pack Your Bags

It really pays to empower your knowledge about common scams perpetuated against tourists. When you have a basic knowledge of any common modus operandi in the place you’re going to visit, you can better safeguard yourself and the people that you are with. While it is important to enjoy the sights, it is even more important to make sure that you are always going to be safe and sound.

Have you ever fallen to a tourist scam? Which one have you come across?

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