Common scams catching Aussies

More than one third of Australians worry about being scammed overseas, says a new study; and being fleeced by fake goods is their number one concern.

Insurance comparison site comparethemarket.com.au surveyed 1500 Australians to capture a general sense of the most common scams they’ve witnessed or experienced abroad.

Buying counterfeit goods topped the list (57 per cent), followed by being overcharged by taxi drivers (56 per cent), swindled by fake charities (50 per cent), and being pickpocketed (45 per cent). One in four respondents (22 per cent) said they’d witnessed schemers putting something into someone’s hand before demanding money, and car hire companies overcharging for vehicle damage (14 per cent).

According to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade statistics, the top countries for theft and scam reports in the past three years were Spain, Italy, Mexico, Thailand and Japan, reports Travel Talk.

“In the last three years, Aussies lost $206,151 collectively to travel prize scams, whereby fraudsters trick consumers into handing over their credit card details to claim a free or discounted holiday,” said Comparethemarket money expert Rod Attrill.

To protect yourself from overseas scams, Comparethemarket suggests that travellers:

  • watch their alcohol consumption
  • check their coverage of rental property
  • ensure coverage for every country visited, including layovers
  • remember to extend coverage for unexpected longer stays
  • be wary of financial collapses and fake advertisements.

What’s the worst scam or theft you’ve experienced or witnessed while abroad?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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