Survey reveals the most common scams catching out Aussie travellers

Aussies discouraged from international travel because of crime.

Survey reveals the most common scams catching out Aussie travellers

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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    COMMENTS

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    Tanker
    24th Aug 2019
    10:24am
    The worst incident I have witnessed was at the train station in Copenhagen when a team tried the trick of a spray of mustard onto my wife's shoulders and another came up to help her clean it off while a third tried to steal her handbag. They learned quickly not to mess with a well travelled Aussie who delivered a verbal spray unbecoming of a lady but which did the trick.
    Tanker
    24th Aug 2019
    10:24am
    The worst incident I have witnessed was at the train station in Copenhagen when a team tried the trick of a spray of mustard onto my wife's shoulders and another came up to help her clean it off while a third tried to steal her handbag. They learned quickly not to mess with a well travelled Aussie who delivered a verbal spray unbecoming of a lady but which did the trick.
    MICK
    24th Aug 2019
    1:37pm
    The photo of the taxi driver looked like the crook who ripped us off in Istanbul.
    We negotiated the fare to The Blue Mosque which was visible from our cruise boat. The guy started driving back and forth across the direct route to make it look like a much longer trip and then ripped us off when we arrived. We walked back to the ship. Downhill and a short walk.
    AVOID Istanbul taxis. Our story is by no means unique and they're all tarred with the same brush.
    We've managed to avoid all of the other scams. If you are careful, do your research and shop around you'll be right.
    Anonymous
    25th Aug 2019
    10:57am
    Thanks for that Mick! Been to Turkey once and do not intend to go back there. The attraction was the currency (not Euro) which for Aussie travellers was much better than Euroland.
    bobm
    25th Aug 2019
    6:32pm
    I was part of a set up for thieves in Madrid a number of years. A bag was left on the forecourt of the Palace at Madrid. A number of us dumb Aussies formed a circle around the bag and waited. Two people came back to pick up the bag. We Aussies being dumb discussed the back leaving with the two owners in no uncertain terms of it "could have been stolen", however we Aussies looked after the bag. The owners were not impressed with our security and advised us they were Police and presented documentation to prove it. They had set up a sting to catch someone and us Aussies stuffed up the sting. They were not to happy with us.
    We laughed at them as they moved off looking to set up the next sting.
    Can't beat us oldies and being Aussies we took the Piss out of them.
    bobm
    25th Aug 2019
    6:48pm
    I had my wallet stolen by pick pockets in Bali 1991. Reported to the hotel and asked for a note in Indonesian for the bemo driver to go to the Police station plus a note to the Police for a stolen item report.
    All went well until the Police Officer asked me for 5000 rups to write a report. I said no just give me the report and I will leave. He was instant that he needed the 5000 rup for the report, with that I pulled a business card from my pocket and asked that her ring the name on the card and advise he, the Police Officer wanted 5000 rup for the report.
    He read the card, did the report and asked that I leave with the report. I thanked him for his wise move of providing the police report.
    The name on the business card was my Brother in Law, who the Main Officer in charge of the Indonesian Army in Dempasar. It is good to have relatives in high places.
    The second time same airport 3 years later I brought a present form Australia for my other Brother in Law. The Customs wanted to confiscate the gift. I refused and out came the AK47's by approx 5 Officers. I held up my hand to show I had nothing and pulled out a business card and asked "is this Man in this airport as he has an office here" Please ring him and advise you want to confiscate his gift from his Brother in Law. They could not get me out of the Airport in Denpaser ASAP. Made contact the next day and his wife and himself visited me at my hotel with a limo and 4 out riders on motor bikes. Geez I like it when a plan comes together!!!! No scam
    Jim
    25th Aug 2019
    11:24pm
    Currently in Athens, just met up with an Aussie from WA he checked into our hotel yesterday which is the Davani Acropolis hotel, he and his wife were waiting to check in as they were a little early, they put their bags down each went to the toilet one at a time, some how thieves managed to get into their bags without either of them noticing, they lost their passports and a few hundred euros, the hotel has been really good and helped them get through to the embassy, so hopefully they can board their plane tomorrow without any more hassle, they have been assured by the embassy that everything is going to be ok.
    My wife and I left from Venice and we are fairly sure we were being set up for either a mugging or a scam of some sort, we had just crossed one of the bridges near Piazzale Roma and was unsure if we had to turn left or right, a guy approached us and asked if we were ok, I said I thought we were on the right track, we did turn the wrong way so turned round the same guy was there with another guy, so we stopped and pretended to look in a shop window they also stopped and were looking the other way, we carried on walking and turned to go left the same two guys were joined by a third, the canal path that we turned into was the one that led to our hotel and lots of people around, it may have all been a coincidence, but we did feel a little uncomfortable.


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