Survey reveals the most common scams catching out Aussie travellers

Font Size:

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 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?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


Four nasty online travel scams to avoid

Don't be taken in by these nasty online travel scams.

Hackers are trying to steal your holidays

Here's how hackers try to steal your holiday.

Seven common travel scams to avoid

There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling of being scammed on your travels.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 13
  1. 0

    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.

  2. 0

    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.

  3. 0

    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.

    • 0

      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.

  4. 0

    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.

  5. 0

    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

  6. 0

    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.

  7. 0

    Are you a victim of ;
    1. Binary option scam?
    2. Forex trading?
    3. Romance scam
    4. ICO Scams
    5. Online betting scams
    6. Bitcoin scam
    7. Phishing scam
    or any other kind of scam?
    I have a good news for you. CREDITSOLUTION63 is the best and most reliable Fund Recovery company for any of the victims above.
    Service delivery is top notch and second to none.
    Contact Mr Dennis
    WhatsApp: +1 9176634684
    You Can Also Text Or Call: +1 9176634684
    Thank me later.

  8. 0

    He is no scam,i tested him and he delivered a good job,he helped me settle bank loans,he also helped my son upgrade his scores at high school final year which made him graduate successfully and he gave my son free scholarship into the college,all i had to do was to settle the bills for the tools on the job,i used $500 to get a job of over $50000 done all thanks to ultimatefundrecovery at gml dot com he saved me from all my troubles,sharing this is how i can show gratitude in return for all he has done for me and my family. his
    WHATSAPP is +14079061584
    TEXT: +14079061584

  9. 0

    i also lost about $175,000 to an IQ option broker and 2 fake binary option website as well but I am sharing my experience here so as to enlighten and educate everyone that is losing money or has lost money to a scam including binary options, dating scams,Recover all your lost money to Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency, mortgage/realestate scams and fake ICOs.However , I have been able to recover all the money I lost to the scammers with the help of a recovery professional and I am pleased to inform you that there is hope for everyone that has lost money to can reach out to them at
    ultimatefundrecovery at ge male dotcom
    WHATSAPP: +14079061584
    TEXT: +14079061584

  10. 0

    hi guys, when it comes to recovery of funds either from binary options, crypto, forex and ponzi schemes . [email protected] are the best recovery agent around. they have recovered my funds and also funds of my friends , colleagues who were in similar situation as i was.

Load More Comments



continue reading

Superannuation News

How did your super fund perform in 2020?

This time last year, the coronavirus pandemic was hitting our radar, but few could have predicted what was coming with...

Banking & Investment

Banking recommendations fall victim to credit-fuelled COVID recovery

Less than half of commissioner Kenneth Hayne's recommendations have been implemented in the two years since he delivered his final...


Top 10 myths and facts about toothpaste

Toothpaste is such a usual part of our everyday lives that we rarely think about it. Like many mainstream products,...


How to make your rented house or unit feel more like home

When you're renting, it's easy to feel that the freedom to really put your stamp on a place is out...

Living in retirement

The emotional aspects of moving house in retirement

In his four years as a retirement coach, Jon Glass has been helping older Australians navigate the emotional facets of...


Small bedroom tips to maximise space and style

For many of us, house space is a fiercely contested commodity, and you need to squeeze the most out of...


Aussies much more willing to be vaccinated than Americans

The United States has had nearly as many COVID-19 cases as Australia has people. More than 400,000 have died of...


Goldie Hawn at 75: The Hollywood star's fashion and beauty evolution

Goldie Hawn, one of Hollywood's most beloved stars, is famous as much for her acting talents as she is for...