Look out for these travel scams

Travel broadens the mind, but sometimes not in the way you would like. And one of those is learning about travel scams, especially the hard way.

Free bracelet

If someone tries to give you a free bracelet by quickly strapping it to your wrist, it’s not going to be free.

Before you try to give it back, the ‘vendor’ will loudly declare you need to pay for it.

Polite people will try not to create a fuss and hand over some cash.

Don’t be one of them. Simply take it off and hand it back or even just drop it.

This scam can also involve necklaces or flowers.

But there is another layer to this, in which someone will try to pickpocket you during the confusion. Keep your wits about you and don’t let anyone put anything on you.

Found ring

Sort of similar to the one above. The scammer will ask you if you have dropped a ‘valuable’ ring. Spoiler alert, it’s not valuable.

Then they will offer to sell it to you at a discount price. Yeah, none of this sounds slightly believable, but people fall for it. Don’t be one of them.

Two euro

The two euro coin looks very similar to a Turkish lira but comes in at a fraction of the price. Dodgy types will try to pass it off in your change.

Also, be aware of the change you are given. Many currencies look very similar and shonky vendors will often try to pass off smaller notes in your change. Be aware of what the notes denominate and count everything, even if there are a lot of notes.

Juice jacking

No, this is not about putting something extra in your morning beverage.

Juice Jacking is a relatively new tech scam that relies on us relying on our phones.

Crims tamper with a public USB charging port or the cable attached to it so they install malware that may lock the device or even download all the phone’s data to the scammer.

Always use your own cables and plug directly into a power outlet instead of a charging station when you are in public.

Spill it

Helpful people in the street pointing out you have spilled something on you – bird poo, coffee, sauce, ice cream, whatever – are not being helpful.

While you are distracted, someone will attempt to pick your pocket.

By the meter

It’s astonishing how many taxi meters are broken when you are overseas. So. Many. This is a raging red flag you are about to be ripped off.

If you get into a taxi and they say the meter is broken, get straight out again. Sometimes if you even threaten to do this, they will suddenly find the meter is miraculously working. Saints alive, the coincidence!

If the airport or hotel offers a voucher scheme for taxis, take it. Even ask at the airport or hotel how much an estimated trip should cost. They are highly invested in making sure tourists aren’t ripped off and are your best source of reliable information.

Do the bump

If you are in a crowded place, probably a train station or airport or other travel exchange location and someone gives you a decent bump and then apologises, chances are someone else is having a crack at either your luggage or pickpocketing you.

A subset of this is thieves making a grab for your valuables just as the train doors shut.

Always keep a close grip on your possessions and invest in a money belt or pocket that cannot be seen.

Have you been scammed while travelling? What precautions do you take while on holiday? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: Ask your hotel for these freebies

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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