Don’t Be Duped – 5 Of The Most Common Travel Scams You May Encounter When Traveling Abroad

5 Common Travel Scams Abroad
It’s sad to say but you have to admit that every country you visit may have those very bad people who will try to scam you. Believe it or not, these people could even be your taxi driver, the hotel receptionist or someone you meet on the streets.

Please do know that we’re not trying to scare you into traveling abroad or anything like that. We simply want to ensure that you get the most fun, and that you avoid being scammed during your stay.

This is why in this article we will talk about 5 of the most common travel scams that you may encounter when traveling abroad. Do note though that these scams could also happen in your very own country and are not only limited to countries overseas.

Taxi Driver Scams

There are actually 2 types of taxi scams that are commonly done to an unknowing passenger. This is the “meter is broken scam” and the “taking the longer route” scam.

Let’s start by talking about the “meter is broken scam” first. For this particular scam, what will happen is once you’ve gotten inside the taxi, your driver will tell you that his meter is broken and will charge a fixed amount for the drive which could be a whole lot more than what the actual trip costs.

If your driver tries this trick on you, the best course of action would be to get off the cab and look for another cab. It’s also a great idea to write down the driver’s plate number and report it to the authorities.

The next type of taxi scam is the “taking the longer route” scam. For this one, the driver will take the longer route and may even drive you around to have you pay for a bigger fee. It’s definitely a bit difficult to prevent this from happening but having a map from the airport to your destination may help.

The “A Problem With Your Passport” Scam

As mentioned above, even the most helpless looking local may try to trick you into giving him/her money. This trick usually involves someone telling you that there is a problem with your passport, but they could solve the problem for you if you give them a certain amount of money.

This can definitely take you off guard so do your best to keep calm. If this does happen, ask them to take you to the office instead and have them explain the problem to you there in detail. You can also try to talk to a security personnel to check the validity of their statement.

Distraction Tactics Scam

This can be a lot of different things but usually involves a person distracting you which may cause you to leave or drop your baggage. This could be someone “accidentally” spilling a drink or squirting a condiment on you.

Of course when someone spills a liquid on you, your first reaction would be to drop what you’re carrying and clean yourself up. The problem is that during that brief moment the thief may have had already taken your luggage.

Locals Giving You “Free” Stuff

When traveling abroad it’s definitely important that you do not accept anything from the locals, this could be a bracelet, rosemary, flowers, etc. At first you’ll think that the locals are simply being friendly and so you accept, but the next moment they may start charging you a crazy amount of money for the things you’ve received that you thought were free. These people may even try to scare you by calling the police.

As a rule of thumb, if the person giving you stuff is someone you don’t know, better to not accept it and just continue walking.

The “Dropped Your Change” Trick

This usually happens at restaurants, taxis, busses and even at certain shops. After paying for a service or a product they will “accidentally” drop your change.

Nothing wrong with that right? Mistakes do happen. But in this case, they may swap your money with similar looking notes or even with a lesser amount. To avoid getting duped, please count your change first before heading out of the vehicle or the store.

To sum it up, no one is actually immune from being scammed. This is why it’s important that you are aware of these scams to avoid getting tricked. Remember to be vigilant with your surroundings and to think on your feet. Do not be afraid to contact the authorities and report what happened if you do get scammed.

Written by Kaye


Kaye is a traveler by heart and she doesn’t leave without her partner in crime, her travel pillow. Kaye is also into the arts and crafts hobby and loves embroidery and knitting. She will be sharing traveling tips to help you get the most out of your journey.

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