Six times travellers got SCAMMED

Six times travellers got SCAMMED - battleface

You may be a seasoned traveller – but would you fall for these scams?

Let’s be clear: the vast majority of locals you meet while travelling are salt-of-the-earth folk, eager to welcome you to their country and ensure you enjoy your stay as much as possible.

But scams targeting tourists and travellers are an unavoidable reality in many parts of the world. These grifts usually rely on a visitor’s unfamiliarity with local prices, a lack of awareness of the law and, often, a desire not to offend or cause a scene.

There are many ways you can prevent yourself falling victim to a tourist scam, but chief among them is research: read up on your destination, get acquainted with the value of the local currency and find out what common scams operate in the local area.

Finally, if in doubt about someone’s intentions, walk away from the interaction to somewhere you can get impartial advice or assistance.

Here are six times tourists fell victim to scams.

Fun on the water

Hiring a jet ski may sound fun. But what happens if you collide with someone else on the water? This Russian tourist found himself being shaken down for more than $1,000 after a mild fender-bender on Patong Beach, Phuket.

Life imitating art?

Picking up a piece of art while travelling can be a great memento of your trip. And more so if it’s funding a worthy cause. But as soon as you hear the notorious scam-bait word ‘orphanage’ thrown into the mix, your suspicions should be raised – as this couple found out in Tanzania.


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Taken for a ride

In a tale as old as time, a taxi driver takes the ‘scenic route’ to your destination – while the metre steadily rises to an extortionate rate. These two travellers heading to the historic La Boca neighbourhood in Buenos Aires found a 20-minute journey turn into a 40-minute tour – until one of them utilised their Spanish to protest.


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Don’t step on me

Artists flogging their wares on the streets is a legitimate hustle. But strong-arming tourists into paying a ‘fee’ for inadvertently stepping on said art is extortion. This travel blogger in Florence, Italy, found out the hard way that these scammers don’t like to be confronted.

The grossest scam yet?

Anything involving, ahem, poop has to be filed under ‘most disgusting scams ever’. And this coordinated effort to get your cash in India falls firmly into that category. Remember, wet wipes are your friend when travelling.

Open for business?

Although a smiling rickshaw driver may seem like a fount of knowledge for all things tourist-related, they all-too often have ulterior motives – namely, getting a nice little kickback from their pals at the local guesthouse/tailor’s/souvenir shop.

Always check online or with a trusted contact in country about the opening times of local attractions before you head out.


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