The tourist industry is a very profitable one and a lot of people around the world rely on the income from tourism to live. However, the tourist industry has its dark side as well. There are manyand take their money.
Some of these scams and cons are easy to spot and people are used to them. However, some others are more insidious and you may fall for it without thinking much about it. Here are some of the most common cons played on tourists and how to avoid them.
Taximeter Is Broken
This is the first scam you may run into when you get to your travel destination. As soon as you leave the airport, you will see the taxi drivers vying for your custom; nothing unusual about that. However, when you get into a cab, make sure that the driver starts the meter, otherwise the fare is not registered with the relevant authority, and the driver can decide what amount of money they want to charge you, which can be quite a lot.
More often than not, they will try to argue that the meter is broken. That is a good time to leave the vehicle and avoid paying a large sum of money for nothing. An easy way around this problem is hiring a private ride from the airport to your destination from.
Your Hotel Is Booked/Closed
Another thing which you may fall for if you are too trusting is that the hotel where you were supposed to be staying at is overbooked due to some conference or that it is closed for repairs. It is typically the taxi drivers or random people near the airport who are the bearers of ‘bad news’. They will then offer you an alternative which is probably more expensive and they get a percentage if you stay there.
To avoid these situations, confirm your reservation with the hotel and do not disclose your lodging plans to anyone you don’t know.
Aggressive Street Vendors
When you start walking around your holiday destination, you may encounter different kinds of street sellers who will try to sell you things. However, they will likely be aggressive and won’t take no for an answer.
Some of these people will even try to give you things saying it is for free, but then demand payment after you have accepted the item from them. Generally, it is difficult to defend yourself from these people, but you can make your life easier by simply not accepting anything from them, even as a gift.
Helpful Fellow Tourist Offering to Take Your Picture
Chances are that you will want to take plenty of pictures of the places you visit. However, if you don’t have a selfie stick or anyone else with you, it can be difficult framing yourself in those pictures as well. If a stranger offers to take a picture of you, that might be a risky thing to accepts, seeing how they can just take off with your phone or camera.
Only trust people you know with your valuables, or potentially ask a police officer or a tourist guide to snap a picture of you.
Spilling Something on You
This is one of the oldest and the simplest cons that pickpockets use. They either run into you or spill some water or coffee on you and pretend to want to help you while picking your pockets or purse, or having their associate do that while they distract you.
Don’t accept anyone’s help even if that kind of a situation happens to you and check your valuables immediately after that.
Traveling around the world is a great thing which you should definitely spend some time doing, but you should still be aware of potential dangers and ways people may want to exploit you.