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Scamming methods and how to avoid them while you traveling

Thieves, pickpockets, and scam artists often target travelers, making travel fraud a legitimate threat. It's not just naive tourists who can fall victim to these tricks; even seasoned travelers are susceptible as scammers become more sophisticated.

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By Eglė

Published: Aug 31, 2023 min read

Scamming methods and how to avoid them while you traveling

Tourist scams occur worldwide, and while being cautious helps, unpredictable situations can still arise. If you know scamming methods, then you can counteract them. The most important thing is to delve into the concept itself. It may have different manifestations, but the meaning is almost the same. Here is a quick and well-known example for you: in Turkey, shoe brushes are injured, if you pick them up, they will clean your shoes and demand money for them. What conclusion can be drawn from this type of travel scam? You can not lift anything on the street.

Types of Scams and Avoiding Scams

#1 Tuk-Tuk

A tuk-tuk ride is an exotic way to get to know Eastern countries, but not entirely safe. Be careful of tuk-tuk drivers who offer free or low-cost day tours. While you may have the opportunity to see temples and landmarks, these drivers might take you to local shops where they receive a commission. Similar to the notorious timeshare pitch, the shop owners will launch into lengthy sales pitches about their products and services.

Not only will you waste your day on the tuk-tuk driver's pre-planned route, but you'll also find yourself nowhere near your intended destination. To return, you'll have to go along with the driver's demands and endure a lengthy tour of numerous shops.

Scamming methods and how to avoid them while you traveling - fake online services

#2 Fake Online Stores or Service Sites

Fraudsters commonly execute these scams by engaging in "triangulation" fraud. They create counterfeit travel agencies or travel-related listings, attract buyers, and complete bookings using stolen payment methods. They lure consumers to these seemingly professional "business" pages through advertisements and social media posts, offering good customer service. Ultimately, the fraudster receives payment, the buyer occasionally receives their booking, and an innocent third party loses money.

Due to the current economic downturn and high travel costs, many consumers are eager to secure last-minute deals and save money. This vulnerability makes them particularly susceptible to travel fraud. However, triangulation fraud can impact anyone who makes online purchases.

To counter this type of scam and ensure travel safety, always check the websites. You can see the reviews on the map or on special sites. Plus you can use VPNs, the best ones give you scam awareness. You can also ask Siri to check this store. By the way, with VPN you will be able to unblock any site or service like ChatGPT regardless of your real region. On the go, this is useful for many reasons, including to protect against account blocking. Many banks have a system that when you conduct transactions from another region, your account may be blocked to protect your card. In general, using a VPN is one of the key travel tips.

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#3 Overly Friendly and Intrusive Locals

When visiting new places, male travelers might encounter friendly locals at bars or restaurants who show interest in them. These locals may enthusiastically offer to guide them to the best spots in town, creating a quick connection over drinks or a meal. However, caution should be exercised when setting the bill, as the newfound local friend may suddenly disappear. In more unfortunate cases, a trusting tourist may unintentionally consume a drugged drink and wake up to find themselves robbed.

It is important to view these situations as warning signs if someone you just met is too eager or overstepping boundaries. If you decide to get a drink with a new acquaintance, choose a location you feel comfortable with and avoid excessive drinking.

Scamming methods and how to avoid them while you traveling - fake cops

#4 Fake Cops

The scam of impersonating police officers is widespread in numerous bustling cities. Unfamiliar with local customs, tourists often find themselves complying with criminals disguised as law enforcement. These impostors might fabricate stories about counterfeit money being circulated, or attempt to issue bogus tickets for imaginary infractions. Subsequently, they will demand that you surrender your passport and wallet.

Remember, it is crucial to never hand over your personal belongings. Insist on verifying proper identification and resolve the situation at the nearest police station.

You may also be interested to know about the most scamming countries - press HERE

#5 RFID Information Theft

Passports and credit cards are essential tools when traveling. Some cards are equipped with RFID chips, which use radio signals for quick identification. However, there is a concern about wireless data theft by hackers. An entire industry has emerged to develop RFID-blocking products that prevent data "skimming."

It is important to note that although anyone with a card reader can gather this information, the chances of RFID crimes are minimal due to the need for sophisticated equipment and techniques. Moreover, there have been no reported cases of RFID crimes as of 2019. To protect against identity theft, it is recommended to practice good password management and monitor credit reports. Travelers can also purchase RFID protectors for extra security.

#6 Found Values

This scam begins with someone stopping you by holding out a ring and inquiring if you've dropped it. Upon closer inspection, they realize the ring is valuable and propose selling it to you at a discounted price. It appears to be a win-win situation, as you can later resell it for a higher value. However, when the jewelry is eventually appraised, it is discovered to be a counterfeit!

Tourists are advised to maintain a low profile and continue walking if they suspect something is amiss.

All tourist regions are full of scammers, it's a whole industry. Although new methods of deception occasionally appear, most of them are rather banal. Their main goal is to make you make an unreasonable or emotional decision. This is where you can get hooked. With proper vigilance, you will be able to resist all scams even in a foreign country.

Aug 31, 2023

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