Hidden fees, outright scams, thieves, beggars…
There are a lot of people out there looking to get their hands on your valuables and money while you travel.
Here are 10 to watch out for:
10 Travel Rip Offs to Avoid:
- Taxis: Make sure the taxi driver turns the meter on when you get in. Ask your hotel how much you should be paying for a taxi to your destination, then ask them to call a cab company for you. Watch your bags!
- Waiters: Pay attention to your bill and compare it to the prices on the menu. I recommend saying the amount you’re giving out loud as you hand it to the waiter, while looking them dead in the eye. If there are no prices on the menu, avoid!
- Hotels: Check out the online ratings on TripAdvisor.com and Rick Steves (if in Europe). Bed and Breakfasts offer free breakfasts.
- Airlines: Watch out for extras such as checkage fees and other nickle-and-dimeing add-ons.
- Bump and snatch scam: People bumping into you for any reason should set off alarm bells. They could be stealing your bag, wallet, etc. If someone shoots mustard on you, walk away!
- Disheveled children = thieves: This isn’t always a reality, but poor children are more likely to turn to thievery than wealthy ones.
- Subway pickpockets: These thieves are so slick, they don’t need to bump into you to steal your cash and valuables!
- Sympathy scams: This is common in North America too.
- The Internet: Ask your hotel, restaurant, coffee shop, etc., which WiFi connection is theirs. Don’t trust just any old free network that pops up or you may be compromising your personal info. Really, there’s no safeguard against losing your info on public connections anyway though.
- Police Shakedowns and ambivalence: Beware of countries with dirty cops.