Travelling to different cities and countries is all great, but at the same time, one should understand the importance of not being naive when it comes to new places. Cynicism sucks, but it might just save you from losing your laptop, phone, wallet and valuables all in one woosh. There's a whole world of travel scams that ill-prepared people like you and me might be targeted, and it obviously makes you feel gross.
Here are some of the most common travel scams
1. The cab driver telling you a certain place is closed or overbooked
An extremely common way to take advantage of tourists, the cab driver may tell you a certain area is closed or every place there is totally booked and that he knows a different and better place. Go check for yourself though, because usually they're just acting on their commissions again, hoping to take you somewhere else that's already paid them.
2. The cab driver telling you your planned hotel is very expensive or very bad
A lot of the times, the driver of the cab you take from the airport or station will have a few choice words about where you plan to stay, and none of them good. He might tell you your hotel has a bad reputation, or that he knows one that's way cheaper. This is because this other hotel probably gives him a commission to make these referrals. Don't fall for it!
3. A stranger spilling something on your clothes in order to pickpocket you
This might not be very frequent in India, but in places in Europe, it's pretty common. Someone passing by or hiding above will spill something on you. Another 'friendly' stranger then starts helping you by wiping off the stain, all the while stealing your wallet. Avoid this by not interacting with overly friendly strangers.
4. A stranger ties a 'free' bracelet on you and then demands you pay for it
Very common in Italy and France, especially Montmarte in Paris, this scam starts with a very friendly stranger tying a bracelet on your arm. They then demand you pay for it, and start screaming that you're trying to steal from them. In India, it's usually kids or holy men tying red string on your wrist. Best thing to do is to avoid locals who are too friendly.
5. The cab driver telling you the meter is broken
Another extremely common and infuriating scam, this one involves the driver telling you the meter is broken a little way into the trip, and then charging you an insane amount. To avoid this, negotiate prices beforehand, or find out if there are any local buses or other transport options available.
6. A stranger steals your luggage at the airport security check
n this trick, a person will usually cut ahead of you in the line for security check at the airport, setting off the alarm because they 'forgot' something in their wallets. Meanwhile, their accomplice will steal your luggage, which has already gone through the scanner. To avoid this, always keep your luggage with your until you're ready to go through security.
7. Pickpockets near famous tourist destinations
This one is as common as it gets. The world over, whether it's the Louvre or Qutab Minar, tourists are always told to keep their valuables close. Pickpockets throng these places, and it's only gotten more aggressive in recent years.
Surprised already? Do ask Hero for suggestions about the place!
Credits: ScoopWhoop, GCN