In today’s world, travel is more accessible than ever, and while that’s largely a good thing, it’s also not without certain risks. Tourist scams aren’t exactly a new phenomenon, but the popularity of certain destinations means that many of these hotspots are hubs for pickpocketing and other deceitful activity. Fortunately, with the right knowledge, you can avoid tourist scams and keep your hard-earned money safe throughout your journey. Here’s how:
Around the world, one of the most common ways that scammers take advantage of tourists is through taxis. Drivers have been known to rig their meters, insist they don’t have change, and take longer-than-necessary routes, just to name a few. To avoid scams like these, firmly agree on a price with your driver upfront, and keep small denominations of local currency on hand to prevent receiving counterfeit money in change.
Pickpockets operate in a number of ways, typically targeting tourists in busy places. Some pickpockets will simply scan the crowd for opportunities and strike when they see an open bag, while others purposely create distractions intended to divert your attention. When walking around crowded areas, be sure to stay alert and keep an eye on your belongings. Should a stranger approach you, don’t engage, even if it’s a child.
Some scammers will attach skimming devices to local ATMs in order to steal the card information of those who use them. The best way to keep your information safe is to stick with reputable banks when you need to withdraw cash. Additionally, check your bank statement regularly for any suspicious activity.