Regrettably, scammers worldwide tend to target travelers and tourists. Being in an unfamiliar place where the language may not be understood leaves individuals more vulnerable. Although it's difficult to anticipate when and where we may fall prey to exploitation, there are several scams that frequently occur in various tourist destinations. Hence, it's important to be aware of these scams during your upcoming journeys. So, there's no need to delay any further. Let's discover them together!
What are some important things for travelers to keep in mind when exploring different parts of the globe?
1. Motorbike/jet ski rental damage
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Have you ever been to a beach destination where it feels like everyone is having a great time riding scooters and jet skis? If so, you probably know that it's common practice to leave your passport as a deposit. However, things can take a turn when you return the vehicle and are informed that you have caused significant damage to it. This turns into a situation where both parties claim their word is true, and if you refuse to pay for the damage, you might end up being taken to the nearest ATM machine. To avoid this, make sure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle before accepting it and document even the smallest scratches.
2. Shoe shine scam
If you happen to find yourself in Istanbul, make sure to take note of this situation. Imagine a shoe shiner walking by and accidentally dropping a brush. As a considerate tourist, you kindly retrieve the brush and return it to them. In appreciation for your gesture, the shoe shiner may offer to clean your shoes. While this may initially seem like a kind gesture, there is a high possibility that they will then expect payment. If you refuse, you might find yourself surrounded by the entire shoeshine community of the city. To save yourself from any trouble, it's best to simply ignore the brush or opt to wear flip-flops instead.
3. Taxi scams
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Dishonest taxi drivers employ various tactics to deceive passengers. One common strategy is to claim that the taxi meter is broken as soon as you leave an airport or bus terminal, and then demand an exorbitant fare. Another ploy is for the driver to purposefully get lost in order to increase the distance traveled and keep the meter running for longer. In extreme cases, drivers may even drive off with your luggage still inside the car. A popular scam in South America involves the driver claiming that you have paid with counterfeit money. When you request the money back, the driver will replace the fake bill with another counterfeit one, leading you to pay double without realizing it.
To avoid falling victim to these scams, it's advisable to negotiate the fare before embarking on long journeys. Whenever possible, book a taxi through a phone or internet service or choose one from official taxi ranks. Additionally, take a quick look at the serial number on your bills before handing them over, and count out the money aloud as you give it to the driver. While it may seem like a lot to remember, being prepared is far better than being caught off guard.
4. The bird poop scam
Commonly referred to as the "sh** on the shoe scam" in a friendly tone, this is a frequently encountered tactic in bustling tourist areas. Typically, a cheerful onlooker will notify you of a stain on your shoe, sock, or leg, which may be bird droppings, ketchup, or mud. They will kindly propose handing you a tissue to assist with the cleanup. However, while both parties lean over to inspect the contamination, a cunning hand will attempt to discreetly snatch any valuables from your pocket or bag. Even if there is indeed a mess on your person, it's advisable to politely decline their offer of assistance and patiently wait until you can reach a restroom or find a secluded spot to clean up alone.
5. The closed and/or overbooked hotel
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Be cautious of taxi drivers trying to deceive you when you arrive at your accommodation. They may try to convince you that the place does not exist or is fully booked. If you trust them and go along with their suggestion, they will likely take you to a more expensive location owned by their friends or accomplices. Once you settle in, the driver will receive a nice commission before leaving. It's advisable to contact your hotel in advance to verify your booking and inquire about any pick-up services they may offer. Additionally, consider the fact that a taxi driver would not have accurate information regarding hotel availability.
6. The tumbling woman
Oh, that unfortunate woman who experiences a disastrous fall on the sidewalk right in front of you. You and other people passing by halt to offer assistance, and a sizable crowd gathers while your belongings are taken. Suddenly, the crowd disperses, including the individual who had taken the tumble.
It's important to be cautious in this situation as it's difficult to determine if the fall was genuine or not. If you choose to lend a hand, remain mindful of others who may approach. Alternatively, ensure that your belongings are secured so you can assist the person in need without concern for a potential trap.
7. Tuk-tuk shop scam
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Tuk-tuks are a highly enjoyable mode of transportation in busy cities, particularly in Southeast Asian countries. However, caution should be exercised when taking sightseeing day tours offered by drivers. Although you will have the opportunity to visit temples and landmarks, there is a likelihood that you will also be taken to tailor or jewelry shops. This may result in an uncomfortable few minutes as the shop owner tries to sell their specialized services.
Despite the time wasted at these shops, it's unlikely that you will suffer any financial loss unless you make a purchase. Rest assured, you will eventually be able to see the promised sights. It's advisable to assess the driver's rate; if it's considerably cheap, there is a high chance that multiple store visits will be included throughout the day.
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We suppose you have used to choose on-site parking if you prefer to get to the airport by your own vehicle. Most people think that it's much more convenient and faster, as it's the nearest area to the place a plane is flying from. However, they probably forget that this type of parking is too costly. Besides, you will have to face the following unpleasant moments:
- You will need to find a spot in a crowded lot,
- You will need to carry the luggage all the way down the parking lot,
- You must pay expensive fees with no service.
Sounds terrible, right? Is there any solution in such a situation, you may ask? We're happy to say – of course, there is one! If you choose to use the services provided by off-site parking, you won't definitely regret it. So let's take a closer look at this parking type.
What is actually off-site parking?
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Obviously, no one wants to face all of such difficulties we described above, and you can easily avoid them if you choose an off-site parking option. So let's take a look at how it works.
When you come to the entrance, the staff member pulls your baggage out of your car and loads it to the shuttle, which will take your bags and you later to the airport you're flying from. Then they will find a parking spot and park your car there for you.
Please don't worry about the few miles, which usually separate the parking lot and the airport. Off-site parking usually provides free shuttles to and from the airport for its customers. Thanks to this, you have no worries about getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport during the peak times. So all you need to do is choose the best time for you and inform the parking lot staff.
In addition, this type of parking is much cheaper, and this is good news, as nobody wants to waste money. Therefore, off-site parking is the perfect option to receive excellent service and save money at the same time.
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