On Your Guard: Ways to Avoid Being Scammed as a Tourist

When you start planning a vacation, the one thing on your mind above everything else is relaxing and having a good time. With a bit of careful planning—and the right choice of destination—that should be easy to do.


But there is one thing that could turn your dream vacation into a nightmare: Being scammed.


Unfortunately, tourists are vulnerable to scams wherever they go. So here are some of the things that you should do to avoid falling prey to crooks when you go on your next vacation.


Hide Your Cash and Cards


Pickpocketing is one of the most common scams for tourists wherever you go. Thieves know that you are probably carrying money, cards, a phone, and other valuables. You are also in an unfamiliar area, making you an even more tempting target.


But there are ways to carry money safely and avoid being a victim of pickpocketing. One of the best ways is to simply use a money belt. These thin belts go underneath your clothing to remain invisible, and they are ideal for hiding your money, cards, and other important documents rather than leaving them in your bag or pockets where they are more likely to get stolen.


Keep Your Valuables in the Hotel Safe


Another good idea is to keep your valuable items stored safely away in the safe in your hotel room or at the hotel reception. If you choose a good hotel like the Marriott Residence Inn, for example, this will be one of the safest places to keep your valuables. Then you won’t have to worry about them when you go off sightseeing.


Be Aware of Taxi Scams


There are a number of well-known scams related to taxis, so be alert to these whenever you use a taxi on your vacation.


One of the most common is the broken meter scam where the driver tells you that the meter doesn’t work, and they end up charging you more for the trip. Another is to charge you an extortionate fee to take you to your hotel from the airport.


Another classic scam is to tell you that your hotel is overbooked and then recommend another hotel (which is probably owned by one of their friends).


The Spilled Food Scam


If you are in a busy area and you suddenly find that some food or liquid has been spilled onto your clothing, don’t accept help from any friendly locals to clean it up.


This is a common scam whereby the crook deliberately spills something on you and then offers to help you clean it up—while their accomplice steals your wallet.


Fake Guides


Fake guides can be a nuisance in some tourist hotspots. They will often approach you and offer to take you to various shops and restaurants—usually owned by friends of theirs. They will then demand a huge fee for their services. To avoid this happening to you, always use professional licensed guides.


ATM Scams


Always be very careful of ATM scams when you are on vacation. Always use ATMs that are inside banks rather than on the street, and always be careful to shield your PIN. Never accept help or assistance from anyone, especially if your card gets stuck, and get help from the bank staff if anything goes wrong.

Stay Safe and Have a Great Time on Your Vacation


These are some of the most common scams to watch out for on your vacation, so be careful and be on your guard. However, don’t be so worried about being scammed that it ruins your trip. Instead, be aware of the risks, but also know that you are unlikely to be affected on your vacation, so relax and have a great time.

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