Traveling is one of the best things to encounter in your lifetime adventures. It allows you to meet new people, make friends, explore new cultures, and make memories. While planning for a travel can be fascinating, it also comes with its fair share of challenges.
One of the most concerning risks is getting scammed. With the advanced technology, it is easy to get tricked by scammers that target unsuspecting travelers. You must exercise caution when making your travel schedule to avoid falling for these fraudulent activities.
Easy Ways To Avoid Getting Scammed While Traveling
Everyone is susceptible to scams regardless of how seasoned one may think they are during travels. Tour-related rip-offs can range from online and physical theft to trickery or sophisticated frauds that result in the loss of data, personal items, and money. You can do several things to protect yourself from scammers when traveling:
1. Research Your Destination
Arriving at a destination while clueless about the culture, customs, and legal requirements of the place exposes you to potential scams. Take time to investigate and know how safe it is to be there and who to approach for assistance.
Reading reviews online and interacting with trusted tour guides through social media can help identify tricks used by scammers in your intended destination. Frauds prey on unprepared visitors.
2. Use Reputable Booking Agencies
Booking agencies are effective and reduce time and effort when it comes to finding and securing the best deals for travel accommodations, flights, and other services.
While hundreds of agencies are online, not all could be reliable. Besides, some could be scams posing as travel agencies. As a traveler, you should do due diligence before settling on one.
3. Use Secure Payments
When paying for travel expenses, choose credit cards over wire transfers, gift cards, or cryptocurrency, as they are a much better and safer payment method.
Credit card companies have fraud protection systems, which ensure you aren’t liable for unauthorized charges. However, avoid visiting ATMs in poorly lit areas or those without personal privacy. Criminals often target such ATMs with skimming devices.
4. Avoid Sharing Personal Information
Whether you’re making contacts physically or online, be wary of anyone interested in personal data such as credit card or passport details. Scammers will seek to have you give them sensitive information about yourself through manipulation and by pretending to be someone else.
The stolen data gets used to rip you off your money or commit other criminal activities. Unless you know the identity of the person you’re engaging, be wary of sharing personal information or places you want to visit with strangers.
5. Avoid Confrontations
Scammers have adopted a new trick to steal luggage at travel centers such as airports. If you’ve just arrived or are about to leave a train station or the airport, avoid people who try to engage you in unnecessary confrontations or disruptions.
Fraudsters will attempt to bring confusion to distract your attention while their accomplices are either pickpocketing you or stealing your luggage. If someone wants to fight or argue with you or seems to ask for directions that they pretend not to know, avoid them and walk away.
6. Avoid Unofficial Taxis
Taxis scams have quickly become a common thing for many destinations. There are three ways in which this happens.
First, you could be offered a ride at extremely low prices below the market rates. If this is the case, be cautious about boarding the taxi. It could be a trap to rob you along the way or kidnap you.
Second, others will charge you inflated prices for a ride.
Third, some will charge you and drive you to a different location from your intended destination. You can avoid such instances by engaging official and trusted taxi companies at designated ranks or on reputable ride-sharing apps.
7. Be Street Smart
In many cultures, you’ll encounter overly friendly people who want to sell things or offer special deals to you even without asking. Many of these individuals are usually fraudsters working in cahoots with other criminals to distract you as you get robbed. Others will sell you some of the items at exorbitant prices.
You can keep yourself safe from such scams by buying products at reputable and designated shops, learning basic phrases in the local language, and being confident.
8. Trust Your Gut
Human intuition is one of the best ways to guard yourself against scams. If you feel something is off, it most likely is. You would better walk away from a suspicious situation than leave to regret. Remember, you owe no one apologies for walking away if you feel unsafe around them. Trying to justify yourself will only create more doubts in your mind.
9. Enjoy Responsibly
When new at a place, having fun responsibly boils down to knowing your surroundings. The world isn’t black and white, which makes it hard to notice fraudsters. As you merry in the areas you visit, be cautious of people you barely know or locations that seem suspicious.
Doing due diligence on your destination and tour guides before settling for a place is essential. Also, avoid taking too much alcohol or anything that distorts your reality, exposing you to scammers. You can also tag along a trusted friend who doesn’t take alcohol to check on you.
10. Avoid Trusting And Befriending People Too Easily
When you’re new at a place, don’t rush to make friends with people you barely know. Scammers have patience and could keep engaging you long after you have left your destination, manipulating you into sending them money and personal information.
For example, some of your new friends could start pretending they have personal emergencies and request you to loan or give them cash. They will then give excuses for not paying back or block your contacts altogether.
Remember, being informed and cautious of your destination and using reputable and registered booking and tour firms can significantly lower the risk of getting scammed. It is equally important to do due diligence before befriending unfamiliar people or sharing any information with strangers.
Even a simple search on Google or keying in details such as email, name, or phone number on Nuwber can give you much useful stuff within seconds. There is no doubt that travel scams are not something we can wish off our lives. As a traveler, remain vigilant at all times to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.