Travel News

Top Scams Tourists Should Avoid

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Last Updated: Jan 18, 2016

The summer is a wonderful time for a vacation far away. Meanwhile it is also a great time for scammers, because they will have more victims as foreigners flock tourist destinations.


Scammers have evolved and their tricks have become unnoticeable and outrageous.

Here are some of the world’s top tourist scams you can avoid if you pay close attention:

  • Good Will Offers. One common scam involves locals giving you free products or services like roses or takes a picture of you, and then they will aggressively ask for payment, or worse, run away with your picture-taking gadget.


  • Fake Drug Bust. There are taxi drivers that will give you drugs and if you accept, you will be busted by a fake police officer that will ask for a big amount of money to avoid an arrest.
  • Entertaining Distractions. Some scammers use street shows and performances, while their accomplices will do the pick pocketing.
  • Baby Distraction. Other distractions involve a fake baby being thrown at you. While you are shocked by the act, someone else will do the pick pocketing.
  • Overcharging Taxi Drivers. There are taxi drivers that will bring you to longer routes just to overcharge you.


  • Change Drop. There are waiters or shopkeepers who will accidentally drop the change, and then give you smaller bills that look the same.
  • Getaway Drivers. In Las Vegas, there are drivers who will help you unload the package, but they will keep one of your smaller bags and drive off before you even notice you are one bag short.
  • Credit Card Photographer. In Barcelona Spain, there are people who act like they are helping you while they hold their phones. They are actually taking your credit card’s image, which they will later replicate.
  • Fake Police. In Mexico, Bangkok, Bucharest, and Bogota, there are fake police officers that will take a look at your bag telling you that they are looking for counterfeit bills.
  • Money Machine. Some scammers will help you use the cash machine, but are actually memorizing your pin, which they will use after you will be pick pocketed.
  • Helpless Locals. Some beggars are just memorizing where you put your valuables for later pick pocket schemes. Some children for charity are actually hiding their hands under the table to steal your valuables.
  • Fake Hotels. Some hotels pay taxi drivers to tell tourist passengers that the hotel of their choice is temporarily closed and bring them to an overpriced hotel.

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