In 2016, there were approximately 1.235 billion international tourists around the world. In relation to 2015, this was an increase of 4%. At the same time, France, the USA, Spain, China, Italy, and the United Kingdom became the most popular countries among tourists.
Along with the growing number of tourists, the number of deceived travelers also increases. After all, when visiting foreign countries, we often trust locals a bit too much. And the realization that we have been deceived might come too late.
We at Bright Side decided to share the most common tricks that scammers and thieves use in almost every country around the world.
1. Lost items
Imagine yourself walking quietly through an unfamiliar city. You suddenly notice that on the sidewalk there is a ring, a bracelet, or some other rather expensive item. You pick it up, and at this very moment someone comes up to you and starts strongly encouraging you not to look for the owner (they say it’s practically impossible) but to split the value of the item in half.
Since he does not have any cash with him, the stranger asks you to give him a certain amount, and you keep the found piece for yourself. Later, however, it turns out that the jewelry is fake and worthless and that you gave a large sum of money to a fraudster.
2. Pseudo fortune-telling
In many countries of the world, local residents earn their living by pseudo fortune-telling with twigs, valuable personal items, or money.
Be vigilant. Do not be fooled by such cheap tricks even if the false fortune-teller tries to convince you that they can save you from financial collapse or something worse. Most likely, she will simply steal your money or valuables, skillfully substituting them with fakes. And in the case of the twigs and other nonsense, she will simply try to get as much money out of you as possible for her very dubious services.
3. Private taxis
If you visit a different city or a foreign country, it is advisable to book a transfer in advance with a trusted company. But if this has not been prearranged, use public transport (metro, trams, buses), or book a taxi with a large company that tells you the fees before the trip.
Do not trust private cabbies as they can overcharge or deliberately take you on the longest possible route.
Nevertheless, you should keep your guard up on all forms of private and public transport. The driver might give you your change in the local currency, and it can be worth a lot less than the dollars or euros that you paid with. Be careful.
5. Dishonest seller
Such crooks can be found in small shops or street tents with souvenirs. The dishonest seller will be doing multiple things at the same time: talking on the phone, bargaining with 3 customers, taking money, and giving change. And in the process, he can write down your credit card information if you decide to pay with a card. Or he’ll just give you less change, hoping that he managed to distract you.
Another situation is possible: when one vendor captures your attention with a conversation, the other charges you and either finds out your card information or gives less change than he has to.
6. Unofficial ticket sales
When you buy tickets to the theatre, to a concert, to a museum, or anywhere else from street vendors, there is a good chance that the ticket will turn out to be fake. Even if the ticket is real, you might pay a much higher price for it than you would if you bought it officially.
It is better to purchase tickets at official ticket offices or from the website of the company.
7. A call from reception