Top 16 travel scams of 2016 and How to Avoid them


Worldwide travel distributors scams

Scams are scary. They will literally scare the shit of you. They are the scariest thing to happen for travelers. After all, there are “suspecting” people everywhere.
Yes, and as a travel agent sending travelers across the world, I can vouch on the fact that scams can happen anywhere. So, better closely watch out for the innovative scams which these “un-suspecting” people have strategized to ask for money and you being a traveler often have to depart with money inspite of trying your level best “not to”. Yes, from being accidentally bumped by a person who will emotionally blackmail you for the broken spectacle, to people swapping notes right infront of you, to taxi drivers overcharging you. Well, I am compiling a list of the most common travel scams around the world, as it will make you conscious and careful for sure. So that you can better gear up, before facing any sort of similar scam in future. Since, you don’t face them often, so the post is an eye opener for you towards safeguarding yourself in future.

Direction seekers may be scammers

Do you know that even while sitting peacefully in a café and enjoying your delicious eatables isn’t without dangers. Yes, as one of the worldwide travel scams relate to  a “direction seeker” who will come to you to ask for a direction and soon he places the map on your table and when you are actually busy in telling him the address, he will implement his evil intentions of getting away with your wallet, watch, credit cards etc (lying on the table).

How to avoid

My idea of telling this prevalent scam is that be wary of such people who only have one thing in their mind and that is to steal your belongings. Hence, this is one of the travel scams to avoid.

Next time you counter someone asking for directions and if you happen to be in another country, simply be safer than sorry, just say “No”, you don’t know. Scammers usually target outsiders and as you happen to directly refuse them, they won’t gather courage to pressurize in asking you

Avoid putting things on your table in public places. That’s the general view as you don’t know when you actually forget picking things up after you move away.

Drivers or scammers (swapping notes)

Another one of the travel vacation scams happened in Mexico which related to the fact that drivers swap the notes so perfectly that we don’t suspect them asking for another 450 bucks as according to them you only gave them 50 and not a  note. You will be pressurized until you have to finally take out another note unwillingly.

How to avoid

Always keep small change and be confident towards “which note” you are actually giving.

Taxi drivers may mislead you

How about you have planned to visit a certain place on a specific day and the taxi driver tells you that it is closed? Well, don’t believe him easily. As travel scams in Thailand are nothing new where one of my clients was visiting a temple only to be told that it is closed but since she was already told by us about it, so she was adamant until she found out the truth, that it was actually open. Usually, temples open daily. So this how she was narrowly saved from another one of the world travel scams, since I had actually been to the place before. Usually the drivers look to take you elsewhere quite like expensive sightseeing’s which are quite far, so you basically have to pay far more for not only the rental service, but additional about visiting the specific sightseeing as well.

How to avoid travel agency scams Bangkok?

Ask about other travelers in your vicinity about the timing of sightseeings


No meter or mal-functioning meter

Do you know how do travel scams work? These scams are easy to be tried on those travelers who are unsuspecting towards the events waiting for them and locals who have already gained precision, simply work towards practically implementing their heinous acts. Yes, the over pricing meters are quite common incidents which has infact raised travel scams statistics to an all time high.

How to avoid

Don’t sit on the taxi with no meter

Most of the scams relating with taxi happen at airports, bus and railways stations along with those areas which are frequented by tourists. Try taking picture of the driver with their badge number as this trick usually works in instilling fear that they may even lose their job, if you complain about them to the concerned authorities.

People or I should use the word “scammer” bumping at you

Yes, talking about the travel scams from around the world, this one will certainly make you shudder which happened in New York. Yes, a person bumped at one of my clients who then saw his spectacle lying with a broken glass. Pat came the excuse that he has no good vision and it will be difficult for him to go to office next day. It just shows the level of travel scams New York. My client felt guilty and on being pressured she gave him 100$ for the “mistake” which according to the scammer, she committed. This travel America scam was quite an eye opener for me.

How to avoid

Your presence of mind works to your favor. People tend to avoid quarrelling with those who speak loudly or considering such scenarios you can “aggressively” deny them that “it is not your fault”. I know initially it is difficult but after knowing the prevalence of this incident, you will in all probability be quite aware about the way to save yourself from similar travel scams around the world.



Be wary of befriending locals under any request

Continuing with the list of travel scams and how to avoid them, this one happened in China with a client. A local person may request you to teach her few English words and if you agree to accompany them, then after gaining trust, they will actually teach you a lesson for allowing them (scammers) to be with you. Yes, finally after gaining your trust, they expect that you join them for a tea company where you are charged at an exorbitant rate just for tasting their local tea.

How to avoid

When you are in a foreign country, avoid being friendly with people. You have to be emotionally strong in saying “No” That’s the best mantra of avoid travel scams by country.

Shoe shiners or scammers?

Show shiners carrying boxes on their shoulders will brush past you, until you realize that their brush has fallen without their knowledge and as you show your courteous and friendly attitude of informing them about the fallen brush, then they will “dupe” you? They will persuade you to allow them “shine” your shoes and they will charge 4 times the actual cost. It is indeed travel award scam.

How to avoid

It is the extent of stage of travel scams abroad which have created challenges for people towards understanding the right person from wrong one. The best thing is to be safe than sorry and that also includes not reminding them, especially if you a traveler in an unknown country and that also includes if you happen to see a wallet lying and you only wanted to draw the attention of the passersby in reminding them about whose wallet is that”, but simply overlook it. Since, you never know when the scammer may blame you for being a thief. Isn’t it?

Read : Top 10 reasons to visit India


Pick Pocketers

Pickpockets do their job irrespective of whether the place is jam packed or deserted. Mind you, they are so artfully proficient in their acts that you can’t even get the slightest of notion, and by the time you realize it is already too late. Quite a travel and escape scam, they will run away and you will be like “Oh My God”.

How to avoid

Stitch a pocket right under you shirt for the obvious reason that even the best of skilled person or scammer can’t insert his hand inside. This is one of the travel scams in India, but it is no country specific, in today’s age.

Gold ring scam

Another one of the travel discount scams happened with me was when a seemingly unsuspecting person came to me with a Gold ring (which he claimed it to be) and he was actually giving at a discounted rate. There were at least 3- 4people who actually came before him failing to convince me enough.

How to avoid

When things are too good to be true, then they probably are, as this is one of the travel scams Asia. So, avoid falling in the trap of nefarious people and only put your mind to work.

“Donate” for “flower” scam

Another one of the travel business scam might happen to you anywhere in the world where a lady simply hands you a beautiful flower or pin the flag in your shirt to demand for the money which she claims will be going for charity. Yes, don’t fall prey to it as it simply remains to be travel coordinator scams which is devoid of any solid grounds.

How to avoid

Although it is difficult to avoid, yet it is not impossible. Take for my word, whenever a local approaches you for anything just simply overlook or ignore. Or else, if you are too rich, then you are free to get scammed, but don’t blame me later.

Also read:  Top safety tips for travelling alone


Scammer under the garb of checking your note

What will be your state of mind when you see that the shopkeeper to whom you are supposed to pay for buying a product is closely examining your note?
Well, you will surely be angry, more so as it is a note which you just got out from the ATM in Spain. Hence, a client who was naturally quite aware about the situation demanded her money back and she loudly asked for it, by drawing the attention of passersby, thereby leaving the shopkeeper embarrassed obviously.

How to Avoid

Because, there are situations when your aggressive and assertive nature becomes a pivotal role towards helping you get out of the situation.  If the client would have succumbed to the situation, then I am sure, the owner of the shop would have exchanged the note with a fake one. So, one of the travel scams Spain relate to the fact that you never know when people starts questioning about it. It is another travel scams stories which you should share with others.

Read :Top 11 money making tips while travelling in the world


Petitioners or scammers

You never know when you are approached by a lady whom she claims to be from a blind society and she request you to sign a petition for the betterment of blind people and then telling her that it costs money. Well, be wary that most of such petitions are run by scammers who have no relevance and are only out towards duping honest travellers like you. This is actually a travel brochure scam where everything seems to be written in “fake “paper. Yes, as you happen to enquire, then you get to know that none of such societies or organizations exist in any manner.

How to avoid

Scammers know about how easy it has come to play with the emotions of people and  as a result, if you don’t want to feel cheated, then avoid them in the first case, overlook their talks, discussions and give a damn towards what they say and do. Simply, pass from the area without paying any attention. That’s the best you can do to avoid holiday travel scams in style. You should walk with authority as this is the best way to give them a signal that you know where you are heading.

There are increasing number of scams currently happening across the world be it travel agency scams, travel booking scams, travel club scams free cruise. If you have been an unfortunate one to get into such scams, then be thankful that you have actually got to know so many others which will broaden your horizon towards keeping a close watch on the activities happening in your surroundings in your next trip.

Beggars or scammers

Even beggars are coming up with innovative tricks to scam you of money.

How to Avoid

Always go  straight to get help from officials  in uniform whether it is about going in a cab, completing formalities of a visa etc. Yeah, no matter how  much you are persuaded, yet be wary of such  people who are actually scammers. There are  always police officials in any country of the world you go, to address your concerns and help you feel safer as well. As this another way to save yourself from e tours and travel scams.

Also Read : 14 best ways to save money travelling in India


Guide under the guise of a scammer

Don’t be surprised if a scammer under the guise of a “guide” tell you that you can’t click  pictures of a certain area (which he claimed to be restricted) and  demand you to pay an amount for allowing you to click photos  as such sort of travel agency scams Philippines are quite prominent.

How to avoid

Well, one thing is clear that there seem to be endless travel scams but if you are confident in yourself and know what you are doing, then things become easy.

Playing emotional card in length by scammers

The worst of scams are often on the name of charity for helping blind, deaf, and needy and children. Yes, these are the most prevalent categories in the world where tourists who are basically outsiders are emotionally blackmailed and they have little choice than to waste “big” part of money. Yes, another scam which came to light in Cambodia where the “friendly guide” asked the tourist to visit a certain school being run for the poor children and on reaching there, the guide asked to donate 60$, yes that’s huge and on refusing, you often tend to feel bad plus the never ending pressure from the guide give us little choice but to succumb to the pressure. Well, now you will be able to better assist yourself into creating an emotionally strong behavior for yourself by assertively refusing to any of such advancements.

Similar to the lines of playing with emotions of people, you can even get people in distress saying that their mother has died or they have lost their only son, so on and so forth. What they say? Is because, they want you to comfort them. These are indeed quite confident scams, where they expect you to be with them during such an hour of distress. Smartly, they will take you to an eatery or restaurant where you are supposed to order meals and the bill which is presented turns out to be 5 times more. After all, these scammers have their commission with the specific hotel. Such sort of travel scams in Cuba tops the chart anyhow.

How to avoid

Be  onfident and bold and don’t show them that you are in a confused state as this is the mantra for safeguarding yourself.

Also Read : Top 17 myths about India


Service provider or scammer

Well, while passing through the street of the guest country, if you encounter a lady who wants to get a tattoo for you, then beware. You have the right to ask for “excuse” as this is the mechanism to defend yourself.  Talking about such scammers, a shoe shiner can ask for an exorbitant amount, so it is better to refuse the service and they can become persistent anyhow.

How to avoid

Be wary of such people who are scammers and you have to end up paying much more than the actual amount.

Final thoughts

My idea of presenting the above post is to ensure that these travel scams 2016 shouldn’t happen to you in future. You have to be mindful and careful about your next move and as you take care about yourself by keeping a good memory of all the latest travel scams you have come across, I am sure you trip will be enjoyable, awesome and hassle free as well. Now, you don’t want to do research on travelling scams as this post is quite a complete one on its own, where it is actually advisable to be “wary” of people who are near you. Most of the scammers will simply run away as they don’t want to land themselves in trouble. Let’s not forget every specific country safeguards the interests of outsiders like you, provided that you raise your voice towards drawing the attention of outsiders and if the other person is pressurizing you or is physical, then you know you should boldly draw the attention of others to help yourself. Now, you won’t be missing out on the actual fun-filled and genuine emotions where you can actually enthrall yourself in new surroundings. The idea behind the whole post is to help you spot such scams easily and I am sure you eventually will.


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