Common Tourist Scams to Avoid on Your Summer Travels

With the onset of summer, many of us are excitedly anticipating our upcoming vacations. Unfortunately, the scammers who prey on tourists are almost as excited as we are for our holidays to begin, and can’t wait to get their hands on our spending money. Here are three of the most common types of scams, and some of the many variations on these scams that can be found around the world.

Theft of Financial Information- Creative ways crooks get your credit card info

  • Faux Front Desk The phone in your hotel room rings in the middle of the night. On the other end is an identity thief pretending to be the front desk and claiming there is a problem with your card. Tired and confused you read them your card number in an attempt to straighten out the misunderstanding. This scam has been reported worldwide.
  • Cashier on the Phone As you are making a purchase in a shop, the cashier pretends to be on her phone but is secretly photographing your credit card. Common in
  • Hotel Room Takeout Scammers slide fake take-out food menus under your hotel room door. When you place an order for delivery and pay with your credit card they steal your financial information. Your food never arrives. Common in USA.

Demands for Payment- Getting bullied into paying for things you don’t even want

  • Flower For Your Lady While traveling as a couple, a man will ask if you’d like to buy a flower for your female companion. If you decline he will berate you for being a bad partner in an attempt to embarrass you into buying the flower. Common in Paris and Rome.
  • Friendship Bracelet Someone approaches you on the street, grabs your wrist and starts to make a friendship bracelet hoping to guilt you into paying for it. Common in Cairo, Rome, Paris, and Barcelona
  • Free Massage An individual will approach you while sitting on the beach and offer you a massage. If you decline he’ll press you to try a five minute sample for free but then aggressively pester you for payment. Common in Bahamas and Barbados.

Pickpocket Scams- Ploys to plunder your pockets

  • Catch the Baby A woman will approach you and throw her baby (typically a doll wrapped in a blanket) at you. When you put your arms out to catch it her accomplices will quickly rob you. Common in Rome.
  • Fake Policemen A thief dressed as a policeman informs you that counterfeit money is in circulation locally and offers to check your wallet. When he returns it, some of your money will be missing. He may also ask to see your passport or visa, tell you there is a problem with it and demand you pay him a fine. Common in Mexico City, Bucharest, and Bangkok.
  • Map Sellers You will be approached by an individual trying to sell you a map. He will open it up to show it to you and while you are looking at the map his accomplices pick your pockets. Common throughout Europe.

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