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TouristWhen planning a trip it’s easy to get caught up in researching which sites to see and which restaurants to visit, and why not, travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  But there is more to planning a trip than just visiting the tourist attractions.  Scam artists prey on starry-eyed tourists who let their guard down and often play on the traveler’s kind and trusting nature, desire to save on holiday purchases and lack of local knowledge.  Nothing can ruin a trip faster than getting scammed out of your hard-earned travel funds, but if you keep your eye out for these five travel scams, you’ll make sure your next trip is hassle free.

Bracelet Scheme
Picture it.  You’re roaming around a local souk looking slightly lost and kind person comes up to you offering directions or sightseeing advice when, suddenly, he or she ties a woven bracelet around your wrist in a double knot then demands payment. If you refuse, the scammer starts yelling that you’re stealing the bracelet and basically attempt to scare you into paying them.  Seems so silly, but it happens more often than you think.  Be wary of overly friendly people offering services you neither want nor need and tell them to remove the bracelet before you call the police.

Tricky Taxi Drivers
If you thought taxi drivers in NYC had tricks up their sleeves, think again.  Unfortunately for all the good ones, cab drivers have a bad rep for ripping off travelers and it’s not uncommon for you to pick up a bad seed even from somewhere seemingly safe like the airport.  Some of the most common cons are inflating fares or telling passengers their selected hotel/bar/restaurant is closed, but never fear, they know a better one just down the road. Many taxi scam artists will refuse to turn their meters on and try to tell you that they are off shift so they can’t turn it on.  Lies!  Always travel in licensed cabs and, if possible, agree on a fixed fare. Also, insist on going to your original destination and see if it is actually closed for yourself.  If all else fails, have the local police number handy.

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  • When I was in Morocco, I experienced several examples of aggressive selling tactics. In Taroudant, I had to all but fight my way out of a carpet shop before they would let me leave without paying for anything. You have to be careful in some countries. If you go into shops and touch something, then that can be seen as almost an unspoken contract that you are expected to buy the item.

  • Will comment shortly but first,

    Love.That.Woman’s.LOCKS!!!

  • Okay real comment,

    Thanks for the info. None of this has happened to me yet when traveling, especially using the points listed in the “bracelet scheme” and “photo op” tips. Carry your own bags from the airport to your transportation of choice, don’t let anyone else touch them. Also, travel with someone you trust with your LIFE.

    • Pseudonym

      The “bracelet scheme” is big in Spain. The gypsies there do bracelets or “give” flowers to people who grasp them out of reflex and then they harass them until they give them money.

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