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Five Scam That Are Common While Travelling

map-scam-common scam-while-travelling

Travel is an amazing thing and I recommend everyone. What not still amazing thing is getting scammed. so I thought I'd write a little article to share some of the scams that I've personally experienced and some tips for avoiding them. Below you are going to read top most scam that are common in many countries. With due respect to their culture I am not criticizing them or not discouraging people to go their.

Pickpocket Scam

Five Common Scam While Travelling

This is a pretty obvious one but I think it's worth talking about because it really sucks when it happens to you. let's talk about pickpockets, so I got pick pocketed when I was in Mexico City. I was riding the Metro with my girlfriend. Actually I was about to enter on to the Metro and what happened was there were just several people behind us and as the train doors opened they all kind of started to push and again because I'm not from Mexico City I thought "well you know different places are different" maybe this is just you know people are in a rush to get on the train. 

So I didn't think too much of it but what actually happened in that moment is several people were pushing me and as that was happening one of them reached into my pocket and stole my phone. you just start replaying everything in your mind right and it's like oh, I was, how was I so naive like to leave my phone in a position like that. And I guess my trip for this one would be just be mindful of when there are groups of people behind you like keep your hand on your foot, on your phone or on your wallet. if possible like if you have a backpack just keep it keep valuables on like inner pockets not something that can be quickly unzipped and reached.

you know it's it kind of sucks to be paranoid and stuff like that but when it does happen to you and you do Loss a phone or a wallet in a foreign country then you're really in trouble. So you definitely want to take precautions against pickpockets and scammers

The Deaf clipboard scam

Common scam most travelers fall for

This is one I experienced in Paris right outside the Eiffel Tower. To my knowledge, it's still happening there. I don't know why the French police haven't like stopped it but this is a very common scam to find in Paris and I think other cities in Europe have it as well. It's the Deaf clipboard scam. You'll be approached by usually women who claim to be deaf. I have no proof whether they are actually deaf or not but I've heard that many of them aren't even deaf and they have a clipboard and they want you to make some small donation and just sign it and I've heard two different variations of the scam number one. 

It is again there's always a group of people so similar to the pickpocket situation like. As you're filling out this form someone could be picking your pocket right behind you or the more common version is you get this form and you sign it and say okay I'll give you one euro to this charity and then afterwards they point out some like little message at the top or bottom that says minimum donation fifteen euros or twenty euros. And they try to pressure you into paying more and we'll get very angry and aggressive if you try to get away.

Like you got to think about it if it's a legit charity. Like there's no reason to be going after tourists at the Eiffel Tower. That's like the number one most touristy place. These are people who have just arrived in the country they're using English clipboards because it's not a real French charity. It's just you know people taking advantage of tourists.

Taxi Fare Scam 

Common Taxi scam with travellers

This one has to do with taxi drivers obviously a lot of tourists take taxis. it's a very very common scam for taxi drivers to try and take a long route or somehow overcharge you for that ride. If you're in a country like Thailand where you have to haggle the prices they might give you some ridiculously high price and because you just arrived you don't know the local currency, you don't know what a fair price is. you're probably getting ripped off in other countries even if it is like the metered taxi. they will just take some long route and just find a way to charge you a bit of extra money.

Personally I've started taking uber whenever possible, just because I mean it's kind of showing you the GPS and it's also you know the drivers rating and stuff like that. so if he does rip you off you can give a one-star rating and there's some sort of system in place to protect them from scamming you. But if you do want to take a taxi or you don't have a Uber as an option I would just advise you to skip over the very aggressive taxi drivers who try to meet you right at the airport gate. 

A lot of countries like people will come rushing out and say where are you going, where are you going and try to almost like grab your bags and take you to their cab. those guys are usually the ones who you want to be careful of.

The Fake Monk Scam

fake monk scam while travelling

This is one that I really don't like to see. This is known as the fake monk scam. I first heard of this happening in Europe and places like Hong Kong. I think, I even saw it happening here in Montreal earlier the summer. And basically it is someone who is a monk or at least dressed like a monk, wearing a monk's robe and they will be standing on the street and usually they will have some little bracelet like, just a string bracelet and they will smile and be polite and kind of start tying that around your wrist. 

The catch is once they have it on your wrist they ask for money. He's not a real man $10 or $20 or whatever and if you try to say no it's kind of like they've already done the deed and they will try to pressure you into giving money and say "no you need to give money this is for good health, this is good luck, you need to give money". For a while I didn't know if they were like fake monks or whatever but I mean my girlfriend, she's from South Korea and her her culture South Korea is a very Buddhist country there's lots of Buddhists and her view on this is, a real Buddhist would never ask for money in that way.

If a real Buddhist did need money they might you know ask for food, so they can eat but Buddhists are not going around just grabbing people and putting string on their wrists and asking for money. That's completely against the principles of what they're supposed to believe in. nothing against like Buddhism or whatever it's just unfortunate that people have taken a religion and and use it as part of their scam.

The Fake Guide Scam

fake travel guide scam while travelling
Finally the last scam. This is a bit of a trickier one to talk about but this is something that happened to me a lot in Morocco and I'm gonna call it like the the fake guide scam or maybe the fake friend scam . It is a situation where you arrive in a new city and right away you have a local person it was being very friendly to you. maybe they see you on your way out of the hotel or on the way into the city and they know that you're tourists. They know that you're someone who has just arrived and they start asking you all these questions, where are you from, what are you doing, how long were you here for and etc.

If you're a person like me, you are generally like to meet local people. You're cool with making friends and you start to talk with them and next thing you know they are offering to show you restaurants and show you like cool things to do and you never know, you never really asked for a guide. But next thing you know they are kind of guiding you around the city and in that situation you have a couple of options you can be very firm and say no.

I just want to do this on my own and most of the time they will listen and go away but if you don't firmly say no next thing you know they're kind of like going with you and you are in some sense stuck, like stuck with their guide. 

This happened to me in a city called Fez in the north of Morocco and this guy he was being really cool. He took me to this restaurant and stuff told me interesting facts about Morocco and the next thing you know after lunch he says "I'll have these friends who have this carpet shop because Morocco is very famous for these big carpets". 

Next thing you know you're sitting there in this carpet shop and there's like two or three other guys and they're showing you the carpets and stuff and then suddenly the the guide, the guy who brought me to the carpet shop was gone. And suddenly I'm there in this upstairs room with three people trying to sell me carpets and they were not as friendly. As the first guy in the back of my mind I thought like am I gonna get robbed and I was in the upstairs floor of this carpet shop and I just remember feeling like very uneasy about the situation and finally I almost felt guilty to say that I'm leaving but I just had to say like "no I gotta go" and I just kind of did a 180 out of that room and went down to the to the street and I remember they were looking at me like what's this guy doing?, where is he going?. 

It's very funny because you almost feel guilty for what you have done but then a couple minutes later I realized I didn't do anything they were the ones who were trying to pressure me into this situation that I never asked. At the end so basically the scam is like fake friendship and I know it sounds mean to say that because sometimes it's hard to tell when people are being a friend if there are real friends or if there are fake friends. 

But I think if at the end of the day they are being nice to you for a few hours but there is like a destination where you're expected to pay a lot of money for something. It's pretty fair to say that they were being fake friends despite everything. I've said today don't have the closed mind that everyone is trying to scam you because if you think that way unfortunately you're going to miss pretty awesome opportunities because there are nice people out there who are just trying to show you their city or show you their country and they're not trying to scam you.

In fact I find it a bit rude when tourists will just like completely ignore a local person. It's like you're in their country you don't need to get scammed but like if someone says hello to you there's no problem to say hello, there's no problem to interact a little bit right.

Finally one more bonus piece of advice, if you do get scammed don't be too hard on yourself don't let it ruin your vacation because as I said, I've been pick pocketed, I've lost my phone, before I had my wallet stolen in France and that was like no bueno, that was a big problem because I had to replace my credit cards and all this stuff and the truth is if you travel enough these things are gonna happen. 

All you can do is learn from the experience and try to be more aware next time. I hope this article helped some of you to learn from my mistakes. So you don't have to go through what I went through yeah let me know if there are any other scams that I forgot to list.

Read More: Greece Travel Guide

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