Tourist scams are an inevitable part of traveling, especially in certain countries. Here are a few of the most popular scams to be aware of, so you can stick to actually enjoying your vacation.
This one is more of an annoyance than anything… as you’re walking down the street a person might find a ring on the ground directly in front of you and ask if it’s yours. When you say it’s not, they’ll hound you to buy it from them. Forcefully say no and walk away.
Before arriving at your destination, map out the most direct route to your hotel or first stop. Some taxis will pick up at the airport and not always take the fastest route, causing your fare to be higher than it should be.
Be aware of others around you when you’re in a big crowd. If someone spills something on you, it’s possible they’re trying to distract you for the purposes of pickpocketing. If this happens, stay alert while you’re cleaning up.
Whether you’re in your own vehicle or a rental, be aware of scammers who pull you over to alert you to a flat tire, only to take the opportunity to rob you.
There have been instances where someone posing as a police officer asks to see your visa or passport. They then claim something is wrong with it and ask you for a bribe or to pay a fine to get it back. If you offer to accompany them to the police station they might release you then and there.
Scammers have been known to get phone access to hotel rooms. They then claim to be from the front desk and say there’s an issue with your credit card, asking you to verify the number over the phone. The simple solution to avoid getting scammed is to tell them you’ll come to the front desk to deal with the issue.
Avoiding being scammed really comes down to being extra alert when you’re away from home and being wary of giving out any important information or documentation.
To learn more about your specific destination, look at the both the Safety & Security and Laws & Culture tabs for each country you’re visiting on the Canadians government’s travel website.