Most Common Travel Scams and Tips to Avoid

Has ever happened to you to arrive at a hotel and discover that your room which was supposed to be ''sea-view'' is actually facing the city? Have you ever checked your bill at a restaurant and noticed that it contains things that you didn't order? Such scams can not only ruin your mood but your whole vacations!

Only in the U.S., it is estimated that scammers are ''gaining'' more than $10 billion from tourists each year! Thus, we present you some of the most common tricks that many scammers are using to take advantage of several tourists around the world!

1. ''Sorry, we have run out of...''
One of the most common trick that many restaurants and hotels are using. The dish you have chosen isn’t available but... there is another one which costs more! Restaurants are using this technique to ''promote'' their more expensive dishes or to get rid of their ''not so fresh'' ones. This trick is also really common in some hotels around the world. Regular rooms are not available and you are offered to book a more luxurious and expensive one. What is more, there are some car rental companies that use this technique to steal your money. For example, the cheap car is already rented and you have to get the more expensive one. So, we suggest you to be always suspicious and cautious and when and where is possible, book everything in advance! 

2. Taxis
Taxi drivers (not all of them of course) are well known for their ingenuity when they have to collect money from their customers. Especially if you are not familiar with the area, some of them drive you all around the town, not putting on the taxi meter, charge you double tariffs etc! Perhaps, the only way to protect yourself from bad taxi-drivers  is to agree the amount before you get in the taxi. Also, avoid paying before getting to your destination!

3. Fake police
Men in police uniform or ''undercover police'' suddenly stops you and asks for your passport. They identify something suspicious or illegal and they ask you to give them money in order to get you out of trouble. In these case, the best way is to insist to go with them to the nearest police station and find out what's wrong.

4. Porters
In some airports and ports, there are ''porters'' who offer you helping you with your language. Afterwards though, they ask you to pay a really absurd amount. Sometimes, they run away and steal with your stuff before even paying. The best you can do to be safe and sure is to refuse any help from freelance porters and when is possible pre-book a taxi to pick you from the airport and help you with your luggage. 

5. Car-Rentals Scammers
Car-rental scammers overcharge you for damages that you (might) caused at the car. Always check the car for any damages or scratches before signing a contract with the company or when and where is possible, take pictures!

6. Hucksters 
Traders and Really cheap carpets, perfumes, jewelries, watches, sunglasses etc... Just remember the quote ''If something seems really cheap, then something is wrong with it''. No genuine branded pair of sunglasses costs $10!

7. The supposedly ''famous'' and ''good'' hotel
This trick is really popular in many cities around the world. Many hotels take advantage of various known hotel names. Always double check your reservation, read reviews and carry always with you your booking voucher.

8. Timeshare Apartment Scams
Sometimes these scams start even before booking your holidays. Most of the times, someone approaches you and informs you that you have won a prize! Exciting so far? However, in order to receive it you have to pass from his company’s office, where you are going to present you this ''amazing deal'' and force you (brainwash you) to buy a timeshare apartment somewhere nice and exotic! Never trust anyone, especially if something seems too good to be true! There are several websites on the internet that list some of the most known timeshare scam companies and we suggest you to make your own research before taking any decision.

9. Fake tickets
Several scammers print and sell fake tickets for everything: metro tickets, Disneyland tickets, museum tickets that look genuine and original. Prefer buying tickets from official offices and companies in order not to get in trouble.

10. Tricky terms and conditions
ALWAYS read the terms and conditions when you are going to purchase something.