It is not unusual for tourists to encounter a few scams in their travels which may vary from places to places. You will be able to protect yourself and prepare properly before going on a trip by acquainting yourself with the most common scams there is.
THE TAXI HOTEL
Though it really has the possibility to happen anywhere, this scam has been most commonly reported in Latin America and India. Taxis working with local hotels propagated this type of scam. Once they see that you’re a foreigner and unfamiliar with the area, the taxi driver will recommend a hotel other than the one you booked. They will even conveniently claim that your intentional accommodation is either terribly insufficient, or does not exist. He will then take you to a different hotel where you will be asked for an expensive amount for accommodation, which will then be shared with the taxi driver.
THE SIGN MY PETITION
This particular scam is most common in Paris. You will be approached by someone with a petitioning paper for money intended for a charitable cause. The charity is usually for numerous causes but it is most often for the homeless, poor, starving, crippled, deaf or blind. The person will claim the he or she is affiliated to an official charity but will not be able to produce identification. After you’ve signed the document, they will then ask for a donation and even reference a part of the paper where it claims that you are agreeing to donate a specific amount of money. You will be pressured to give them the money which will never go to any charity once you decline.
THE FAKE POLICE OFFICER
This fake police officer scam is mainly reported in Southeast Asia and Latin America where a throng of fake police officers take advantage of a tourist’s strangeness with the country’s policemen uniforms and laws. A person will approach a tourist under the pretence of being a law maker and claim that there has been an issue with counterfeit bills. The policeman imposter will then ask to have a look at your wallet in order to see whether or not you are the one carrying the so-called counterfeit money. Most of the time, gang member gather at roadblocks or train stations where they target tourists.
THE TEA HOUSE
This invitation to a tea house scam is mostly common and reported by tourists in China, particularly in Shanghai and Beijing. A group or an individual will politely approach and engage you in a conversation. Majority of them will claim to be learning in English. Their level of friendliness will make them seem harmless but at some point during the conversation, they will suggest a teahouse and will ask you in for a cup of tea. After taking a cup, you will be presented with an excessive bill ranging from $85-$500. The reason for this is because the scammers cooperate with teahouses to rip tourists off.