Tricks and Scams to Avoid When Travelling the World

There are a number of pitfalls tourists can fall into when out on holiday. While we might like to believe the majority of people out there are worth trusting, sadly it isn’t always the case. Here are five tricks and scams to avoid when travelling the world.


#1. Fake Police

When you’re overseas, there’s a high likelihood you’ll be unaware of exactly what the police in that nation normally dress like. When approached by a small group of individuals in official-looking uniform, it’s only natural to instinctively trust them.

These groups will ask to see some official documentation (without any just cause) before swiftly “confiscating” it, never to be seen again. This is a scam which is prevalent in a lot of European cities in particular – with an attack happening as recently as this November in Edinburgh.

This is a surprisingly easy way to lose important documents, and is a relatively easy trick to fall for. You’d probably think it was silly to question a police officer – and it’s this natural trust they play upon.


#2. Room Inspectors

You hear a knock at the door, only for a couple of fellows to walk in and tell you they’re official room inspectors, carrying out a routine search of the premises.

If you’re unfamiliar with foreign customs, you’ll have absolutely no reason not to believe what they say – much like with the police, why would you question this authority figure? In reality they’re about to rob you blind.

While one of the “inspectors” keeps you busy with either idle chat or a number of personal questions, the other takes everything they can. The items are sold on the black market later and can turn a healthy profit.


#3. Begging Children

There are lots of travel scams out there; but it’s arguably the ones which play on your heartstrings which have the best results. In the case of this trick, that’s certainly true.

Small clusters of young children will surround you in some areas, as they beg for money for them and their starving families. In reality, this is a gang of well-organised pickpockets who are pouncing on the bighearted.

While a number of them swarm you, the most nimble-fingered deviant creeps up from behind and, amid the chaos, steals your wallet or phone. If you see beggar gangs like this, just keep walking.


#4. Taxi Drivers

Sometimes robbery can happen right in front of your eyes. If you’re foreign to a nation, you’ll have no idea of what is or isn’t an acceptable fair for a standard journey. This is where they catch you out.

Instead of paying a reasonable fee in the region of a few pounds or Euros, you’ll instead find yourself paying two or even three times as much as you should. Who are you to tell the experienced driver they’ve got their prices wrong, after all?

Check out fares for routes you’ll be regularly taking to make sure you aren’t caught out by these scammers. Also do some background reading on taxi services which can actually be trusted. In truth, there are plenty of ways to beat the taxi driver scam.


#5. Hidden Camera Card Readers

This is something which applies primarily to larger cities, with tech-whizz scammers able to set up cameras which have the ability to capture your details from above.

These micro-cams are installed inside random pieces of electrical hardware (such as a plug adapter) and then placed above the card machine itself. The camera then records the details and pin number of the card.

Tricks of this nature are particularly dangerous, because they’re so devilishly difficult to spot. Make sure to shield your pin when entering in in order to totally guarantee you don’t become a victim.


These are five of the most prevalent scams and tricks you’re likely to face when overseas. While they might seem scary, you need to make sure you don’t let them ruin your holiday. Just be careful the next time you travel.


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