(Last Updated On: December 12, 2016)

As a traveler, going to different countries means acquainting yourself with the customs and culture of those countries. While that sometimes means knowing languages, festivals, gestures and so on and so forth, it also involves knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into! “Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst!” they always say, so here’s our list of 20 tourist scams that you should be prepped for!

  1. Street Games


    Scams like these make you wish you had eyes at the back of your head! While on the streets of Paris or London, you will see many street performers or magicians. While they are turning a trick or two and you keenly watching them, somebody else is turning a trick by making your wallet disappear.

  2. The Dropped Wallet


    This is an oldy but a not so goody! While you are walking as a traveler in Rome or Ukraine, be very sure that your wallet is safe, in a casual way of course. Why? Because often you will see a dropped wallet on the floor, your hand will involuntarily check if it’s yours; a pickpocket sees exactly where it is and before you know you have been fooled!

  3. Expensive Taxi Driver


    We bet you that you can’t find even ONE person, who hasn’t suffered through this, whether you are a local or a tourist, taxi drivers have you pegged! They will take unnecessary detours, go through narrow and dingy ‘shortcuts’ and most of all their meter will run like it’s on ‘RED BULL’. The result: You end up spending a lot more on transport than you thought was legit!

  4. Overnight Bus


    Often backpackers fall prey to the evils of travelling to their destinations via an overnight bus. One rule to remember is; If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is! You will end up paying a lot more than you save, as the people will rummage through the luggage in the bus hold and make away with whatever is valuable even in the least.

  5. Train Pickpockets


    Train busy? Good for business. Train empty? Bad for business! Get it? Crowded trains are one of the most susceptible places to get robbed at! Be careful and keep your wallet close to you as far as possible.

  6. Amazing Jewelry Deal


    A tuk-tuk or an auto driver will come up to you and try to tell you that the destination that you are heading to is closed and will lead you somewhere else, where another accomplice will tell you how he bought valuable diamonds and other stuff from here to sell at a higher profit back home. The aim is to prompt you to do the same.

  7. Map Seller


    When in Europe be cautious, as one of the locals might try to sell you a map, buying a map is not all that bad, you’d think? But, no, the guy will probably shove the map onto your face which will act as a distractions while your pockets are being cleaned!

  8. The Beggar


    A play on sympathies this one, pregnant woman or an old lady might come up to you and ask for some spare change, while that might not seem so scammy at first; there is a pickpocket waiting to see where you keep your wallet so he can make away with it later.

  9. Flirt


    The oldest trick in the book! The one that most fall prey to in spite of their common sense! In Athens, an attractive woman will come up to you and ask you to take her out for a dinner. At the end of the date, however, at the end of the night the bill will be exorbitant!

  10. Friendship Bracelet


    Here’s one that gives you one more reason to grow out the ol’ friendship bracelet! When in Paris, Rome, Barcelona or Cairo. Do not accept friendship bracelets from anyone, because the moment you do, you will be asked to pay up or someone, taking advantage of your distraction, will try to pick your wallet.

  11. Fake Ticket


    In London or in Paris be patient, while waiting at ticket queues for the train. For, if you lose patience and fall prey to the scams of the fake ticket seller trying to sell you tickets at a higher price so that you can break the queue. However, be assured that these are often fake and rarely work. That train will be long gone before you can get a ticket again!

  12. Charity Petition


    Deaf people, innocent children and gullible victims, enough to make a scam work. Children, often handicapped will, come up to you and ask you to donate money for their charity. However, as soon as you show some interest, they will clean for the sake of their ‘charity’!

  13. The Found Ring


    If you are ever in the city of lights Paris, watch out if a woman comes to you and ask if you dropped a ring. If you say no, she will tell you that the ring is extremely valuable and try to sell it to you at a ‘reasonable’ price!

  14. Free Massage


    You will often find these fake massagers on sea shores and in market areas. Whether you like it or not, they will give you a ‘sample massage’ and ask money, often exorbitant, in return. Do not fall prey to this and decline firmly when asked.

  15. Getaway Taxi Driver


    Whoever thought of this is surely a genius preying on poor innocent tourists. Often as a traveler if you are wielding a lot of luggage, you will keep that ne little bag to carry in your hand when you get out of the taxi. What is most likely to happen is this, the driver will act all in a huff and puff while unloading your luggage and before you know he will have made away with you small bag that you forgot to unload or were just too busy to realize you don’t have it yet.

  16. The Photographer


    This one’s a little tricky to be safe from, people (especially couples) are often eager to click photographs of each other when they are on a holiday. This is how the scam unfolds: A ‘friendly’ looking local will come up to you and offer to take a photograph. If you are lucky, he will ask for some money, if you are unlucky, well let’s just say your camera will go to places with or without you, as it will be stolen.

  17. Shoe Shiner


    If you are ever in Istanbul, be prepared for this! A man will drop a shoe brush right in front of you and when you bend down to pick it up, he will offer a free shoe shine-up. However, it is never free, he will hang around and keep asking you outrageous money for the services.

  18. Broken Camera


    A group of friends might try to give you a camera asking you to take a picture of them. However, the camera will be cracked and won’t work, when you give it back the group themselves will cause it to break by dropping it and then demand money from you extorting you as a group.

  19. Fake Take Away Menu


    This one’s very hard to catch and even harder to get away from, scam artists will slide fake takeaway menus under your hotel door and on days when you are feeling too tired to step out, you will fall right into their trap. As soon as you call them, they will take your order and card details, no food will come but believe me, you have been conned! For they will have made a copy of your card and will be spending it in your name.

  20. The Thrown Baby


    When you are in Rome, don’t be fooled as the Romans are! If a woman ever comes to you and throws a baby like thing towards you, don’t jump to catch it! Because the baby will actually be a doll and the intention will be to divert you and grab your bag. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!