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How to Avoid Travel-Related Scams on Your Next Trip?

If you are an inexperienced explorer, we have some tips to safeguard you from the trap of travel-related scams. To avoid any travel-related stings, you need to be cautious about everything that may go wrong on your trip. Also, you will be able to handle them well with an appropriate travel insurance policy. If you are travelling abroad, you should take an overseas travel insurance policy; for a travel within the country, you better buy a domestic travel insurance policy.

While travelling to an unfamiliar destination, you are unaware of the local customs, people, their behavior, and habits. Hence, you are more likely to be vulnerable to these travel scams.

In search of a good deal, you might trust the local men and realize later that they fooled you. These things are not prevalent everywhere; but in some countries, such incidents are common, especially with tourists. Such events may ruin your entire mood and disrupt a well-planned holiday. If you have travel insurance handy, losses or damages due to theft or robbery would be reimbursed by the travel insurance company. 

To avoid unnecessary hindrances in your trip, we have listed below some of the most common scams that you should look out for-

1. Online bookings:

Most of the travel-related scams take place online. You might now know this already if you have been a victim of such scams. Most of the complaints pertaining to travel-related scams take place while making digital transactions. This calls for more vigilance the next time you make an online booking.

Online transactions may be convenient and time-saving, but you need to verify the details of any travel-related deal offered by third-party providers before paying for it. This includes flight tickets, any hotel deals, travel vouchers, and discount coupons. It’s advisable that you authenticate such deals directly from the airline or the hotel to avoid any discrepancies.

Before making the payment through your credit or debit card, you must crosscheck the details with the company for the credibility of the offer. This will safeguard you from any troubles in the future. Do not avail any offer without cross-checking the details, even from a reliable source.

2. Exchanging money using credit cards:

If you haven’t got your travelers’ cheque, get the foreign exchange from a reliable source. You should search for a nearby bank or a trustworthy currency exchange outlet for secure transactions. It’s important that you acquaint yourself with ATMs and be vigilant when dispensing cash from an ATM machine. Check if there are any scanning devices near the card reader in the ATM machine. Beware; they might capture your card details. You need to be careful about such dubious activities to avoid any troubles in the future.

Before traveling, familiarize yourself with the currency of the country you are travelling to. This will help you in recognizing any fake currency in case someone tries to dupe you. In a new country, if anyone suspects you of using fake currency notes, even by mistake, you can get arrested on the charges of forgery.

For credit or debit card payments, make sure that the transactions take place in front of your eyes only. Do not trust anyone. Do not share your card details until their identity is verified.

During the trip, put your cash and cards in different pockets/bags. This will help you in case one baggage is lost or misplaced. Do not put all your cash in one place.

3. Transport scams

 Most travel scams take place while paying for airport taxis, rental cars and tourist vehicles. Before hiring a rental vehicle, do not forget to read the fine print in detail. It will help you to avoid extra/hidden charges that were not disclosed while making the payment.

While taking a taxi or a cab, travel with the taxi-meter on.

If you are travelling within Asia, taxi drivers and auto rickshaw drivers charge extra money from tourists and might deny using meters. Even the shopkeepers and restaurants charge extra money from the visitors. So, on your trip to an unknown destination, you need to be aware of any such acts.

4. Hotel and tour bookings

We all make our hotel bookings in advance from third party service providers or hotel websites. It may be time-saving and convenient, but do check if the hotel is operational. Ensure that you receive the booking receipts by email and SMS. To avoid any last minute glitches, remember to cross-check with the hotel itself. If unsure, you can always try to go for a refundable booking.  To safeguard yourself against any losses, a travel insurance policy always proves to be useful.

Travelers also complain about being given a different room than the one they had booked. Hotel owners may try to deceive you by saying that the room you had booked is not available and might even offer you a room that is more expensive than the one you paid for. And, you will be left with no choice but to pay the amount difference in order to get a room. Same goes for any recreational activities that you book. First verify and then pay.

You should always double-check if the services that you have been promised are from the original source.

5. Entertainment Activities

Most of the scams take place at popular tourist spots and busy markets where they sell duplicated or imitated products at a high price to the tourists. At the time of purchase, they might show you the real product but would pack the counterfeit copy in the box. They assume that you will probably open the item after going back to your home country and might never come back to that market or shop again. These are one of the most common fraudulent activities to extract money from the travelers.

At restaurants, bars and market streets, beware of pickpockets or any stranger who tries to deviate your attention while his/her co-conspirator tries to rob you. Sometimes, the local police authorities are also a part of these scams and reporting the incident to them is useless. Such authorities might even confiscate your travel documents, passport or visa and ask for a hefty amount in exchange. So, it’s advisable that you carry a photocopy of your documents and keep your originals safe in your hotel, locker or in secured premises.

Unless you have an overseas or domestic travel insurance policy handy, it will be hard to recover your loss.

Conclusion

Be cautious about the possible mishaps or dubious attempts in the country or city you are travelling to. It is important to do your research and planning before the trip. To protect yourself from any such scams, losses, and damages, buying a travel insurance policy is an important step before travelling to an unknown destination. This will help you to ward off any pitfalls and will help you enjoy your stay.