5 travel scams to avoid

As travel is getting more and more popular, scams related to travel are also getting increasingly widespread. Even the most seasoned traveler can fall pray to a wily scammer, because just as travelers get creative when it comes to their trips, so do scammers and their attempts to leech some money off you.


Picking a naive tourist’s pockets is small fry compared to some rip-offs that have been heard of nowadays. So here are 5 travel scams to avoid in some of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
Orlando, USA

Unfortunately hotels around Disney World are not protected against identity theft, and some scammers deviously capitalized on tourists’ craving for pizza. Pizza menu were slipped under doors, guests would call and order, but their credit card numbers were not used to pay for pizza, but for identity theft. Of course, this kind of scam can happen anywhere, because scammers can rely on the fact that tourists (and often, locals too) don’t know that much about local businesses.

So to make sure you avoid this type of scam, ask your hotel about legitimate restaurants or other businesses where you’re required to give out personal information without knowing who gets it.

A scam that was pretty popular in the UK (but might as well happen anywhere else) is when a traveler is roused from sleep in the middle of the night by a phone call from the hotel’s reception. The pretend receptionist asks the guests to come down to the desk to solve some problem with his or her credit card details, and if the guest complains, the fake receptionist kindly tells them to read out the number. In these cases, hang up and call the reception to make sure it was them.
Rome, Italy

Italian scammers () have perfected a trick relying on fake babies. While some pickpockets will quietly and deftly nick your stuff, others will put on a show. So beware of people who trip and ‘drop’ a bundled child on the ground or conveniently in your arms (the bundle is just a doll, or at least it hopefully is), while another pickpocket takes care of your pockets. The solution? Beware of people who throw their kids on the ground.
Bangkok, Thailand

Doping the drink of travelers is a widespread scam all over the world, but Thailand is quickly becoming one of the hot spots. Bangkok, especially, is a destination where travelers should watch out, especially if they are backpackers or solo travelers. So watch your drink at all times and beware of new drinking buddies who are too nice.
Beijing, China

Lots of scams that can happen to you in China are in some way related to taxi drivers. There’s the taxi driver that offers to drive you from the airport to your hotel for a fixed price (which is probably a lot more than what it would cost by the meter), or taxis with meters that run twice as fast as normal. Note down the taxi’s plate number if you thing something is wrong.

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