Common Types of Travel Scams and How to Avoid Them

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When we think about travel planning, the first things that come to mind are our hotel reservations, researching restaurants and attractions, and making transportation arrangements. However, travel can make you particularly vulnerable to scams and fraud. It is crucial to prepare ahead of time and do what you can to protect your personal information and belongings.
 
Some of the most common types of travel scams are usually the ones that are most inviting or require the least amount of work. It is essential to do some research about the area you will be visiting, learn about the costs of living in the area, and know who to contact in an emergency or if you need some additional advice.
 

WiFi Hostpots


While WiFi is readily available these days, some of the free and unlocked connections may be dangerous. Hackers set up tempting WiFi hotspots in public locations which many travelers eagerly connect to and mistakenly give the hackers access to computers, online accounts and passwords, and more.
 
You can avoid this type of travel scam by asking coffee shop owners, hotel staff, or airport and travel staff about which wifi hotspot is the official one. You may also want to set up a virtual private network (VPN) while traveling to securely send and receive data across public networks as if the computing device was directly connected to your own private network.
 

Fake Tickets


Buy transportation and attraction tickets from the official ticket office or website. Another common travel scam is selling fake tickets to local attractions and, by the time you figure it out, the scammers are gone with your money. If your cab driver offers to take you to a local travel agent, make sure you know some information about the agency beforehand or search for recommendations online about the agency.
 

Broken Taxi Meter


One of the most common scams while traveling is the overcharge on taxi fares. The driver will usually tell you their meter is broken and charge you a higher rate than the fair price or the meter will climb up higher and faster than it should.
 
You can avoid this type of scam by knowing the prices around the area. If you have a set destination in mind, you may want to confirm the price with the hotel staff prior to taking a cab. You can also avoid this scam by negotiating the price of the ride ahead of time and avoiding any unlicensed cabs.
 

Counterfeit Money


Restaurants and car rides may claim your money is fake and return it to you or ask for a different payment method while they purposefully swap your real bill with a counterfeit one. To avoid this type of scam, familiarize yourself with the country’s currency before arrival and pay close attention to your transactions along with using exact change.
 
Travel risks can sometimes be a drawback from traveling but should not be a demotivating factor if proper precautions are taken. The Global Travel Plus Mobile App offers a U.S. Embassy Locator, U.S. Pharmacy Locator, and access to our 24/7 Operations Center.
 
Posted: 6/28/2019 12:00:00 PM