Scams seem to have just become another part of travel. I’m sure everyone has a great story of that time they were scammed here or that time that man ripped you off there. No matter how long you have been traveling or how many countries you have traveled to, I don’t believe you are ever truly safe from being taken advantage of. I love a good scam story, so I asked travel bloggers from around the globe to share their best one!
Travel Scams Around the Globe
DJ from Dream Euro Trip got scammed in Belgrade
We’ve been taking taxis around the Serbian capital during our trip there but unfortunately, on our last night at 4 AM, we were victims of the taxi scam in Belgrade. Like in other cities where taxi scams are omnipresent, it’s always about taking the wrong taxi. We took the illegal one where the taxi meter is running by the hundreds even if we didn’t even get farther than half a kilometer. We noticed it and decided to get out of the taxi when it stopped at a stoplight. We were running away from the taxi when one of my friends fell down hard on the road because the taxi driver ran after us and pushed her. He then ran away and my friend got up and had bruises all over her feet and arms. It was a hot mess.
Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across the World was scammed in Cuba
In Cuba, people celebrate their birthdays every day, or so it seems. Either that or their father dies every day. It is actually very common to meet persons in Cuba who go around claiming things such as “today it is my birthday” or “my dad has just passed away.” And it is oh so sad (I am being sarcastic!) that they never have a friend to celebrate with, or a relative to mourn together. This is a common scam technique that should make any tourist run away. The aim of this scam is to make the tourist feel such pity that he will eventually offer a drink, a meal or even money to the birthday boy or the mourning man – obviously at a place of his choosing, where he is likely to get a commission for bringing in customers. The best thing to do when hearing the words “today it is my birthday” is to just walk away, as fast as possible.
Joanna from The World In My Pocket got scammed in Pushkar
When you travel to Pushkar, India, pay attention to the fake priests. Once you enter one of the ghats, a man will usually greet you and tell you to take your shoes off. Then he will grab your hand and take you down to the lake, without you being able to protest, he will be very persuasive. Once at the lake, he will start saying something in Hindi, he will paint a red and orange dot on your forehead and tie a string on your hand. Then he will ask you to repeat some words after him. At the end, he will ask for money. The problem is that it is just the two of you there and you can’t just walk away.
He will start negotiating, “one hundred for your mother, one hundred for your father, one hundred for your sister” and so on.
The best thing to do is to say a firm no when they try to approach you, on top of the ghat.
Elena from Travelability Blog got scammed in Prague
Carole from Travels with Carole got scammed in Gibraltar
When we arrived in Gibraltar, we had only a few hours to do the sights. I’d heard there was a taxi tour up to the top of the rock to see the famous apes. After driving around for a while and being unable to find any staging area with taxis, I stopped in a hotel to ask for directions. Instead, the nice lady at the desk offered to call a taxi for me. We parked our car, hopped in, and discovered the fee was way more than it should be. Too late. We wound up being charged about three times what I had expected. But as scams go, this one was mild. We had a wonderful time, got some great photos, and regret only being taken advantage of.
Elena from Travelability got scammed in Bangkok
Jordan from Tiki Touring Kiwi got scammed in Cambodia
“No problem man, we can do that. It’s even on our sign up here.”
Kylie from Between England and Iowa got scammed in Budapest
The World Pursuit (Hi!) got scammed in Morocco
After spending four weeks in the North African country we thought we had seen every scam in the book. I mean this country is known for the scams, so we thought we were prepared. However, we became very enchanted by the friendly people and beautiful surroundings in Tetouan leading us to let our guards down. Sure enough, an hour later we were arguing because we had just been scammed. We wanted to take the bus to the beautiful blue city of Chefchauoen but it wasn’t leaving for three hours. A local man in an orange vest appearing to look like a bus station worker quickly approached us telling us about a taxi that would take us for 50 dirham ($5). We couldn’t decide if he was just being nice or if we were being scammed. So we took a chance and followed him to this “taxi.” Five minutes later and we began giving each other the “I think we are getting scammed” look. The man knew it was a scam, we knew we were getting scammed, and the man knew we knew we were getting scammed. It was too late to get out of the ordeal. He brought us to a different bus station, mumbled some words in Arabic to the taxi drivers, and told us the driver refuses to take us. Our only option was the local bus (not recommended for foreigners). The man demanded 30 dirham ($3) and would not take us back to the closer and newer bus station that we had left 20 minutes prior. We were pissed off and just decided to pay him his money and get on the next bus outta there!
It seems the general consensus is to always trust your gut! Do you have any interesting scam stories to share?