As summer dwindles down, more consumers are looking to travel before the season ends. This also means more scams are out there. Rarely, do we consider the tourist scams that swindle unsuspecting travelers out of millions each year. Here are a few that you should be aware of before planning your last minute vacation.
Selling Fake Goods
A vendor offers a high-end item or antique a reasonable price, bit either switches the real for a fake after payment or the item was a fake in the beginning. Be sure to buy from reputable stores and dealers.
A stranger approaches your family and offers to snap a group photo. After you hand over your smartphone or camera, they run away with it. The same can happen if you have car trouble or difficulty carrying shopping bags. Beware of whom you trust. You hand over your camera or smartphone, and the stranger runs off with it . . . A local asks if you need help with the ATM and palms your bank card or pickpockets you while you are responding.
A driver, restaurant or retailer claims you paid with counterfeit bills. In reality, they have switched your real money for a fake tender or you have received the imposter bills as change. The best way to avoid this is to familiarize yourself with the currency and to avoid using cash as much as possible. Instead, opt for debit and credit cards or prepaid gift cards.
Rental companies where you temporarily lease a car, motorbike, or water equipment accuse you of damaging their property. You are on the hook for some hefty repairs. Take pictures of the rental before you leave the lot with it to have for your records.
Corrupt Cab Service
A cab driver who claims the meter is broken, that your hotel is overbooked and convinces you to travel in search of an open hotel or takes a convoluted route and charges exorbitant fees is attempting to scam you. Only use a reputable taxi service or try a rideshare, but be safe in whatever way you decide to travel.
Do you have additional information about these scams? Is there another scam you want us to cover? Tell us in the comments below. You can also contact us for more information! Feel free to shoot us an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or even connect with us directly on our website!
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers’ State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!