How to Avoid Travel Scam Traps
Travel scamming can begin long before you leave on vacation. In fact, it can begin the moment you search for a trip online. No matter how good you think you are, everyone is prone to getting sucked into a travel scam plot. New ways to trick people into spending their money are always evolving. These gimmicks hardly ever look or sound exactly the same. However, there are a few fraudulent schemes that scammers tend to play on repeat.
The Fake Company
While booking through a respectable travel agency is ideal, we know that some people would rather book vacation packages on their own. If this is the case, make sure to confirm that the tour company, car rental company, hotel, etc. is a real company. There are too many websites that make their pages look stunning but have no backbone. The only thing they do is take your money and run. Check online reviews and look through the website. Take the time to look at the cancellation and refund policies. Only purchase packages from official company websites or at a physical company office if you can help it. Once you have completed the purchase, save all confirmation details to provide proof of rate, amenities, and product that you were promised at time of booking. This will ensure that if questions or concerns arise who will have visual proof of what was promised to you.
If you ever need to go to an ATM, make certain to shield your pin numbers from any onlookers. If someone is getting to close, speak up. Avoid anyone offering help like the plague. More often than not, they are trying to obtain your pin number and personal information.
Free Gifts and Unclear Prices
Be aware of the “free” or “unambiguous” offers including those you get from taxi drivers. Negotiate and settle your price before you take a taxi ride. Make sure the meter is working. If the taxi driver refuses to give you a price, talk to a different taxi driver. Be wary of anybody who offers you a “free” service to transport your luggage to your vehicle or gives you “free” jewelry. They will most likely request money for their service even when you didn’t seek for their help in the first place. Just remember, if you say yes, be prepared to hand out some cash.
The Shoppers Dupe
Pay attention to your surroundings and definitely take heed while purchasing anything. Know what and how many bills you are handing over to the cashier. Find out the price of each item you are buying and add the total. That way if the cashier throws out a higher price, verify with them the individual prices. Don’t over pay! Never let purchased items out your sight. If the item you purchase does go out of your sight to be “fixed” or “folded,” double check to make sure it is the same item you originally picked out before you step foot out the door.
Above all, use common sense. If something doesn’t feel right, there is a good chance something is wrong.