How to Avoid Popular Travel Scams

travel scams

No matter where you go, you’ll always find people wanting to take advantage of you. This is especially true if you’re an American in a foreign city. To avoid being ripped off, make sure you keep your personal belongings safe and follow these tips from our Philadelphia International Airport parking company:

Look for Photographs

If you’re interested in a vacation rental, you may take to scouring the Internet for the perfect abode. However, if you come across a rental listing that lacks pictures, you may want to stay away. Some scammers completely falsify rental listings in hopes of getting money before you actually arrive, so if the listing lacks pictures, it may not exist.

Count Your Change

If you’re in a foreign country and you pay for something small with a large bill, double-check the change that you receive. Sometimes, locals will short-change you in hopes that you won’t notice and in order to make more money.

Don’t Send Money Too Soon

If you’ve found a great deal on a vacation rental or hotel and the seller promises to honor your purchase once they receive money, go elsewhere. Many scammers ask for money up front, then never deliver what they’ve promised their customers. Instead, look for deals that don’t require you to pay until you’ve at least seen the place.

Beware of “Free” Services

If you’re in a touristy area, you may find locals who offer to take your picture, shine your shoes, make you a piece of jewelry, or another kind gesture. Many times, these gestures aren’t free and once the local is done performing the gesture, they’ll insist you give them money for their service. Sometimes, they’ll even run off with your camera or grab your wallet when you go to pay them. To be safe, say no to anyone who offers to do something for you.

Don’t Get Distracted

If you’re walking down the street and are suddenly distracted by kids waving newspapers, an artist performing a trick, someone dropping something for you to pick up, a local showing you something on a map, or any other sudden act, you could be pick-pocketed while you’re watching.

Be Wary of Jewel Vendors

Many people head to the Caribbean, Israel, Africa, and other places to purchase jewels, as they are often cheaper than buying them in the United States. If you’re going to do this, make sure you buy your jewels from a trusted jeweler. Many vendors will assure you that the jewel you are buying is worth much more “back home” in hopes of you purchasing it for more than it’s actually worth.

Don’t Go Out with Strangers

While this seems like a pretty straightforward thing to avoid, many people welcome a “local’s” offer to show them the best restaurants or bars in a city. Beware, however – once this friendly person takes you to a hot spot, they’ll order way too much and stick you with the bill.