How to Spot and Avoid Travel Fraud

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By Urban Sotensek

Variations on travel scams are numerous and ever changing. If you travel frequently, informing yourself on some of the details about travel scams will pay off for sure.

Most travel scams occur in big cities, still if you are in a rural destination it doesn’t mean you can walk with your eyes closed. Language barriers, unfamiliar surroundings and cultural differences mark tourists as easy prey for travel scams.

An inspiring traveler may find good information on the lonely planet forum, where thousands gather to share their stories.

Whether you are going overseas, to your nearby country or just to the next town you can make contact with some very convincing actors and con artists who will try to squeeze some money out of you by playing cripple and poor or by injecting you a feeling of guilt if you refuse help.

No Fuel Scam
– A stranger may approach you and tell you he has run out of gas while on the way home.

He desperately needs the fuel to attend his fathers funeral. He and his family are all Christians. If someone asks you for fuel make him an offer that you will accompany him to the nearest gas service station,

most likely he then will find an excuse and disappear.

Precious Item Scam
– You’re asked for directions by a supposed stranger. He thanks you with a gift, but before leaving he will ask you if he can borrow some cash from you. Someone puts a bracelet right on your arm as part of a demonstration. When you can’t remove it, you feel obligated to pay for it. A nearby person finds a valuable watch on the ground in front of you and offers to sell it to you. These items are worthless, so avoid paying for them and don’t lend money to anyone.

Diversion Theft – You’re drive your car when suddenly you get a flat tire. A stranger pulls up to help you. While you’re working on the tire, a buddy of his secretly relieves your car of its luggage. While you’re walking through the city bird poop or ketchup splats onto your shirt. A con artist helps you clean up and helps himself to your wallet at the same time. This can also work in the opposite way. Someone asks you to help him with his “problem” an while you are working on it, your wallet is being emptied. There are is an infinite way to create diversion so watch out.

Money Changing Scam – When traveling abroad be sure to know the current exchange rate for the currency that your visiting country uses. Exchanging rates will vary from one money exchanger to another and they will all try to take a big interest from you. Before departing from your homeland, go to your local bank and exchange the necessary amount there. When paying with an currency announce out loud to the banker, trader or similar the exact amount you gave him, so he won’t say you gave him to little.

Taxi Scam – Make yourself aware of the overcharges made by a taxi cab driver. If you are visiting a distant country your first time, there are chances you won’t know how much that countries currency is worth, so the taxi driver will have no trouble to charge you a higher amount, have the taximeter tempered or drive a few miles in circles. Also when you are out of change and only have big papers in your wallet, you give the taxi driver a hundred dollars, but he will claim that you only gave him ten dollars.

Begging Scam
– A skinny child wearing ragged clothing asks you for money so she could buy some food. They tell you a heart breaking story about how they came to be starving. In some countries, begging is run as an organized business. Children are used to collect cash for a ringleader. The child often receives very little benefit herself. If you feel softhearted towards a child that looks hungry, offer her food or service instead. Never give out money!

Limo Service Scam – A “limo driver” who says he’s just gotten off duty and could use some extra money will approach you. If he won’t scam you by taking a longer route, he may hold your luggage inside the trunk until you have paid him the desired extortion fee.

Urban is an expert in fraud investigation, SEO, online marketing and business. This article is just an excerpt of [http://www.bustathief.com/2007/09/travel-scams.html]Travel Scam To read more go to [http://www.bustathief.com/2007/09/travel-scams.html]Travel Fraud

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