Avoid These Summer Travel Scams
Jackie here. Summer’s coming, and that means everyone needs to be on the lookout for travel scams. Stay safe during your travels by brushing up on common scams before you hit the road. The Better Business Bureau has created an amazing infographic highlighting 40 of the most common travel scams. We’ll cover a few of the scams seen around the world below, but make sure you check out the complete list as well. Some of the scams are specific to a certain location so be sure to look for your summer destination on the list.
Fake Front Desk Call
You’re happily sleeping in your hotel room when the phone rings. It’s the front desk calling to verify some credit card information. Don’t share your info. The caller is actually an identity thief trying to get your card number. Instead, head down to the front desk and verify your information in person. This scam often occurs in the middle of the night to discourage guests from heading to the front desk. If you don’t want to get up in the middle of the night, surely they can wait until the morning.
You check into a hotel and grab the pizza flyer slipped under the door to order some dinner. Unfortunately, the flyer’s a fake. Dinner’s not coming and you just shared your card details with a thief. If you want to order takeout, look up the number online or in a phone book. Don’t trust fliers you find in your hotel room.
The Expensive Taxi
When you don’t know your way around a town, you don’t really know the quickest route from Point A to Point B. Some taxi drivers like to take advantage of this fact, taking unwitting riders on longer than necessary rides to rack up the charges. This one’s hard to avoid, but try to use licensed taxis if possible. Your hotel may have recommendations about which taxi service can be trusted.
Overly Helpful Locals
ATMs can be confusing in other countries, especially if you aren’t fluent in the language. In this scam, a helpful local will offer to help you navigate the cash machine, but really they are just memorizing your PIN. Later they’ll pickpocket your wallet or make off with your cash. Never use the ATM in the presence of a stranger. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN. A variation of this scam involves stealing your money as soon as it is dispensed.
May your summer be filled with fun, and scam-free travels.