For international travelers, a fantasy vacation can quickly turn sour because of a scam. Yes, experiencing the unknown is part of the fun of traveling, but a vacation can become a nightmare when you're constantly wary of getting scammed in addition to struggling with language barriers, different customs, and unfamiliar surroundings


For some peace of mind, it's important to familiarize yourself with scams that are common in your travel destination. The travel company Justtheflight.co.uk created a nice infographic listing 40 of the most common travel scams using information from sources like Lonelyplanet.com, the U.S. embassy website, and Wikitravel.org. From their info, cab drivers, hotel staff, and overly friendly locals are most likely to scam you while you're on your holiday

Most of the scams involve some form of distraction. For example in Rome, a random woman on the street may throw her baby (a doll) into your arms, and while you're in shock and your hands are occupied, her accomplices go through your pockets or bag. In Paris and London, you may find street magicians performing tricks to a large audience. When you go over to watch, their accomplices (usually dressed as tourists) will pickpocket you

Other common street scams involve locals pretending to offer you a free product or service like a flower for your spouse or a music CD, but then aggressively demanding payment after you accept the gift. Some locals may offer to take a photograph of you only to run away with your camera

The less obvious and more intricate scams tend to involve multiple scammers. Some hotels in Europe work with taxi drivers to convince tourists that the hotel they initially booked is shut down for renovations. The drivers will then offer to take you to a different and more expensive hotel where they receive a commissio

Knowledge of the most common scams is not meant to discourage you from enjoying your vacation, but it can help you make smart decisions while traveling. In many cases, you can spot a scam if you use common sense, but when in doubt, remembering the information below may be helpful

Justtheflight.co.uk

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