5 Common Travel Scams to Watch Out for

Date Jul 13, 2020
Blog category Travel Insurance
By Michael Speight


Travel scams come in all shapes and sizes. Travelling to a new area helps open your eyes to new cultures, develop life skills and encourages you to learn more about yourself and the people you are traveling with.

Before you embark on your next adventure, we at glimp want to help you avoid some of the most common travel scams many people fall victim to.

We’ll also let you know how to find the best travel insurance packages, so if anything does happen, you’ll know you are protected.

1. Taxi driver scams 

Some taxi drivers who operate in areas popular with travellers will specifically target tourists. They take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the area and take longer routes which will directly affect the amount you have to pay.

There are also taxi drivers who will make recommendations regarding specific tourist spots because they have a commission agreement in place with a local vendor.

Before you hop into a taxi, ask for an estimated cost and travel time before jumping in.

Furthermore, you can do some research beforehand about who the trustworthy taxi vendors are. 

2. People offering to ‘help’ with an ATM

Travellers often use ATMs to withdraw cash when on holiday.

This creates an opportunity for scammers to target you by offering help, such as translating what the ATM says.

Always be wary of people who offer to help regarding any money transactions especially if you never asked for assistance in the first place. 

3. Fake tickets for transport or tourist attractions

This is a common scam among popular tourist spots.

People who operate on the street and offer to sell you tickets for transport services or tourist attractions should be approached with caution.

There’s nothing worse than being told your tickets are fake. Our travel advice is to only purchase tickets from authorised vendors.  

4. Offers to try on ‘free’ items at street markets

One strategy which is quite sneaky and commonly used at street markets is for vendors to offer free gifts.

They may also offer you the option to try on a piece of jewellery such as a necklace or bracelet. If you decline to make a purchase, they will make a scene and start shouting.

This often forces travellers to feel guilty, and go through with the purchase when they had no intention to do so. Be wary of this travel scam and give them a firm ‘no’ if you’re not interested. 

5. Overly helpful locals

Being nice and helpful is great, but there is a point where it becomes too much.

While some countries are well-known to be extremely tourist friendly where locals go out of their way to help you, there are some places where people pretend to be helpful.

They attempt to get to know you and gain your trust. The goal here is to make you drop your guard so they can attempt to steal something valuable from you.

If you feel suspicious of anyone who offers help, just kindly decline their offer for assistance.

Get yourself a personal-contents travel insurance quote if you are travelling with many valuable items such as cameras, laptops, or even just a smartphone.

Ease your mind with travel insurance

While there are a number of travel scams out there, we hope reading this blog hasn’t scared you away from travelling more.

Visiting a new location lets you encounter new people, different cultures, and develop life experience you can’t find anywhere else.

To ease your mind, we strongly recommend you compare travel insurance quotes and get yourself covered.

If you need a quote, glimp is a free comparison website which helps travellers like yourself find and compare travel quotes for free. Give our tool a go today and have peace of mind when travelling. 

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