Avoid These Travel Scams When On Vacation
If there is one thing that scammers excel in, it is getting unwary vacationers to fall for their scams. While new travel scams are arising all the time, there are some that have been used for years because many travelers still fall for them. Being able to recognize these scams when they occur greatly reduces the chances that you will fall victim to them. Here are some of the most common travel scams that you should be watching out for.
Free Wi-Fi Scams
You may think that you are doing a good thing by taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi available at the airport or your hotel because you believe that you are saving money during your vacation. Unfortunately, these “free” Wi-Fi access points may be fake access points set up by scammers determined to steal your personal information. They monitor the traffic that is going through these access points looking for information about bank accounts or credit cards that can be stolen. It is much safer to go through a password protected Wi-Fi access point or an internet connection that you must pay for, like 3G or 4G.
Phony Concierge Scams
Another scam to be on the lookout for is the phony concierge scam. With this scam, a hotel guest calls you pretending to be the concierge and informs you that there is a problem processing your credit card, trying to get you to reveal your credit card number over the phone. This should immediately make you wary, as there should be no reason for anyone at the hotel to ask you for this type of information over the phone. If there is any doubt about the validity of the request, simply state that you will clear up the matter with the front desk and hang up the phone. If there is truly an issue with your credit card, the front desk will know about it when you come down and will be able to take care of the situation there.
Fake Tour Guides
If you are in a strange city, you may be tempted to hire a tour guide to show you the sites before you leave. If you would like to take a tour, make sure it is with a reputable tour company that is licensed to do business in the location. In some cities, fake tour guides in official looking uniforms steer unsuspecting tourists to nearby shops and transport vehicles while encouraging them to pay for a tour. At best, you will not get your money’s worth, but worse things have been known to happen to the people that fall for the fake tour guides’ spiels. Do not go on any tours with unknown individuals unless you know that the company providing the tour is legitimate.