When you travel you have the opportunity to enrich and educate yourself. From immersing yourself in another country’s culture, to seeing historical landmarks before your own eyes, you will be left with experiences that are priceless.
Unfortunately, however, con artists try to prey upon unsuspecting tourists while they are wrapped in their holiday fantasy.
Here are the scams you need to be aware of.
1. “Free” comedy
If you are offered free comedy tickets, unfortunately, the offer is too good to be true. The tickets might let you in the venue for free, but generally a mandatory two-drink minimum is the norm. Secondly, these venues are rarely funny and though they may advertise a celebrity’s name on their venue, it is highly unlikely they will be there.
Pedicabs, popular in America and Asia, allow for a tourist to get driven around by a driver on a bicycle. The issue for tourists revolves around the unclear rates and whether there are extra fees. In New York, pedicabs are required to post clear signs indicating the per minute charge. However, enforcement isn’t always great so be sure to clarify the price with the driver before hopping in.
3. The “Buddhist” monks
In western travel hotspots, there is a new trend of residents dressing up as monks and asking for money for charitable causes. For those who can’t differentiate between real monks and impersonators, the fake ones have been known to offer medallions in exchange for money. A good tip if you are unsure of their authenticity, is to see if locals are bypassing these monks. If they are being ignored by locals, they are probably not real. The fake monks also tend to congregate around popular landmarks.
4. Fake subway tickets
In some cities around the world, men and women will offer subway swipes for a set price. It is best to always buy your public transport fares from genuine agents or machines, even if someone else is selling one for “cheaper”.
5. Costumed characters
If you are in a major city and there is someone dressed up in costume as a famous character, don’t expect to get a photo with them for free. In New York and Los Angeles, these people are notorious for demanding ridiculous sums of money for posing in photos.
Have you ever been tricked by any of these things while you were on holidays? Let us know in the comments below.