emmanuel ventouris don't fall for these common scams blog

No matter where you are from, we all look forward to traveling abroad. There is nothing inherently wrong with discovering new places nearer to you, but there is something exhilarating at the thought of traveling to a foreign place – one that is very unfamiliar in comparison to the culture we are so immersed in.

Introduce yourself to new scenery and explore new terrain, whether that is the volcanoes of Hawaii or the rolling hills of Ireland. When you do travel abroad, introducing yourself to the locals should be part of your itinerary. If you are truly interested in learning as much about the culture as possible, talking to the people who have lived in the area their entire lives are the ones you should be consulting for your itinerary.

While there is so much excitement around traveling to a completely new location, it is important to be weary of certain activities. No one wants to assume the worst when they travel, but going to a new location can be a very vulnerable experience. You don’t know the culture – and might not know the language – so it’s important to be mindful of these common scams that travelers have warned of when traveling abroad:

Overpriced taxi fares.

In most cases, you will not have access to a car when traveling abroad, so a taxi may seem like your best bet. But be mindful of what a rate in the area should be before getting inside. A driver may try to tell you that their meter isn’t working and will try to charge you a more expensive rate that they will claim is standard. Or, you may notice the meter go up much faster than it should be. If the client doesn’t agree to charging you the correct rate, simply find another. And if you notice the rate climb exceptionally fast, tell them to drop you off where you are before the price increases substantially.

Being offered a free bracelet or rosemary.

In Europe, there are certain people who may try to strike up a conversation with you and you will notice that they will put a bracelet on your wrist or will try to hand you some rosemary. Thinking you are getting a free gift, you will probably accept with appreciation. But then they will demand that you pay them and, if you refuse, they will start to cause a scene, hoping that you will give them the money just to get them to stop.

The accidental “spill.”

You are taking in the scenery when all of a sudden a person spills some of their coffee on your shirt. They will apologize and try to clean it up for you, all while you are trying to process what just happened. After they leave, you may notice that your wallet has been stolen. This is a common tactic used by pickpocketers. If this happens to you, walk away and clean up the mess yourself.

When you travel, don’t be so weary of other people to the point that it ruins your experience and you cannot enjoy your vacation to its fullest. Just be mindful that you are a person in a new place, so just take measure in protecting yourself.