40 Tourist Scams to Avoid During Your Travels - Relatively Interesting

40 Tourist Scams to Avoid During Your Travels

We may receive compensation from the providers of the services and products featured on this website. Read our Advertising Disclosure.

Traveling is stressful.  The last thing you want to worry about is getting scammed by crooks on the street.  Your best tool?  Knowledge.  Know how they work.  Know what they’ll do.  Prevent it from happening in the first place.

Put together by the folks over at Just The Flight, here are 40 tourist scams to avoid during your worldly travels.

40 Common Tourist Scams

40 Common Tourist Scams from Around the World

The Photographer

When you’re taking photos (particularly when couples are taking individual photos of each other), a friendly-looking local will come over and offer to take a photo of the two of you together.  The best case scenario here is that he will ask for money for his services.  The worst case – he’ll run off with your camera.

The Broken Camera

Someone will ask you to take a photo of them and their group of friends.  The camera won’t work, and when you go to hand it back, they will drop it can cause it to smash.  The entire group will then demand money for repairs, or pickpocket you during the commotion.

The Drug Deal

Taxi drivers, or tuk-tuk drivers, will sometimes offer you drugs if you’re on your way to a party or a night out (particularly full moon parties).  When you accept them, fake policemen will just “happen” to be walking past to catch you – ordering you to pay a large fine to avoid jail.

The Drop and Swap

Taxi drivers, waiters, shop keepers, etc, will “accidentally” drop your change, and pick up similar looking (but less worthy) coins or notes instead.

The Fake Takeaway Menu

Scam artists will slide fake takeaway menus under your hotel door, in the hope that you order from them on an evening where you don’t feel like going out.  You won’t receive any food though, just a frightening bank statement after they have used your card details to make their own copy.

The Map Seller

People will approach you and try to sell you a map.  They will unfold the map in your face to show it to you, but this is done as a distraction while their accomplice pickpockets you.

The Getaway Taxi Driver

When you arrive at your hotel from the airport, the taxi driver will kindly take your bags out of the trunk for you.  He’ll seem in a rush though, and quickly hop back into his car and drive off as soon as possible.  This is because he’s actually left one of your smaller and less memorable bags in his taxi.

The Thrown Baby

A woman will talk up to you and throw her baby (usually a doll) into your arms.  While you’re in shock and your hands are occupied holding the baby, her accomplices will go through your pockets or bag.  Or, they’ll just pickpocket you.


Image Source:  justtheflight.co.uk