Staying Safe Abroad

3 min read

Any seasoned traveler knows that there are a few scams you need to watch out for if you want to keep your money, data, and other important things. You already know that it is very foolish to use public Wi-Fi without a few precautions, like using encryption and not handling any sensitive information (like your bank account info). What are some of the other things to watch out for in foreign lands?

Taxi Scams

There are two different scams that you may encounter abroad involving taxi services. The first one and arguably more dangerous is the unregistered taxi. While the taxi may seem legitimate, the problem arises when they either rip you off (special rate for tourists), take you to their friend’s hotel (which also tries to rip you off), or put your life in jeopardy. There are even registered taxi companies whose drivers like to prey on the foreigners by not turning on the meter and taking a longer route. If you must use a taxi, try to avoid those you see at the bus stop, the airport, and the like. It would be best if you could call a taxi company and request a vehicle or use another form of transport.

Tourist Traps

Do you know that annoying lady that approaches you and your partner in restaurants, clubs, and cafes? There is a person that usually sells flowers when they sense that someone is romantically involved with someone else. After you are pressured into buying a rose, it is revealed that the price of the wilting flower is way beyond comprehension. There are several tourist traps in the same niche, with the goods and services being overcharged simply because you are not a local. Shop carefully.

Thieves

Apart from people begging and overcharging foreigners, there are also outright thieves to watch out for. There are several scams and tricks to rob a person of their property, so here are a few tips.

Don’t look at your phone more often than you need to. It is very easy for one person to distract you, while the other behind you steals your phone from your hand. Misdirection is the formidable weapon of magicians and pickpockets.

Don’t fall for the sob stories. There will be people that urge you to help them financially, saying they only need a couple of notes for the bus to get home, or for their mother’s operation, or their baby’s food. In truth, there are people with these problems. However, they are not likely to ask visitors for help in the middle of bigger cities.

Keep your money close and your passport closer. Seriously, the best way to keep your passport is in a small bag, kept under your clothes, or in a safe. As for the money, spread it out and never carry a lot on your person. If you have to use cards, go for debit instead of credit. That way, you will not keep getting charged beyond what you can afford.

 

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