Traveling is a reward to you from you. No matter how many people you are sharing this vacation with, it is ultimately a reward to you.
Of course, anything that comes with a reward has a list of cons trailing behind. To truly enjoy your travel, you must be aware of every potential obstacle in the way. Below are the most common and dangerous travel scams that are important to avoid:
In the larger cities, the fake police officer scam is a classic. Many people can detect who is a traveler and who is simply a local. They will approach you and flash their false badges, ready to insist that you must reveal your identity.
Now, this may sound like an obvious scam that you couldn’t possibly fall victim to. That is why these “police officers” have some friends that approach you in a suspicious manner, offering you drugs and anything else illegal that a passing police officer just can’t help but notice. When these fake officers approach they will repeatedly ask for you to hand over your wallet or passport.
To avoid this, remember you do not owe them your information. And it is best to add, do not hold conversations with suspicious strangers.
Fake WiFi Hubs
Your LTE is slower than a turtle and you desperately want to find out what that one Facebook notification is. You are sitting in a local shop that has no service whatsoever and bam. A free unlocked WiFi connection is available with full bars.
Beware of unsecured WiFi hotspots in public locations. You can easily give a hacker access to all your passwords and virtual accounts. If this is a frequent place you go to, it does not hurt to ask the coffee shop/restaurant/hotel which is the main WiFi connection.
Otherwise, install a virtual private network(VPN) on your device for unlimited privacy security. HotSpotShield and SurfEasy are great apps you can use for that purpose.
Fake Hotel Call
During your hotel stay the front desk decides to call you not too long after you checked in, claiming they must confirm your credit card details. This is not the front desk. This is a diligent scammer that will use a eloquent, professional approach to make it seem as if your credit card details are surely not confirmed in the system.
The best solution is to hang up and go to the front desk the next morning to make sure everything is correct.
Fake Hotel Bookings
Be sure to always crosscheck the source of the links you are following before you book a ticket. Make sure the URL starts with “https” rather than just “http”. Https means a secure connection with the website.
Many sites offer hotel rooms for over 85% in savings from the original price. They may claim you even got the room for free for being the “100th visitor today” to make it seem like their scam was simply your lucky day.
To best avoid this, as said earlier, check the URL of the site and make sure it is secure. Otherwise, you can call the hotel directly and confirm this sale with them.
Additionally, it is important to avoid sites that require payments through debit cards or checks. Most credit card providers offer protection against virtual thieves, which these scamming websites are aware of.