Travelling always comes with some good and experiences. Sometimes one finds warm hospitality in an inhospitable place, whereas at times the most amazing destinations become hostile. Amongst the worst experiences is to be cheated. You stop by someone who looks needy to offer help and the next thing you know is you are mugged! Travellers have been facing frauds and scams every now and then in different countries, and India is no exception. So, what is the solution for this? Well, one of the best things to do would be to stay alert. This act can not only let you stay in safe surroundings but also make you a smart traveller.
Here are few more ways as to how you can recognize these scams and swindlers and to be safe from them:
Like they say ‘Little knowledge is dangerous,’ and indeed it is true. Therefore research well when you visit a new destination or a country. Learn about its rule for citizens as well as foreigners. This way, you will be able to figure out if the person like a cop is charging you for the right offense or not.
There have been incidents where a young child walks up to you to seek help and meanwhile you are busy understanding his problem; someone would run away with your luggage of valuables. Therefore, the best way is to hold on to your valuables tight. If you are travelling pair, ask the other person to take care of the belongings while you help the person. In case you are travelling solo, only choose to help someone, if you are fully convinced with the situation (think why didn’t anyone else help this person, he must have been standing there for good 10-15 mins).
As soon as you step out of the airport or train, a crowd of taxi drivers surround you offering to take you to the best affordable hotel. The thing is, most of them are paid a commission from the hotel owners, who cleverly charge this amount from you in the end. That is why, it is ideal to book a hotel in advance.
There have been cases, when you receive a call from someone, while you are on a sightseeing tour of a place for Hotel Room Security. If you permit the person to run a security check while you are away, chances are he will bug your room with a hidden camera, which is illegal. That is why avoid such calls and never say yes to such security checks.
A common travel scam in major tourist areas, some friendly local (who just happens to speak excellent English) will approach and inform that the attraction you want to visit is closed for any number of reasons (religious ceremony, holiday, etc.). Then they’ll guide you to a different attraction or shop where you’re pressured to purchase something or pay a lot for entry.
While hanging out in a busy tourist location or landmark, a local offers to take a group photo of you and your friends. As you’re getting ready to pose, jumping shot or whatever, you’ll realize that your new friend has completely disappeared with your expensive camera. The best thing is to use selfie stick now and politely say no to any help offered in such congested tourist attractions.
There have also been incidents when someone offers to sell you train tickets at a discount, or avoid the line and pay a slightly higher price. Maybe a taxi driver offers to bring you to his friend who’s a local travel agent. Don’t fall for any of these scams but book your tickets online or through reliable tour operators.
There are several other new scams occurring every day round the world and the truth is we can’t help to stop them. So, the best way is to stay alert and make wise choices and see these incidents as important lessons in life. It feels miserable to be tricked but don’t let this withdraw you from your passion to travel.
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