Traveling and sightseeing is a lot of fun but unfortunately, there are many who take the real fun out of all this by trying to con tourists out of their money. This trend is not associated with any particular race, country, continent or town, but everywhere in the world, there are con artists who are around to play their tricks with unsuspecting tourists.
The fact remains that most people who fall into the tourist traps are the ones who go around unplanned and without gathering general and useful information. Besides some scammers are so good at doing what they do that back in 1925 someone even tried to sell the Eiffel Tower to six people from out of town who believed the sweet talk of a con artist.
Common tourist traps
There are some common traps that con artists lay for tourists. Some of them are:
- Offering unbelievably low prices for housing or special attractions.
- Extremely low prices for products.
- Offering exquisite or antique items.
- Offering contraband items.
- Trying to be very helpful to steal tourist’s baggage etc later.
- Offering free tours to rip off later.
How to avoid tourist traps
- Learn about the customs, language and about any special upcoming event so nobody cons you on those accounts.
- Find information about the prices of accommodations and the prices of different entry tickets to any special event. Sometimes the entry is free and someone sells the ignorant tourist special tickets!
- When visiting places which are tourist attractions like Hong Kong in Asia or Paris in Europe, be extra vigilant as con artists from around the world travel there to fool people.
- Before leaving the airport get the city map and also find out the location of your Embassy and a hospital to be on the safe side.
- If you need a tour guide ask your hotel to arrange one for you so that you know where he came from.
- Avoid people who try to be friendly for no apparent reason as usually have a reason which is to rip you off your money or your belongings.
- Always ask your hotel to arrange a taxi or a rental car for you. Getting in a cab in an unknown country might lead you into trouble; as tourist kidnapping is quite common in many countries.
Going places is a lot of fun and should not be dropped just because there are few unscrupulous elements roaming around there. The fact is that the same are also in your hometown which affects new visitors in your area. But there is no harm in being safe while having fun.