There are many common scams to be found in tourist resorts and you should keep your wits about you.
The most common ones reported recently include:-
- The Spilled Drink
This is a pickpocketing trick – one criminal distracts you by accidently spilling something on you or at least claiming to have done so while the other criminal picks your pocket. Keep your valuables secure and beware distractions.
- Changing Money
It’s always best to exchange currency before leaving home but sometimes you need to change more – banks usually give the best conversion rates, but sometimes street dealers offer bargain rates. Be very careful as you may end up with fake notes or out of date notes that you cannot use.
- Tour Guides
At many tourist spots, there are professional tour guides but often there can be others offering guided tours and you can be taken for a ‘ride’ you don’t want at an exorbitant price or left somewhere afterwards that you don’t want to visit.
- Designer Clothes
This is a complex scam based on designer clothing, so the criminals pick their targets carefully. A well dressed man or woman asks for directions. They seem agitated and explain they are late for an important event and want to thank you by giving you designer clothing, which appears to be genuine. Then they claim to have run out of money for petrol and seek to borrow a small amount. The designer items turn out to be fake and worthless and you have been conned.
- Taxi Rides
It is always advisable to use official taxis where available as once you get into an unlicensed taxi you have no control on where you are taken and the prices can be exorbitant.
- Photo Opportunity
Many tourist sites have people in costume wandering around who can tell you about the history of the site and pose for photographs with you. But, some are criminals and will stand by you for a photo without being asked and then demand a high price for the photo. Do check before taking photos of anyone in costume.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.