Posted by: sabrina | June 1, 2010

Terrible Travel: How to scan for tourist scams

WITH the beginning of June, travel season is about to start soon. Kiwis might want to flee the big rain, Germans prepare for their unalterable summer holiday – but travelling is stressful.

According to a STUFF-story earlier this week, European destinations are the best choice for Kiwi travellers these days.

Thanks to the good old “economical downturn(aka “Financial Crisis 2007-2010” as Wikipedia calls it), Kiwi travellers get best value for their money in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Strolling through unknown streets, walking along lonely, white and endless long beaches, discovering antique treasures in dignified museums… – what ardent imagination.

GONE WITH THE WIND: Victims of tourist scams lose money quicker than they can blink. (pic:

However, being a tourist can be quite stressful. Especially, if you find yourself the victim of a tourist scam: lead astray and robbed.

Before you explore the world, become aware of the top ten tourist scams (according to Stuff) and the cheap tricks the tricksters (who are often after your sympathy and then after your money) use:

  1. A sob story – to sell you a “gold” ring (France)
  2. Monkeys – to get them to steal everything you could imagine (Bali, Indonesia)
  3. Faked card slots for ATMs – to steal your card and PIN number (Trinidad and Tobago, Europe*)
  4. Children and postcards – to get you to write postcards that make you feel guilty so that you give the kids some money (Italy)
  5. Your credit card – to get you to pay twice (USA)
  6. Bird droppings and mustard – to distract you while taking things off you (Argentina, France)
  7. Service Phone Number-stickers at ATMs – to get you to call the faked helpline and tell them your PIN (Bali)
  8. Exchange services – to exchange your money to a “cheaper” rate and keep some of it (Zimbabwe)
  9. Front desk calls at ungodly hour – to get sleepy hotel guests to tell credit card details (USA)
  10. Fake money – to give you no value for your real money (China)

(*According to Stuff, this happens in Trinidad and Tobago, but in fact, “Scimming” happens all over Europe as well)

Have you been victim (or witness) of a tourist scam? Please comment below and share your story.





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