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Common Tourist Scams to Avoid

Summer is in full swing. People are planning vacations and traveling both internationally and nationally to escape everyday life, relax and have fun. However, while you are having a good time on your vacation, there are scam artists out there ready to take advantage of vulnerable travelers. Here is a list of scams to avoid while you are on vacation:

The CD Scam is a very recent scam that has been occurring. In crowded streets, like Times Square, a person will hand you their CD, and almost immediately, he will accuse you of not paying for the CD. A few of his friends may come surround you and force you to pay for the CD. To protect yourself, avoid taking items handed to you or picking up items off the ground. Currency exchange scams are common in European countries. The scam involves a business owner or taxi driver is handed a credit card or money, and you are given back the change in US dollars. However, the dollars returned will be less than they should have given you. Try to pay with local currency that is converted in a bank.

Security checkpoint scams are the most common scams in Chinese and European airports involves a tourist walking through a metal detector and placing his/her belongings on a conveyor belt. Then, someone cuts in front of them with metal in their pockets. This will hold up the line, and an accomplice will steal their belongings from the other side. To avoid this from happening, keep your eye on your belongings.

If you arrive at a hotel, and you are pushed into upgrading your room, it is probably a scam. This happens anywhere, especially in big cities. Usually, the tourist is informed that their room is booked and not available. Because of this, they tell you they will need to upgrade and forcing you to pay more money. If this happens, try to find another location to stay.

Another room scam is a false claim of damage scam. When you check your credit card upon leaving, you find you have been billed an outrageous amount. When you question the hotel, they will provide the credit card company with images of the damage done to a hotel room, which will be extremely difficult to disprove. It is good to take photos of your room each day of your stay with a time stamp.

These are just a few scams to avoid while traveling both nationally and abroad. This can help you avoid a lot of anger, ensure you are safe, and avoid having to get legal assistance to defend your innocence and obtain justice. The most important thing to do is to be aware of your surroundings, keep your valuables close, and if you feel uncomfortable about something, get an authority figure to answer your questions. Vacations are fun, but it is also important to keep yourself and your family safe from scam artists.

Do you know of any other scams that can occur at home or abroad?

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