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20 Tourist Scams Every Traveler Should Be Aware Of, Shared By This TikTok User

Published 1 month ago

Nobody likes getting scammed, especially when on a vacation – that’s why it’s extremely important to do your research so you don’t fall victim to cons that could have easily been avoided. Thankfully, there are people like Chiara Igoe, aka chiaraigoe on TikTok, that want to make sure you stay informed.

This TikTok user and traveler is sharing some of the most common tourist scams from around the globe, and they will help you stay one step ahead during your next trip. Check out some of the most useful advice shared by Chiara in the gallery below!

More info: TikTok

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#1

Image source: chiaraigoe

Seoul, South Korea:
In the streets, you might run into fake monks. These people will offer you a “lucky amulet” or a good luck charm and in return ask for a donation. They can also show you a picture of a temple and a book full of names of donors that can influence how much money you want to give them. No real monk would give you that on the street and ask for a donation.

#2

Image source: chiaraigoe

Dubai, UAE:
Spiked drinks are very common. Because of the laws of extramarital affairs being very strict, the court might not always have your back if something happens, so keep an eye on your drink at all costs.

#3

Image source: chiaraigoe

Mexico City:
Fake ATMs. Some of them will just swallow your card and won’t give it back. Use an ATM inside of a bank.

#4

Image source: chiaraigoe

Buenos Aires, Argentina:
You can find a lot of motochorros, two people riding one motorcycle. One of the guys will get off at a stoplight and run to a nearest cafe or terrace, steal someone’s laptop or anything of value, run back on the motorcycle and go, or they’ll just pickpocket tourists that are heavily equipped.

#5

Image source: chiaraigoe

Madrid, Spain:
Fake police: scammers will come up to you with a fake police badge and will ask to see your wallet to check if you have any counterfeit money. This scam would generally happen at night, when most tourists go out to get a drink. While checking your wallet for fake euros, they’ll actually take those euros. To avoid this, tell them you’ll show them your wallet if they take you to the nearest police station.

#6

Image source: chiaraigoe

London, UK:
The contactless card reader: as you’re walking through the streets, someone will have a contactless card reader in their bag. They’ll brush up against your bag or your pocket with that and take money from your credit card. There is a limit on the contactless reader (£30) but they can still take a lot of money from you. This will happen in very crowded areas, like the streets or the subway. To avoid this happening, if you have a purse, just put it in front of you, or put your wallet in your front pockets.

#7

Image source: chiaraigoe

Rome, Italy:
When you go to a restaurant and there are no menus. What they’re actually doing is making you get something without looking at the menu so that you don’t know the price and they can double it. I would just say “I’ll wait until I can get a menu”.

#8

Image source: chiaraigoe

Beijing, China:
Beijing is known for having a lot of 5 star hotels. Because of this, hotels with no star service will offer really big discounts. Most of the time, they lure you at the airport, by telling you they are a good hotel but they just don’t have any stars so you’ll get a much cheaper price. Most of the time they just end up bringing you to a hostel or a motel.

#9

Image source: chiaraigoe

Dubai, UAE:
It’s really popular to buy gold souk, but a lot of unregistered stores will sell you fake gold at too good of a price for it to actually be real gold. Make sure that the store has a registered number.

#10

Image source: chiaraigoe

Athens, Greece:
Beggars on the side of the streets will purposefully use see-through cups and put it pretty far out on the sidewalk so that you accidentally kick it. They are really good at making you feel like utter s**t for it, so then you’re like “oh God, let me give you some money”. Try not to get guilt-tripped into it, they did that on purpose.

#11

Image source: chiaraigoe

Athens, Greece:
The coffee spill: You’re walking down the street and accidentally there’s a guy who comes up to you and spills coffee all over you. They work in pairs, so one is going to help you clean up your shirt, and the other one is going to steal your wallet. Or they’ll offer to clean your bag and just run off with it. Tell them you’re fine and you don’t want help.

#12

Image source: chiaraigoe

Dubai, UAE:
When you’re taking a taxi, make sure it has a meter. A lot of the times they’ll tell you that it’s not working or that they don’t have one. That’s just because they’re trying to charge you more.

#13

Image source: chiaraigoe

Amsterdam, the Netherlands:
It’s a pretty pricy city to go visit, especially when it comes to renting an Airbnb or booking a hotel room. A lot of scammers take advantage of this by putting up fake accommodation listings on Facebook and always ask for payment through Western Union. To avoid this, book only through official websites.

#14

Image source: chiaraigoe

Istanbul, Turkey:
When taking a taxi, know that there are a lot of “scenic routes” in Istanbul, so the drivers can take you on a longer trip. Before you go somewhere, ask anyone how much it would cost generally to get from point A to B, so when you get into a taxi, you already have a price in mind.

#15

Image source: chiaraigoe

Madrid, Spain:
The lucky rosary: an older gypsy lady will come up to you with a rosary and as soon as she gets the chance she’s going to start telling you your fortune. As soon as she’s done she’s going to ask you to pay between €5-€25. Avoid this scam by just not letting her give you the rosary and walking away.

#16

Image source: chiaraigoe

Mexico City:
There are a lot of fake taxis generally run by local criminals who just borrowed a taxi. These people have been caught sexually abusing the passengers. These taxis can also be the starting point of Secuestro Express which means express kidnapping. The best thing to do is just hire an authorized taxi or take an Uber.

#17

Image source: chiaraigoe

Beijing, China:
The tea house: a beautiful man or woman will come up to you in the street and invite you for a cup of tea. Most of the time they’re just promoting a cafe. Once you go in and place an order without seeing the menu (of course), they leave and you’re stuck paying more than a $100 worth of yuan.

#18

Image source: chiaraigoe

Mexico City:
As soon as you stop your car at a traffic light, a guy will come up to your windshield and just start cleaning it, even if you don’t want him to. Right before you’re going to be able to drive again, he’s going to come up and ask you for money. Instead, lower your window and say “No quiero que me limpies mi caro” – “I don’t want you to clean my car”.

#19

Image source: chiaraigoe

Istanbul, Turkey:
If you’re at a restaurant, a music group might come up and serenade you while you pay the check for your food, so you’ll get distracted. When you expect your change, they’ll tell you you paid the exact amount. Always pay by card or the exact amount.

#20

Image source: chiaraigoe

Beijing, China:
Counterfeit cash: the Chinese over the past years have realized that a lot of visitors don’t know what a yuan looks like, so when you get your change back, you might get this counterfeit cash. Try to avoid shady streets and buy at official stores.

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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Chiara Igoe, chiaraigoe, tourist scams, travel, traveling
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