With summer approaching quickly, most of us have vacation on the brain. While planning a vacation is fun and exciting, it is important to remember that traveling is one of the highest activities related to scams and fraud. Scam artists are aware of people’s laid back, care free attitudes while traveling and use this to their advantage. While it is important to not be overly paranoid, we want to provide you with some knowledge of the most common travel scams and some of the easiest ways to avoid them.
Fake Travel Insurance
One of the most common travel scams include individuals attempting to sell fake travel insurance policies. Travel agents can take the time to create a fake insurance policy program and never get it licensed so it isn’t actually valid. You will be told that you are purchasing a “protection plan”, and if an unexpected emergency happens during your travels, you will never be reimbursed for the money that you had to spend up front. Always make sure to do your research and only work with legitimate, certified agents and insurance companies.
Scamming Taxi Cabs
It is important to never accept a taxi ride from someone who does not drive an official, metered taxi cab. Taking a ride from someone who does not have a legitimate taxi car could not only be a way to get ripped off but could also potentially put you in danger. Always make sure a car number and company is displayed on the outside of the car. Also be sure to check for the driver’s information card which should be displayed by the dashboard.
Credit Card Fraud
One of the most common travel scams is credit card fraud. There are hundreds of ways that a con artist could get you to give them your credit card information without you even realizing it. The most important thing to remember is to never give your credit card information over the phone whether it is to a pizza place, or the front desk of a hotel. Always verify your card in person, and if it doesn’t seem safe ask to speak to a higher authority or to see some sort of certification.
Money Exchange Scam
If you are traveling abroad and the currency is different, always stay aware when handling or exchanging your money comes into play. Never allow people in the streets to exchange your money whether you think you can trust them or not. Many people attempt to scam foreign visitors and act like they are offering an even exchange when in reality could be giving you counterfeit money, or confusing you on the exchange rate so that they will make a profit. Make sure to always exchange your money while you are home and if you absolutely have to while traveling, only go to official money exchange locations.
Do you have any tips for dodging travel scams? Let us know!