13 Tourist Travel Scams to Avoid/Experience

Travel Scams in Europe World to Avoid

You can learn some valuable lessons from these 8 travel scams. Females, consider yourself lucky in that the first two are for guys only.

1. The Siren Call Scam

When touring Russia, a few of us went to a night club recommended by our tour leader. As the night went by I could see two of the guys chatting away with two extremely hot Russian women. One of the blondes looked to be a 12 out of 10. She was smoking smoking hot. These guys seemed to be picking up. How lucky were these two guys?

I later found out that they were taking them out the next night. I wondered whether these beauties were attracted to foreigners? These guys were in no way comparable to Adonis.

Maybe these two sirens were genuinely interested in them for some reason unbeknown to me. These gorgeous girls could have had any Russian guy they wanted. What did they want with these two guys?

I obviously wanted to know how it all went afterwards. Apparently it went ok until one of the guys blurted out that the restaurant they went to cost them a fortune.

Tip: Beware of beautiful women (sirens) in a foreign land.

Tourist Travel Scams Gorgeous Women

Some of the most beautiful women could be working on commission for a particular restaurant or bar. Their job (curse) is to lure foreigners to the restaurant or bar with the intention of scamming gullible guys.

The best thing to do in this situation is to still meet up with the beauties. Hey, they did choose you as their sucker. Even if the scammer sirens were sent by the Greek Gods, you can still hope to have a bit of fun with them. You will have to stay two steps ahead of them at all times though. Don’t attempt this unless you’re very confident.

If they want to meet at a certain restaurant, agree and get their phone number first, just in case something happens and you need to contact them. The sirens may even tell you that they will book a table at a great restaurant they know. Agree for now.

First thing in the morning send them a message saying that you’d prefer to meet them in the city centre. You can go to the restaurant they want, but first you want to check it out for yourself. Tell them not to book anything as there must be other good restaurants in town if it happens to be fully booked. It depends on what everyone feels like on the night.

If they want to meet you at the restaurant, do everything you can to persuade them to meet you in town at a certain location. If they refuse and make a fuss about it, then you know what they’re after. Surprise, surprise. Money, money, money.

If they decide to take the bait, then take them inside a very busy genuine restaurant you see on your stroll around town with them. They won’t like it but do everything you can to coax them in. Convince them that you’ll go to a bar of their choice after you have a great meal together. After the meal don’t go where they want. Go for a romantic walk instead.

Gorgeous Legs

Only buy from menus with clearly marked prices. The worst thing you can do in this type of scam is to go in blind. Definitely don’t go to any restaurant they recommend and sit down. After getting a drink that is reasonably priced you may think everything is legit.

Then the menu comes out and your eyeballs go into shock. How humiliating would it be to leave the restaurant at that point? The worst thing to do is order anything without knowing the price. That goes for food and drinks. Was that cocktail really worth 150 Euros?

A few unscrupulous restaurants also sky rocket prices for certain dishes. I have heard of a travel scam on the Greek island of Santorini. Everything seems to be reasonably priced so far as you can tell. The place might not look very flash, so it can’t be that expensive.

You may order the fish of the day, thinking it can’t cost much more than other things on the menu. Then you get a rude shock when the bill arrives and you find the price to be astronomical. What are you supposed to do then?

Greek Gods Paradise Advice: Never order or buy anything unless you know the price upfront!

2. The Rip-Off Drink Scam

You’re in a bar, nightclub or strip club. An attractive women approaches you and starts talking to you. Quite quickly she asks you whether you’d like to buy her a drink. Sounds reasonable. Why not?

Travel Scams Sirens Overcharging for Drinks

Watch out! The scam has just started.

There are variations to how this scam starts. I have been caught out by this one twice, both times in Greece.

The first time I was on a street when an older guy asked me what I was looking for. After a bit of a chat and me thinking he was only trying to be helpful, he waved me over to follow him to a good bar close by.

When we were inside the empty bar it didn’t feel right, but he said a lady would keep me company. Who could refuse that? Who was she? Ok, let me at least see who she was. I sat down and soon a she-devil sat next to me. We started talking and she asks me if I could buy her a drink. Yeah, sure. I was a fool.

Within a few minutes I was presented with the bill. Something like 100-150 Euros. I can’t remember the exact figure. Was it worth it? Hell no.

Tip: Never follow complete strangers to bars.

The second time I was in a strip club. A professional blonde drinker approached me. No, she wasn’t a stripper, she was a professional drinker. That’s how she described herself. I should have had drink scam stamped on my forehead at that point, especially after my first experience, but couldn’t see it coming after a brunette stripper sat next to me as well.

Could I buy them both a drink?

It isn’t worth it guys. Repeat after me. It isn’t worth it.

The best thing to do is to say “yeah sure, I’ll buy you a drink”. Ask them what they want. Go to the bar yourself and ask for the price of each drink. Don’t buy anything from a menu or through their words to a barman/waiter. No matter even if you see the price, they could change it on you later. This happened to me. You will blow your top.

Buy the drinks with cash only at the bar yourself. Get your change. Watch out though because these beauties are professional thieves. I wonder which Greek God gave them this power?

The Sirens of Travel Scams

The thing is I also fell for the double whammy as well. Can we buy you a drink? Your mind won’t be able to comprehend it. You’ll probably agree. How could you turn down an offer for a drink? The problem is they will still slug you an astronomical amount for this drink as well, that they were supposed to be buying you.

Do you think anyone would seriously believe that they actually wanted to buy you a drink? Mr Policeman, these ladies told me that they wanted to buy me a drink.

Greek Gods Paradise Advice: Never fall for the rip-off drink scam. Guys, always listen to your big head.

3. The Camel Ride Scam

Travel Scams Camel Scam

I heard of this scam from a guy who fell for it in Egypt. Anyone could. You will be near the pyramids and someone will ask you if you’re interested in going for a camel ride. It seems reasonably priced so you agree to go. How cool would it be to go on a camel ride near the pyramids?

They will take you for a ride to a relatively isolated place away from other tourists. The problem is that they won’t let you off the camel or take you back unless you pay them some exorbitant amount of money.

What are you supposed to do? Jump off and run for your life. I don’t think so. Scream for help. Probably not something you really want to go through. You’re probably too far away from the crowds to be heard anyway. What other things are these hostage takers capable of doing?

Sorry to say, but you have just been scammed. They have got you.

Beware of Camel Travel Scams in Egypt

Tip: Only go for a camel ride if you’re in a group with other tourists and only if you’ve seen other tourists happily return. If they give you the thumbs up, then it’s probably safe to go on the same ride. Otherwise forget about it, unless someone you know can vouch for them.

Greek Gods Paradise Advice: If you can go for a camel ride next to the pyramids and it is safe to do so, go for it. There has to be some genuine operators working the area.

4. The Fake Product is Really Real Scam

Fake is Real Travel Scam

In Petra, Jordan, I was walking around with another tourist when we came across a vendor selling some old looking coins.

In one container there were some very old looking coins. In another container, the coins looked like they were cheap fakes. The Canadian tourist I was with thought the old looking coins could be real.

He tried to find out whether they were real. The seller told him he had found them in in the area around Petra. He wanted something like $5 for one of them. The guy I was with made him swear to God (possibly Allah) that they were real. Surprisingly, the seller who looked like the Egyptian film star Omar Sharif obliged and did just that.

Was it real? He swore to God that they were real. What do you think? The vendor actually admitted the really fake looking ones were made in China. Why was he buying fake Chinese made coins and putting them next to the genuine coins?

The guy bought a coin hoping it was real. After the trip, I emailed him to find out if it was worth anything. He had the coin appraised by a coin dealer in Canada. He had been conned.

Tip: Trust no one selling anything, especially when there are fakes copies right next to the supposed genuine real deal. If it’s so valuable why are they trying to sell it to you?

Greek Gods Paradise Advice: Asking someone to swear to God (Allah) doesn’t mean anything. The Greek Gods would find this laughable. This story applies to anything which you might think could be fake.

5. Taxi Travel Scams

This one hurts. There are so many variations to the taxi scam that you have to be on guard at all times when dealing with taxi drivers in foreign countries.

Taxi Travel Scams

My first experience of a taxi scam was in Paris. I wanted to stay longer around the Eiffel Tower area so I didn’t take the tour bus back to the hotel. I would catch a taxi back a bit later on. The hotel only seemed like a ten minute drive away at most from the Eiffel Tower anyway.

I hailed a taxi over and showed him my hotel card with the address on it. I asked him if he knew how to get there. Yes, no problem. I would go by the taxi metre. It couldn’t cost that much. I actually thought it would cost somewhere between 10 and 20 Euros max. After a while I sensed something was wrong.

The metre was moving super fast and it wasn’t long before 20 Euros had been reached. Then it reached 30 Euros. What the hell. I was getting nervous. Are we close, I asked. How much longer would it take. He kept on hinting that we were nearly there. Then 40 Euros hit and I started thinking about doing a runner. This guy was ripping me off.

After my last desperate attempt to get information out of him, he pretended not to understand any English at all. We eventually did arrive at the hotel with me angry as hell. I had to pay something between 50 to 70 Euros.

I wasn’t sure what had happened. As I left I told him he was a “F**k head”. He couldn’t understand English, so I suppose he couldn’t understand the meaning behind it anyway.

The next morning as we were departing our hotel in the bus, I noticed that we drove past the Eiffel Tower in about 5 minutes. I had been scammed big time. Who knows what route the taxi driver took me to get to the hotel.

Tip: Do whatever it takes to know the fare cost or maximum fare cost for all taxi trips. Going by the metre is normally the cheaper way to go, but make sure you get a guarantee that it definitely won’t cost over so much. Use Uber instead of taxis. Know the route to your hotel. Don’t let the driver know that you’re ignorant in regard to where it is.

Greek Gods Paradise Advice: If you’re a driver and you scam tourists, Hermes, the Greek God of travel will be your enemy. Do you really want Hermes to be your enemy?

6. The Pickpocket Scam

Pick Pocket Travel Scams

I heard about this one at the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. We were on the bus just about to get off when our tour guide warned us of gypsies. Kids could run towards you and distract you, while another one grabs your wallet, purse or money.

They could even throw a baby doll at you. The reflex action will be to catch it. You don’t want the baby to drop. You don’t want to risk it either. Some sick individual might even throw you a real one. As you catch it they will steal your valuables.

I thought this all sounded pretty far-fetched but as we were walking away from the bus someone in our tour group had something stolen in what seemed to be under a minute. We had just left the bus for God’s sake. Apparently a few Gypsy kids approached her and shoved a piece of cardboard on her stomach. She couldn’t see what was happening below her. It was all over in seconds.

This can also happen when people bump into you, especially in places where everyone is huddled together like on the subway.

Tip: Keep a hand covering your pocket which has your valuables at all times when surrounded by heaps of people.

On another occasion I was walking in Paris when I started approaching a few African guys in the distance. One of them was screaming at the top of his lungs about the AIDS virus and how it was killing millions of people in Africa. Why doesn’t anybody care? Yada yada yada. I was going right past them so I thought I would give them a bit of money. I pulled my wallet out and looked to see what kind of notes I had.

One of the guys then grabbed my wallet straight out of my hands. I couldn’t believe it. He started rummaging through it and pulled out the biggest note I had, either 50 or 100 Euros. He then gave me back my wallet. At least they didn’t run off with it. Jesus Christ these guys were conmen. No thank you, no nothing.

Greek Gods Paradise Advice: Think about the situation. What were these guys going to do about the AIDS virus anyway? I should have walked straight past them.

7. The Ball and Cup Scam

You may come across some people playing a game where someone tries to guess which cup has a ball hidden under it. Three cups are moved around quite quickly with the ball under one of the cups. They will show you the ball every so often. It looks pretty easy to spot. Can you follow where the ball is? You have guessed right a couple of times after watching it to see whether it is possible to pick. Maybe you should put some money on it.

Bad Travel Scams

You may even see someone else winning money. This person is normally in on the act though. Seeing someone else win could convince you to try it for yourself. You may win the first time, but after that you will be on one big losing streak.

I have seen this game played on the famous La Rumbla strip in Barcelona. It looked very tempting to play. The other thing to be careful of are the pick pockets who could be waiting to strike given the chance. After all, everyone is concentrating on the ball and not their valuables.

Tip: It’s a scam folks. Do you really think you will walk away with more money?

Greek Gods Paradise Advice: Casinos are also a scam. I suppose that’s why they say “A fool and his money is soon parted”.

8. The Luggage Scam

The Luggage Tourist Travel Scam

I was travelling on a train in Thailand on a long trip from Bangkok to Chang Mai and was sitting in a 2nd class or 3rd class cabin opposite a couple of youths. I had this feeling that they were waiting for me to fall asleep so I decided to get off at the next town to stay at a hotel for the night.

As I was leaving one of the guys looked shocked and wanted to know where I was going. When I told him he looked at his mate and both of them looked extremely disappointed.

Tip: Thieves will try and separate you from your luggage. They could also try and take something valuable from it like a camera or laptop.

In Portugal, I was entering an old castle complex when an old lady selling some fruit outside offered to take care of my backpack for me so that I could enjoy walking around the castle. Yeah, she may have kept it safe for me, but she could have also done a disappearing act with it.

Greek Gods Paradise Advice: Trust no stranger.

These scams are only the tip of the iceberg. You have been warned.

9-13. Coming soon

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13 Tourist Travel Scams to Avoid Experience