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Common travel scams for beginners

by Murat

There are hundreds of different country however almost all of them have something in common: SCAMMERS! In this post, I will share some of the travel scams I have been encountered so you don’t…

You are traveling somewhere you do not know and people are taking advantage of this. Before you go somewhere make sure to read about that country and Travelcylopedia is a good place to start. If I have visited before, I share the tips for that city/country. Most of them here not limited to specific countries but rather apply to pretty much all the countries.  If you are not an experienced traveler, you may want to check these common travel tips which can save you some money and prevent your vacation to be ruined.

Here we go.

One of the most common travel scams is ‘old notes scam’. What happens here is usually when you withdraw money scammer will approach you and ask you to change Money by giving you expired notes. Be aware especially in a country where they use uncommon currency (Ukraine, Czech Republic). You can prevent this simply by looking at the updated notes of that currency before you go there.

I witness this in Paris. At the end of the metro, there are guys dressed up like officials and holding a ticket in their hands. DO NOT buy from them. It’s a SCAM! They sell expired tickets and it won’t work when you get to the gates.

travel scam

This one is also a popular travel scam. In Berlin, Paris usually in the big cities there are people playing the game called ‘find the lady’ or something similar where there are a ball and 3 boxes. You find the ball.

Take the Berlin, for example, they only bet 50€ not less and I tell you that there is no chance of winning. They somewhat control the ball and from the angle, you are standing you may guess wrong. I was surprised when I watch other people guessing wrong and I was like how can’t you guess this it is obvious. But maybe the trick is changing the seeing angle. If you see from a different angle you may be able to guess correctly.

Let say things went right and you won, you may not be able to walk away. There are usually 1-2 more people in the crowd when you win and leave they force you to play more and lose and if you don’t, things may get ugly. In that case, don’t be afraid of threatening them to call the police.

If anyone approaches you for no obvious reason, be careful. There are different versions of this. Sometimes they are surveyors. While they keep you busy, their friend can come closer and steal your bag/wallet. Watch your belongings.

travel scam image

Usually, around the main squares, you may find people who exchange currency. They usually offer better rates than exchange offices. But there is, of course, a catch. If something sounds too good to be true, then it is not. It is another travel SCAM. They give you fake notes in exchange.   

In major squares, there are people selling handcrafted stuff and they approach you VERY friendly. They say ‘it is free bro just take it’ and sometimes they hold your hand and forcibly give it to you.  Be consistent and DO NOT hesitate to get persistent not to get it. Just walk away. As soon as they give you they start asking for money and don’t take the goods back. Just DO NOT engage with them at all if you don’t want to buy.

Here, I listed common travel scams that I have seen a lot. The more you travel, the more scam you will see. They might caught you off guard. I hope this guide help you to stay safe. These are general travel scams however, I also share special tips/scams in my city guides. So if you want to go somewhere make sure you check my guides. 

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