Scams to Avoid while Travelling

3 card scam

The taxi overcharge

It starts right from the airport. The driver may give an excuse that the meter is defective or have one that is faster. Know the cost of travels so that you can use it as reference.

The shell game  

This may involve a street card game or hiding a ball in a cup and someone guessing where it is and winning money. The temptation to bet more money may result in huge losses.

The wrong change

Some countries’ currencies look the same. Given a bunch of similar colors it’s easy to mistake the currencies. Make sure you count your change immediately.

“Come in for tea and help me write a letter!”

Someone will entice you into their business premise then pressurize you to buy their goods since they have given you tea. Do not follow people into their premises.

Motorbike scam

Owners of rented bikes may demand payment for alleged damage on the bike. Capture using a photo the state of the bike before you start using it. Keep the bike safe.

The flirtatious woman

Such women will make you pay exaggerated bills or even orchestrate your drugging and robbing. Do not entertain such women.

Your attraction is closed for lunch

Someone will tell you that your preferred attraction is closed then directs you to an alternative place where you’ll be forced to pay highly. Ensure you know how the attraction operates.

The “found” ring

Someone will pick a ring on the ground, ask if it’s yours and when you say no they’ll try to sell it to you claiming it is gold. When you buy it and try to sell it back home you realise it’s actually fake. Do not buy the ring if the deal seems too good.

The drug deal gone bad

Someone may offer to sell you drugs; a cop appears and asks for a bribe to let you go. Don’t buy drugs in foreign lands.

The fake petition

Someone will come to you with a petition to sign, in the process they ask for cash. They may pick pocket you.  Ignore anyone coming to you to sign a petition.

The switcheroo

You purchase a designer item at a low price but just before it’s packed a switching is secretly done. Watch out always what’s being sold to you while avoiding deals that look too good.

Your accommodation is “closed”

The taxi driver may give this information or opt to take a longer route to your destination. Insist on going to your original destination; use your phone’s GPS/Google maps to identify the shortest routes.

Free bracelets/rosemary/anything they can put on you

Money will be demanded for the item and a scene created when you refuse so that you just pay to avoid embarrassment. Reject the items firmly and politely.

The spill on your clothes

Someone intentionally spills something on you, and then begins to clean it off apologetically aiming at pick pocketing you. Avoid very close contact with people. Insist on cleaning up yourself.


These are some of the most common scams targeted at visitors, tourists or travellers. Do not fall victim to these scams on your travels; always be on the lookout for people who are out to take advantage of you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *