Scam watch: the holiday scams to be on your guard for this summer

14 June 2017

Holidaymakers are being warned to stay vigilant when they travel abroad this summer, with a number of scams being targeted at travellers.

Direct Travel Insurance has highlighted a plethora of scams that have hit tourists in the past.  

This includes the fake charity petition scam where foreigners are approached by a local and engaged in a discussion about a charity. While you are busy signing their petition an accomplice swipes your cash or wallet.

In New York City in America visitors have been approached by ticket touts who offer discounted tickets to hit Broadway shows or major tourist attractions. However, these tickets are fake and the unfortunate buyer cannot gain access to the event. Tourists are advised to make any purchases from official organisations.

Travelers to Bangkok in Thailand meanwhile should be aware of the litter scam. This occurs when you drop some litter – such as a wrapper or a cigarette butt - and are immediately approached by people purporting to be local officials. They demand you pay a large on-the-spot fine or threaten to take you to a nearby police station. In cases like this you should always ask to see official ID.

In Barcelona and Madrid in Spain there have been reports of scammers appearing at hotel rooms in a full maid uniform. They say they need to inspect or clean your room but when inside they rummage through your bags and take cash, wallets and jewellery.

A common worldwide scam is the scenic taxi route con. This happens when, unbeknownst to you, the taxi driver takes an unnecessarily long route in order to drive up the cost of your journey. Tourists can avoid this by agreeing a price in advance with the driver.

Finally, the free WiFi hotspot swindle has claimed victims worldwide. This happens when you log onto a free WiFi hotspot set up by con artists. They are then able to hack your laptop and access passwords and online accounts using this unsecured connection. Make sure you only connect to safe, protected networks while overseas.


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I have just had 3 scammer phone callsone saying they were from telephone preference from BT offering a 25% threatening me with court action for not paying tax this was very threatening all wanted my credit card details!!!??

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