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Famous People of Art and Literature. Caroline Doyle. The Prince and the Pauper. Mark Twain. Liza Jane No-Name. Alyce White. Rudy's Rock. James Hold. Creepy-Ass Dolls. Stacey Leigh Brooks. Cheating the Hangman. Lisa Williamson. The Chicago Fake Book Songbook. Prince Lindworm. Ditte Gry Svensmark. A Wolf in the Woods. Diana Gabaldon. The Time Machine. Fanny Says.
Nickole Brown. Embrace the Highland Warrior. Anita Clenney. Dreams Of Stardust. Lynn Kurland. The Flugel. K H Blackmoore. The Last Cavalier. Heather Graham. Second Time Round. Bigga Day. Beautiful Wreck. Larissa Brown. Ladybird Tales: Beauty and the Beast. Vera Southgate. The Time Weaver. The Moon Poem and other strange jingle jangles. Gary Henry. Time Raiders: The Whisper. Elle James. Vampire Flappers.
Tim O'Rourke. The Sky of L. Eric Burns-White. William Driscoll. Amanda Hockless. Cowboy of Mine. Red L. Eileen Dreyer. Rebel Traveler. Sally Walker Brinkmann. Re-Runners Second Life. Elli Buchanan. Rand Whipple. Joya Fields. TD McGann. A Shadow in Doubt. Roari Benjamin. Introducing Beatrice. Tammy Lynn Laird. Avoiding travel scams requires a lot of common sense and a healthy dose of suspicion. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! Additionally, if you are carrying a travel guidebook , they usually list the most common scams in that country.
Here are some of the more universal ones to avoid:. This is one of the most common travel scams out there. To avoid this scam, first, you need to know how much a ride should cost. I always ask the hostel or hotel staff what a ride should be so I have a frame of reference. Next, if the cabbie tries to negotiate the rate with me, I offer him the correct rate.
If he refuses, I find someone who will put the meter on. If the meter seems to be going up too quickly, I have them pull over and I get out. Many tourism boards let you report bad cab drivers, so be sure to always make a mental note of their ID number when you get in the cab. Another cab driver scam: your driver will try to tell you your hotel or hostel is overbooked or even closed. Just ignore them and insist on going there. If they keep trying, continue to insist. They will usually shut up about it. And while this seems like a scam no one could possibly fall for, people do.
A note on taxis: In this smartphone era, we have our power back. I like to look on Google Maps and see what the best route is. I left a taxicab in Bangkok recently because he tried to pull a fast one on me by taking a longer route. Additionally, ride services like Uber place accountability on drivers, which greatly reduces the likelihood of you being cheated. Then you decide to play — and you win! Thinking this is great, you bet more money… and then you lose — and lose again and again. While in Morocco , someone tried this travel scam on me.
I was walking out of a convenience store when a guy struck up a conversation. Finding I was from NYC , he said he had a cousin who lived there the first giveaway and wanted to know if I could come to his shop to write a postcard for him the second giveaway. The goal here was to get me in the shop, maybe give me some tea, and then pressure me into buying something. In this scam, common in Europe , a friendly person will approach you for a quick chat, then place a bracelet around your wrist or hat on your head, or give you a little sprig of rosemary.
Once you have it on your person, they will demand money. When you refuse, they will begin to cause a scene in the hopes you would rather give them some money than be embarrassed. If they put something on you, simply take it off, give it back to them, and be firm about it. Then walk away and move on with your day. There you are, minding your own business, and someone spills something on you. Ruins your day, but accidents happen, right? They are profusely sorry and offer to clean it up, dabbing the stain, and apologizing.
While you are all flustered, they are picking your pocket. By the time you realize what has happened, they are long gone. This scam is also common in Europe. If this happens, push people away and clean it up yourself. I see this scam a lot in Southeast Asia and other developing regions of the world. To avoid this, take photos of the bike first to document any previous damage. Go around it with the owner so they know what you are taking pictures of. Use your own lock, and keep the bike out of sight and off a main street when you park it.
Sometimes an owner will send someone to mess with the bike or steal it so you have to pay! Also, always make sure you buy travel insurance so you can make a claim if there is an issue.
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You arrive in a new country and head to a bar, where a beautiful local comes up to you for a chat. You have some drinks and amazing conversation and go to a new bar or club that she suggested. Or, worse, you get drugged and wake up completely robbed of everything on you. Women are too smart to fall for this. As mentioned, this is what happened to me and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker!
A friendly local approaches and informs you that the attraction you want to visit is closed for any number of reasons religious ceremony, holiday, etc. To avoid this, find the main entrance or ticket counter and see for yourself. Even better, look up the open hours before you go, so you know what to expect — opening and closing times are almost always available online. An innocent-looking person picks up a ring on the ground and asks if you dropped it. He or she offers to sell it to you for a better price. They make some money, and you get some gold you can resell.
This is common in Europe. One of my tour members almost fell for it when we were in Paris, but I intervened in time and sent the person away. The best way to avoid this scam is to not buy the ring. If it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is. But the petitioner then demands a cash donation. Another one of my tour members fell for this scam even after I warned him specifically about it , but I saved him in time.
To avoid this scam, just ignore people coming up to you to sign a petition, especially when they are in groups and try to surround you. Just keep on walking. This scam is common in many developing countries. You say yes, and before you know it, a real cop is on the scene! They offer to arrest you or you can pay the fine right there i. This happens a lot in countries where the bills look similar to each other. This happens all over the world and mostly with shirts, carpets, rugs, and antiques.
Maybe they got it wholesale? After some haggling, the owner agrees to sell it to you. To avoid this scam, remember that no designer anything is going to be that cheap. To avoid getting scammed when you travel, be wary when it comes to people offering you something in a touristy setting. Think of it this way: in your day-to-day life back home, would you go for it? Comment below! Worried about getting something lost, stolen, or falling for a scam? Make sure you get travel insurance coverage so that if something does happen, you can be made whole again and recover your losses!
I never leave home with it! They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned. Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking. I use them all the time. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:.
Looking for the best companies to save money with? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel — and that will save you time and money too! Want to share your tips and advice? Got questions? Visit the community forum to ask questions, get answers, meet people, and share your tips! Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.
In Prague once a stranger approached me at in the morning asking if he could use my phone to make a call. Drunken me on my first day in Prague, I agreed. He said he would go into a nearby restaurant to make the call. Like an idiot, I let him, only to wait and wait and wait. Upon questioning the restaurant staff 10 min later, no one had seen him. He ran away with my phone through the back entry of the restaurant. I find that they will try and convince you that you gave them X denomination instead of the Y that you know you gave.
A way of heading this off at the pass is to really let the driver see you are looking at what you are giving them. We did this in Buenos Aires where they will try the change scam or try and claim you gave them a counterfeit bill. Worked really well! Also when changing currency. In Cuba at an official bureau de change was given peso short but cashier was nasty and hurried me away before I could check. I got scammed with a taxi in Istanbul.
When handing over a big note, say out loud how much it is. Always say out loud THB in Thailand. I checked my wallet when the taxi zoomed off at double the normal speed. I was surprised, though kinda not surprised, that the Police or whoever allowed them to get away with it. Sadly, we experienced the same frightening atmosphere around Sacre Coeur in Paris last year… Not the best start for our stay. But all the other super touristy places even Eiffel Tower were better.
The Eiffel Tower is well known for the petition scam. A fellow traveler on a cruise tour lost ALL of his travel money that way. When my husband arrived the man attempted to pick his pocket. He was being groomed by another man several feet away. It certainly taught me how much more vulnerable I am when travelling with my child. The bracelet scam was attempted on me at Sacre Coeur as well! Two men started to approach me from either side, but my husband grabbed my hand and we picked up our pace.
While in Paris, we saw only saw the shell scam. A little while later they would be the one doing it and the former operator was then the plant. We did have a young boy try to pick pocket an iphone from one of our group at Sacre Couer, but another one of us was observant and quick. She grabbed the boys hand and he dropped it and ran. Yes that happened to me and my two younger children at Sacre Coeur, The scammers asked us where we were from and as soon as we said New Zealand they started going on about the All Blacks whilst putting the bracelets on, my older son was running from one of us to the other taking the bracelets off telling us to walk away.
Then at the Eiffel Tower some people with petitions tried to get us to sign and acted like they were deaf. I was in Barcelona a few weeks ago to meet up with some friends who now. We spent a lot of time rambling around the streets at night and came across bucketloads of scams. Be careful who you ask in the street for directions as they will often give them to and then ask for payment.
Pickpocketing is crazy over there as well. My friend saved me from getting my passport and wallet stolen in a beer garden when a guy who been sitting with us leaned over and asked me for a cigarette, he had his hand in my bumbag and I did even notice! The taxi scam is ridiculous, happened to me too many times before I found out I was being fooled! Thank you for all the other tips Matt, very important for every traveler! Be careful on busy metro systems!
Just stop talking and try to blend in. A, I rode the subway every day for 1 month. I clearly speak spoke spanish with a gringo accent so I just shut up. I was never bothered once. An australian couple came and started in my spanish class towards the end on my month. They were robbed the third day because they were loud on the subway. Guys surrounded them fully knowing they were tourist and made it impossible to move while a third guy stole the guys wallet.
Another thing I saw was in the DR. Kid came up and a sprayed liquid on my flip flop saying he was going to clean them. I repeatedly said no but he spayed it anyway. Well now my flip flop was so slippery I had to take them off. Kid then says pay me money to wash the soap off… That sucked. Great tip about blending in, Andrew. We were in France 3 weeks and never got scammed or approached. I made sure we dressed like the French do, not as a tourist. Keep your voice down, yes.
Loud foreigners are a dead giveaway. Walk around the city like you belong there. If you have to look at a map or phone, go some place, a discreet corner. I spoke French as much as I could. Most people thought we were expats. At the Eiffel tower, a guy selling magnets tried to over change me. I started to barter in French, which surprised him. He knew I was on to him. We agreed on a dollar per magnet and then he tried to change the price to two dollars. He gave them to me for a dollar. Watch out for the Dropped Change diversion. If you are sitting near a train exit, someone may drop coins or wallet etc.
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You bend to help and their accomplice takes your bag from the overhead rack, then walks out the exit unseen. Even gives you his address false of course and tells you to call one or even two different phone numbers to countercheck his story. Scammers often claim to be Irish and they have to take the ferry to get home and therefore need money. This one is actually popular in the U. A young man once approached me while I was sitting at a train station in Boston waiting for my train ride home. He said he was from New Hampshire and that he ended up in Boston and was now stuck in the city, penniless and currently jobless, and than he desperately needed to catch a bus ride home back to NH.
He was very apologetic and nice over all but the shpiel he gave me sound a bit rehearsed because it most likely was. But the kicker is, I saw this guy 4 days later, at the same exact station. He strolled in with a bottle of juice in one hand and a fresh newspaper in the other. Ive seen something similar to this in Chicago. A guy walks out of a posh hotel or so it appeared. He approached my friend saying he was stranded after a fun weekend with friends from a local college.
He just needed some money for the bus to get back. I just happened to be about 20 feet behind listening to the whole thing. Who was pretty much opening her wallet before I ran up to stop it. I noticed the guys clothes were pretty dirty as well as his face and hands. Plus he was talking super fast and just overall sketchy.
I fell for this one in NYC when I first moved here. I cried about it afterwards, because I was so broke and was so angry at myself for falling for his scam. However, the worst for scams we found was Egypt. We had been warned about agreeing everything up front and a man approached us asking if we would like a picture with his camel, we refused but he insisted so we made it very clear — only if it was free and he agreed.
When we argued and tried to walk away he held me until my partner agreed to give him some money, we only had a large bill but he said he had change. We learnt the hard way!! Same in front of Colisseum in Rome. Rubbish photos too. The one where a man buys you a tea and demands sex and if you refuse holds you down. They think western women are so cheap accepting a tea means they are entitled to sex.
Maybe attractive women scenario does not happen to girls so much but putting something in your drink to rape you does happen to women. Other than that I do not get scammed. I have done the bracelet one on purpose I wanted a bracelet. I also was given bracelets and cheap gifts with the expectation that I would have sex with the man. I will say, I can add to the attractive man one by stating an even more dangerous one that has happened to us twice with teenage daughters in the Caribbean once on Grand Turk, and once on Grand Cayman.
Needless to say, they scrambled away when they could see an angry mother and father approaching quickly! I was 14 and super uncomfortable with the situation. He may have kissed my cheek. I learned at a young age not to trust the prices on things, and they definitely took advantage of my youth and unwillingness to haggle to scam me out of money. I am always carefull at street performances painters, dancers, singers, magicians. Love watching them, but I always make sure to hold my bag carefully as well as it seems to be the perfect place to be pickpocketed.
In Tanzania through someone we actually met in Uganda, we had a good experience in his hostel before we booked a safari with a guy that ended up just booking a safari for us with another company, without actually joining us even though that was the deal. We had car trouble when we drove ourselves. Owner blamed it on us, we blamed it on him. When we went in Bali, a guy with a motorcycle stopped and gave us some lottery tickets. He then said that my gf won a iPad and i won a shirt and we only have to go with him to get the prices. Later we checked it on the internet and we found out, that it was a popular scam in Bali for timeshared houses.
Even later we saw the same guy doing his sheme to an other couple in the streets, so we warned them as well. Great list, I had the ring scam happen to me in Greece. I was young and naive so I of course fell for it. It was late I was one of the last ones there playing backgammon with the waiters that were oh so friendly and just wanted to drop the bill with me so I could take my time… needless to say I was ready to leave after that. I had a similar experience in Istanbul, I was walking around Ayasofya at night when a stranger asked me to take his picture with his cell phone, i took the pic and we started talking.
He said he was a business traveler from Dubai and was heading to the airport the next day, he showed me a room key to a local hotel and said he was on his way to a bar the hotel recommended, and since i was travelling alone asked if I wanted to grab a beer. He was really chatty, talked to me about his wife and kid back in Dubai, even showed me pics on his phone. Well his bar around the corner was actually across town at Taksim sq, we took a cab there which I was hesitant at first, but I weigh a good hundred lbs more than him, so I figure if things get dicey I could fight my way out of the cab.
Immediately the girls leave, and this giant Turkish guy with one eyebrow comes out and gives me the bill, it came to something ridiculous like 2 grands. I refuse to pay, and call them con artists, and demand they call the police. At this point they start pushing me and demanding I pay, I refuse, they try to make me use my credit cards. Though the adrenaline was pumping and I visualized myself fighting my way out of their like I was jason bourne. I had a gut feeling things were off the second the guy wanted to get into a cab, long story short, trust your instincts if it feels off, it probably is.
I need to know. I can see why some people let it put them off travelling. I had my 16mo son with me and I am not easily intimidated. Thanks for sharing, these are great tips for those new to backpacking! We got talking to her several times while walking the beach. She said she went out one night with so called friends they drank partied and bar hopped.
You never know who is keeping tabs on you. Drinking too much in unfamiliar towns, putting all your valuables in one spot and being too trusting with unfamiliar people can cost you. Never keep your money plus credit cards all together. Also in this town we heard men dress up as women by the busloads ready to rob tourists. So be watchful of flirtatious women!!
We also saw this little boy try to steal a phone from a restaurant guest. The boy came up from the beach grabbed the phone and ran thru the restaurant catching the eye of almost all the waitstaff. We watched 6 or more staff members chase this boy down take back the phone then deliver him right to nearby police officers! Lesson to be learned. Because this is when there are tons of people in the cities much harder to be observant.
People would bee-line to you if you were foreign to ask to pay for hospital bills. I even had a caucasian white man ask me for money for his hospital bill. I encourage anyone to give if they have the means to do so and want to help out, but make sure you know exactly who you are giving your money to! They go right around your stomach so you can hide it right under your shirt. Kinda like a fanny pack without the bulk and you wear underneath clothing instead of over. Someone would have to really be putting in extra effort to get to this!
Definitely gives you peace of mind, now you can focus on your actual vacation spot! The PacSafe bags are great, I agree. Just so you know, if you leave them on the beach to drunkenly go skinny-dipping at night, they will still be stolen from you! Just kidding here, but shame on my year-old self for that. The overpriced shoe shine. A nice old guy offers to shine your shoes. In this is pretty common. He just starts in, no prices mentioned. I got taken by this my first visit to downtown Chicago. I saw this shoeshine guy and considered that I did have a dirt spot but realized it would be stupid to get it done on tennis shoes.
I gave no personal info but appreciated the talk. Then he throws a dollop of some dubious cleaner on one shoe. He asks about the incision on my ankle and I get to yammer on about the crazy injuries of my youth. I felt a bit threatened and pricing was not discussed up front. This is what made it a scam. Live and learn…. In Iran: The fake police scheme. A cop in legit looking uniform and carrying an ID that may or may not be fake and asks for your passport.
I luckily had my passport taken by the hotel front desk, but he demanded I go with him. I was so lucky a kind, wonderful local intervened. He may have been a real cop and just having a bad day, but he could also have been a robber or rapist. I would call my guide or local male friend if I had one. If not, I would tell them to call my hotel and start walking quickly back to the hotel. If it was a real cop who was that concerned about my visa status, let him clear it up with the hotel staff.
I was also annoyed at being way overcharged for a taxi back to the airport. I should have negotiated up front. Next time. Mine was similar but could have ended very badly. In Nairobi, about 15 years ago. Beggar asks for some money- I give him very small coin. I realize this is a big bad scam. Luckily I really looked at the badge he flashed me, but had I not been in other cities like this before, I could have been killed or raped or both!
While living in Israel I would get delivery. Often I did not have the exact amount of cash that the total came to, so I would need to give the delivery man a larger bill and get change. My father in law had his wallet handed back to him by an… undercover policeman in Rome. In the Galapagos last September we went to a restaurant as a group and when we came to pay one of the notes was returned because it was fake, but actually it had been swapped.
Moral check the numbers on your notes before you give them if the money is taken away to get change. Our Intrepid guide sorted it. I experience taxi drivers trying to scam me more in the US than other countries, especially in Boston. They always try to take the longest route or sometimes they flat out try to go to the opposite part of the town. So annoying. I have to tell them where to go and be super alert. Another scam I saw was at Notre Dame Cathedral.
A gypsy lady older, looked homeless maybe was standing right next to the entrance begging for money because their home had recently burnt to the ground. She had this story about having all her grandchildren she needed to clothe and feed. I knew better, but she was convincing. As I was reaching in to my pocket to give her a few euros a cop came up and grabbed her and shouted at her to leave.
Glad I was saved from that one! Also helpful to carry the card of the hotel to show the taxi drivers where you want to go as they often do not speak English and cannot read the hotel map. Not so much a scam but when taking taxis in Bangkok get on the right side of the road for the direction you want to go. It can save time and money as traffic jams and not being able to u-turns can cause delays etc. Also try to avoid if possible taking taxi when the sky opens up with torrential rain as jams start so quickly.
I remember in France, our tour guide warned us about Gypsies who asked for a donation for a rose, while someone else pick-pocketed you around the side. A lady came up to me and offered me a rose. I had scammed the scammer in my year-old mind. Wow when you read this it is kind of hard to go travelling. Common sense! Most people who come from dense metropolitan cities have had their fair share locally and can usually differentiate a genuine thing from scam. Yet, the differences in cultures and social acceptance can lead to letting down of the guard.
It was a fair ground and while the main fair was over a good 3 months ago, it had been replaced by a smaller market of sorts. The overcharging rides are much too common and being aware of the actual distance is the only way to avoid it. I had the ring scam tried on me in Paris. I knew what was happening, so the girl left disappointed. In San Francisco, I had a guy try to sell me his bus pass for less than the going rate. I refused the offer because I knew the pass was probably expired! I went on a four wheeler tour in Nicaragua. The guy at the company said not to worry about it.
Our guide said that because we did not have licenses, the cop would have to take us to the police station to fill out some paperwork … or we could just pay a fine. When talking to locals at the bar that night, they confirmed that you do not need to have a license to drive these vehicles. I was also told that if you do have a police situation that if you have money to offer you have a better chance of getting the situation handled. Nicaragua is a poor country and their police force is not paid very well. Often they will need gas money for their vehicles or whatever.
Idk I guess offering a small sum of money to get whatever situation handled may be worth it. I was aware of this scam and I got really pissed when a taxi driver drove past the station entrance to take me to a broker. I had him pull over, paid him, hopped out and then braved some Bangkok traffic to cross the street to the station. It was only when I got to the sidewalk near the entrance that I realized I left my wallet in the cab! I turned around to discover the cab driver chasing me on foot to return my wallet.
Life can be quite surprising. He probably was taking you to the drop off point at the side of the station instead of a broker. Taking you there and waiting and then trying to get you to a carpet shop. Fortunately, I caught it and we agreed on a reasonable price. Thanks everyone for sharing their scam stories! The more people know about this stuff, the less it will work! Shanghai: the attractive woman scam happened to a couple of young guys who were on the same flight as us.
Bangkok: the palace is closed scam — several times we were approached from the water taxi dock to the palace.
The Summerman Time Travel Matchmaking Agency - Book One: Open for Business
It included a stop at a temple where a friendly foreigner told us it was a great time to buy gems in BKK. Phuket: Taxi scam; some tried to overcharge, but we just went down the street til we found a driver who was being honest. Singapore: We were approached by someone trying to tell us our fortune.
Shenzhen: Got scammed by a taxi who took us the long way — just had to suck that one up. Greece, Italy: people appearing out of nowhere offering to take your photo. When you say no, they disappear without a trace…creepy. And a little street smarts goes a long way too. Travel scams is one of the greatest problem in India also, I must say. Matt your tips are simply excellent to avoid such scams.
Another great post! I have avoided so many of these. I also fell victim to being extremely over charged for a meal in Amsterdam. You live and you learn! The Bracelet Scam was tried on my girlfriend last time we were in Tokyo. The guy was dressed as a Buddhist monk. Oh Matt, you really are a fountain of all travel knowledge — totally love your blog along with nearly the whole world! We were told to always agree a price beforehand. Also, the Henna most of the women use is not the real stuff and can cause reactions. We learned our lesson very quickly!
When I was in Cozumel just an afternoon stop on a Western Caribbean cruise , I toured many of the local merchants, trying to find silver coins from the famous Casa de Moneda Mexican mint. I minored in Spanish in college, so I knew the correct words to say, but none of the merchants had any silver coins in their displays.
Finally, one merchant offered to help me, by introducing me to his friend on the street. The street merchant had a few coins in little secret pockets on his clothing, which he showed one by one. There was one that interested me, and it had the Casa de Moneda privy mark on the coin. Be careful about being passed from vendor to vendor, and look carefully at what you are buying. Do not overestimate your ability to speak the native language, either.
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Little kids usually would come up to our tables at cafes and leave little roses made out of banana leaves and drop it on the table…and then come back 5 minutes later asking for money! We would be eating or sitting at a table and someone would come up and distract us by kicking a soccer ball past us so we would look away. And while we were looking away they would try to swipe wallets or items off the table. Luckily we caught them and from then on kept our wallets in our pockets which we should have been doing from the start. I fell for this one too!
In Granada. Except the little flower the little boy made was adorable? I was happy to give him a few coins lol. Never ever leave your phone or a wallet out in the open. Nothing says gringo like flashing your iPhone. As another said, keep your credit cards separated from your money. I keep mine in a zipped pocket in my cargo shorts or Cargo pants or in my bra.
And always make sure the taxi meter is on. While in Costa Rica in San Jose last year I was dropped off by a friend at the wrong bus station to go to Cahuita and had to flag down a taxi to get the correct one. He grudgingly turned it on. And I paid him the correct fare, several colones less than what he wanted to charge. A popular scam at the border near Penas Blanca in Costa Rica and Nicaragua is for someone to offer you a taxi ride. Anytime someone is being too helpful be firm and say No.
Everyone knows what No means in almost all languages. And a very smug and angry look will get the point across. On our last night in town, my husband and I took a cab ride with a very untrustworthy driver. His meter was definitely rigged to charge us almost double what the same ride cost the night before. When I paid the fee and handed over my bills, however, the driver switched one of them out for a torn bill and said my bill was no good, I had to give him a different one.
I absolutely knew the bill he presented to me was not the one I handed him, so I got out of the cab while he continued to yell at me saying he would call the police. I told him I would be happy to have him call the police, but unsurprisingly, the cab elected to speed away instead. I was grateful our destination was on a busy street outside of the restaurant and that the driver elected to leave instead of cause of scene. The boat driver provided the service you and he agreed to at the price you and he agreed to. A scam is where someone steals from you or deceives you.
I see no theft or deceit in what you encountered. But scammed? In Turkey I encountered but never fell for! A shoe polisher walks past you, drops something, and keeps walking. He relies on your kindness and basic human decency to pick up the dropped item, call out to him, and return it to its rightful owner. He will then of course continue to shamelessly harass you until you pay. The guy passed me on the bridge, walking in the opposite direction, and dropped a brush.
I picked it up and returned it. He was adamant for a few moments, but soon gave up. The guy did an excellent repair, that lasted well over a year. He refused to take any payment, and we essentially had to force money on him. In Vietnam my friend and I were scammed by cyclo drivers. They told us they would give us a small city tour for , VND around 7. At the end of the tour they took us to a restaurant that was nowhere near our hotel and then took out a completely different price sheet and said we owed them 1.
We were so shocked and confused. Definitely gotta remember that if its too god to be true, it is.. Never again. On my free time I would walk the cities to take in the sights. Time and time again, men would either follow me or come up to me wanting to spend time with me. After boxing up and mailing home my original clothes for the trip, the harassment came to a complete halt. I became invisible. In cambodia a young girl with a baby will ask you for milk.
Another scam to watch out for is if you need to change your SIM card. I was told that for my phone to work in The Philippines I needed to change my SIM card which may or may not have been true. When I got to the Water temple Taman Sari in Yogyakarta, a man approached me and just started walking next to me, said he will give me a tour of the temple for free.
It was beautiful but really overpriced, and I still felt super uneasy, so I say bye and left. Thankfully nothing happened but I still remember how scared I felt. Anyways, Yogyakarta was great! If you really want to help the kids or the mother with an infant needing food or milk… buy them take-away food that has to be eaten immediately. It may be their only meal that day! Paris — the ring scam at the Eiffel Tower…. Rome — the well dressed gentleman in a car asking for directions to the Vatican??!! He says he is a saleman for [insert famous designer name] and he would like to give you a sample in gratitude.
Of course he wants a donation for gas, etc…… Barcelona, parked outside the post office with suitcases in back and driver friend waiting for me. At that instant, he hears the back door open and whips around at which time the would be thief saw how big he was and decided otherwise. Always leave the car locked even when you are sitting in it.
Still, in none of these events was there any threat of physical harm. I got scammed in a small grocery store in Barcelona, when I was short-changed. I had let down my usual guard, being unaware a grocery store would do such a thing!
Always make sure to ask for the itemized bill in restaurants, they often just bring a piece of paper with a number on it. On two occasions in Rome the waiter amazingly discovered that an extra entree had been included by mistake. Re taxis: in many places in Italy you do not hail the taxi on the street, the restaurant must order it for you.