Most Common Travel Scams
[You Need to Avoid]
Scammers, scammers everywhere,
Is there a way to stay away?
An article we have right here,
That will steer you clear of these scammers!
Haven’t most of us come face to face with a con artist at some point?
It’s hard to be tricked in your own city, but oh boy! Let them get a hint of you being a tourist and these schemers put on their A game!
This happens especially when you’ve just begun your travel lifestyle, and you’re not accustomed to the games people will play to get some money out of you.
In the end, it’s all about moolah, isn’t it?
So before you set out on a new adventure, take a look at this compilation of scams our guests have witnessed on their travels!
The “You Wear it You Own it” Scam
One of our guests, Ashley, from New York City, had become a victim of this street extortion. She told us that a man on the beach had put on a beaded bracelet on her hand and tried to sell it to her in spite of her continually resisting.
The man proceeded to create a scene when Ashley tried to take off the bracelet and hand it over to him. She recalls the man screaming, “Well if you didn’t like it, why did you put it on? Now you have to buy it!” She was so embarrassed she ended up paying for something she didn’t even want!
The most important thing to remember is to not let anyone put anything on you. Say NO and walk away!
Overcharging the Taxi Bill
Taxi drivers can be awful people at times. To scam tourists they might make up a story as to how their meter is broken and assure you that they are charging you the exact price as it would be with a meter.
Another trick drivers may use is to calibrate the meter so that it runs faster than Flash. You see the meter and think they couldn’t have done wrong with you! No! They’ve cheated you! To be safe, you must call your accommodation and ask beforehand of the standard charge for a particular distance.
Remember to note their ID number, so in case you do happen to get cheated, you can register a complaint against them.
In taxis, we wish to ride,
For comfort and safety,
What is one to do,
When the taxi is crazy pricy?
The “You Ruined my Scooter” Scam
One of the best ways to get around a city is to rent out a scooter! This way you can actually explore all the nooks and corners of the town, the hidden gems! Oh, but to our misery, there are scammers who do not stop at anything.
The scooter lenders are known to ask for repair costs at the end of your contract, saying there was damage caused by you, during your travel. This is exactly what Thomas, our guest from Canada, familiarised us what happened to him when he was travelling to Southeast Asia.
He told us that the best way to avoid paying more to the scooter shops was to take photos of the bike before driving off with it. He said that he used to park the scooter on the main street where people were always around so nobody could mess with it.
The “Let’s Play the Shell Game!” Trick
Yes! We know this is an age-old scam and yet people fall for it. We’re all gamblers at some level and we love to win things, especially money! You’ll always find someone sitting on the side of the street, with those 3 cups and a ball, waiting for their next prey!
They’ll let you win, the first time you bet, they’ll tempt you into betting again, more than before! This time around, you lose! In their minds, these scammers are doing their evil laugh!
Turn a blind eye towards these street game scammers, and keep your money where it’s supposed to be!
In a world of liars and cheats,
There are ones who are great players,
Proficient in what they do,
They’ll take everything off of you!
Hey! I Found Your Ring!
Once again, an example of how greed gets the better side of us. Just when you’re walking around a local attraction, enjoying the view and the weather, the most genuine looking person shows up and picks up a ring near where you’re standing.
They convince you that the ring is real and that they’ll sell it to you for a minimal price. Your temptation to get more money out of it back home urges you to take the ring off of his hands, and you eventually end up doing so too! Somewhere deep down you know that the ring is fake and it won’t get you anything in return, but you still give it a try.
Best way to avoid the temptation is to not hear a word these tricksters are saying!
The Trick of Switching Things Out
Antique stores, street shops, and some of those shady-looking sellers are famous for switching out the items that you picked out for similar-looking, but an old copy. Which is why you should try shopping at the nicer places.
If you find an amazing deal on something that looks brand new and is sold at a low price, chances are it’s a scam to make you pay double or triple of what they paid for, for the same thing.
There’s nothing in this world that is designed and available at a cheap price. You want to make sure that you don’t take eyes off of your seller to ensure that they don’t switch the products.
The “Accommodation is Closed” Lie
Francis was visiting Sydney for the first time and had decided to stay with us. When he booked a cab from the airport to our motel, the driver told him that we were closed for renovation. Flustered, he was about to be convinced by the continued appeals by his driver that the motel was shut when he decided to check every booking detail online and call us to confirm the status of his room.
He then insisted the cab driver bring him to our motel. Francis says that there’s no point of letting the driver’s words bother you. If your accommodation were to be shut down, you would have been informed about the same.
He was smart enough to not fall for such a scam, but he told us that some of his friends have been swayed before and ended up paying more at other accommodations suggested by the cab drivers.
Don’t listen to what they say,
Believe in what you know to be true,
The only way to not be cheated,
Is to have faith in you.
Oops, I Spilled Coffee on You!
The spilled coffee on a tourist and pickpocketing is an ancient scam, and in spite of being aware of it, we tend to fall victim to it in the heat of the moment. Everything happens so fast you don’t realize you’ve been robbed until long after. This is how most people put their plan into action.
Walking toward you with a coffee in hand, they’ll fake trip on something invisible and spill their coffee on you. Now, pretending to be extremely apologetic, they try to clean the coffee off of your clothes and take your wallet in the process.
In a split second, they’ll be out of sight, and you’ll never get your money back.
The “Flirt” Scam
Bars and pubs are a thing of beauty to be explored in every city! So obviously, Fiona, from New York City, who stayed with us only for a short span of 3 days, decided to hit a club in Darling Harbour. There she was approached by a handsome man. Flirting in a bar is a common occurrence, and Fiona was sure this was just that.
As the night rose, she got an iffy feeling in her tummy, assumed it was the alcohol. Soon she realized she was being drugged and secretly informed the bartender about it.
Lucky for our New Yorker, the man couldn’t take advantage of her and steal from her. She let us know that she had been through such experiences on her other travels and wants everyone to know that they need to be aware at all times, especially while travelling alone.
A long, but worthy list, don’t you think?
Scammers are everywhere and that’s never going to change. All we can do is be aware of them and try to keep ourselves and our belongings safe.
Sydney is a safe city, for the most part, but then again, there are con artists everywhere.
Liberty Plains Motel is a Sydney Olympic Park accommodation, located in Lidcombe. We offer a luxurious stay at a 3.5-star accommodation with 4-star facilities. We’re located in a great area, right near Olympic Park, surrounded by multi-cuisine restaurants, shopping streets and local leisure events being organised now and then.