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Most Common Ways to Get Ripped Off on Vacation

Whatever your reason for traveling to a different place, it’s a nice break from the same repetitive routine of life we get holed up in. But as wonderful and all-consuming it is to fantasize about travel plans, it’s also good to be aware of scams and how to avoid them. Below are a few ubiquitous traps.

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Overbooked Hotel

Let’s start with something easy to fall for. This scenario will most likely happen because your driver told you the sudden news that the hotel you were planning to stay in does not have any rooms left. He would then take you to a place out of your budget, so he gets a commission. Avoid this by having proper communication with your hotel and not getting swayed by the driver, no matter how persuasive he is.

Help in Cleaning Clothes

This scam is a one-act play. One stranger will innocently ruin your clothes with their food, and another nicer, kinder soul will offer to clean you up. Despite the charm of this kind stranger, you must not forget that this is how they’re likely to steal your wallet and other precious commodities. Refuse any help, even if you feel guilty for doing so.

Help at the ATM

Scammers here generally carry a card skimmer with them. It’s a matter of how well-intentioned they seem. Even though everything in this situation has red flags, this person’s seemingly harmless and altruistic attitude compels you to take their advice. Do not accept the help that you did not ask for. You should cover your number pad, and your ATM pin code should not be visible to anyone.

Dangerous WiFi Hubs

While there are various scams to be wary of, this one is on the list because of how attracted we are to the idea of free WiFi. Connecting to random WiFi hotspots in a public place can sometimes be like hosting a lavish dinner for a thief. Hackers can have a free buffet at this naivety from your computer passwords to sensitive bank account details. Reign in your temptation or consult a local, trustworthy source.

Fake Tickets

We’re drawn to discounts like moths to a flame. And discounted tickets while you’re out, already exploring the streets of a charming old foreign town, is like a dream too good to be true. Because it isn’t true, it’s a scam. The scammers will lure you in with promises of monetary profit, and before you know, you’ll be standing with fake tickets and an empty pocket, and the nice strangers will have disappeared. Trust nobody but official sources for buying tickets.

Flirtatious Attention

It’s heart-breaking to break it to you and re-paint your mindscape with stereotypes of gold-digging women, but this scam is too common, and people fall easily for it. Be careful of the kind of attention you’re allowing to enter into your life, especially if it is an unfamiliar place. If you start finding the amount of attention or the number of flirtatious women in that place fishy compared to your general time, it could be a well-planned scheme of drugging and robbing you. There is a reason why many of us are scared of romance, don’t forget!

Remember You’re not at Your Place.

No matter how gentle a soul the old lady from the maintenance staff seems, it’s better to be suspicious of everyone when you’re not at your place. Leaving your expensive or important things in your room while you’re out is like an invitation to people who don’t mind taking advantage of the faith you put in them. In fact, they will revel in it. Carry traditional locks and thoroughly check before and after you leave your room.


Having a fun, wonderful time is at its peak glory if you combine it with caution and research. Before visiting any place, do your research, make prior arrangements for the place you’ll stay at, and avoid putting yourself in any vulnerable position, especially if you’re solo. Remember, there are always solutions, and you don’t have to live with regrets and fear if you chalk out a well-thought-out plan.