Vacationis a welcome thought for just about everyone. It’s not uncommon for people to find themselves day dreaming about their expectations for their upcoming vacation.
Will you spend it on the beach? Or will you be taking a plane to a popular tourist attraction?
People frequently look forward to vacation time because it gives them a chance to take a break from their usually daily routine, and to relax.
It’s during your vacation or the planning of your vacation that you tend to neglect to pay attention to special details. This is a critical mistake that could make you an easy victim for a vacation scam.
Tourists are a favorite for scam artists because they’re easy to spot and manipulate. Tourists are easy to spot because of the cameras around their necks, a folded map in their back pocket or other obvious spot, and even fanny packs.
You can reduce your chances of being targeted by blending in with the local guests. A quick search on the web will reveal plenty of information about your potential vacation spot and what the locals are like. Utilize this information to make yourself blend in.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, keep a lookout on these top popular scams:
1.- Confusion involving the credit cards-
You may have had a great day and are now at a hotel to relax. Suddenly, the phone rings and the hotel clerk explain that there’s been an unfortunate mix up with your paperwork and the credit card number on file.
They want to verify they have the accurate number on hand by reading it out loud. They read the last four digits from your card and ask if these digits are right. They’re usually not.
The supposed clerk will then ask you to correct the card number. So you tell them the correct number.
After you’ve finished, the clerk then claims they’ve found the number, and everything is fine now. You may not realize it yet, but you’ve just been scammed!
How would this situation be better handled?
Don’t ever give important information out over the phone. Go downstairs and visit with the clerk to get the problems straightened out.
2. The Taxi Scam-
While waiting for a vacant taxi to come pick you up, and you notice a nicely dressed person who tells you they have a taxi cab ready just for you. You follow this person to wherever this cab may be.
Ignore this person! Scam artists are clever and often pretend to be taxi drivers. You’re not just risking your wallet; you’re risking your life! If you get into the vehicle with this con artist, they may take you to a quiet location and potentially kill you and steal your valuables.
If you are approached, keep in mind that legitimate taxi cars will feature a number and company logo outside the vehicle.
If you don’t see one, avoid this person. Make sure you check the rate sheet and the meter whenever you get into the car.
This will keep yourself from paying nearly double, should the unscrupulous taxi driver decide to charge extra. If you’ve never used a taxi before, ask your hotel for advice and see if they can put you in good hands.
3. The Overly Friendly Guest-
If you’re in a popular tourist destination, chances are you’ll be bumped into a lot. The person who bumps into you may spill food or drink all over you and offer to help you out. While you’re distracted, the stranger snatches your wallet from you without you even knowing.
How to handle the situation:
Stay vigilant in the crowd. Ignore any attempt to distract your attention. Don’t carry too much money on hand, and leave some back at your hotel room.
4. A great deal you can’t refuse-
These scammers will tell you they have a considerable deal you can’t pass up. They’ll offer you a huge discount to a great vacation spot or a luxury hotel. The goal is to take as much money as possible from you.
In order to achieve this goal, they may offer a special bonus or even a prize if you decide to take up their offer. The prizes sound like a wonderful addition, but they’re not as described.
What to listen for:
Avoid any conversations or offers from someone who says the offer is for a limited time only, or they tell you to keep it secret.
Verbal stuttering or nervous tension when you say you want to decline until you check to see if the company is legitimate.
In North America, most companies should have liability insurance. You can spot a scammer if they have no idea what that is or can’t provide proof of insurance.
To keep a paper trail, ensure you pay for all items with a credit card during your vacation time.
Avoid cash if at all possible. This enables you to dispute any charges if any problems should arise.