25 Ways to Avoid Scams While Traveling in a Foreign Country
Traveling to a foreign country is an exciting and adventurous experience, but it can also come with its own set of challenges, especially regarding scams. While avoiding all scams is impossible, there are ways to protect yourself and your money while you’re on the road.
However, don’t let these scams ruin your trip, and don’t judge the actions of an individual by the people in the country you visit. Unfortunately, not all people you encounter in a foreign country have your best interests at heart. Life is good as long as you are alive, safe, and well!
Also, take note that even in your own country, you’ll get scammed.
Here are 25 ways to avoid a scam in a foreign country.
1. Do your research
Before you travel, learn about common scams in the area you’ll be visiting and how to avoid them.
2. Trust your gut
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Don’t carry all your cash
Instead, divide it into smaller amounts and keep it in different places, like your wallet, money belt, and hotel safe.
4. Use credit cards instead of cash
Credit cards offer better fraud protection and can be easier to replace if lost or stolen.
5. Don’t fall for the street vendors who ask you to change money
They may offer you a reasonable exchange rate but then switch the money to a fake bill.
6. Be wary of unsolicited offers
There are people who may approach you with unsolicited offers. They may be trying to sell you something overpriced or fake.
7. Don’t give out personal information
Scammers may ask for your passport number or credit card information to steal your identity.
8. Avoid Sketchy ATMs
Look for ATMs in well-lit areas and ones with a camera. Don’t use ones that look like they’ve been tampered with.
9. Watch out for pickpocketing
Keep your belongings close to your body and be especially careful in crowded places.
10. Don’t be too friendly with strangers
Scammers may try to gain your trust by pretending to be a new friend.
11. Don’t fall for the “find a lost ring” scam
Someone may pretend to find a lost ring and ask you to buy it, but it’s likely a cheap piece of jewelry.
12. Don’t take taxis that aren’t licensed
Always use official taxis or ride-hailing apps to avoid overpriced rides.
13. Don’t buy anything from people who approach you on the street
They may be trying to sell you fake designer goods or stolen items.
14. Don’t be afraid to say, “No.”
If someone is trying to scam you, smile, say no respectfully, and walk away.
15. Don’t let someone distract you
Scammers may try to distract you while their accomplice takes your money or valuables.
16. Don’t trust people who ask for money for charity
Always give to reputable organizations instead of giving money to people on the street.
17. Don’t fall for the “free tour” scam
A free tour may cost you a lot of money in hidden fees or overpriced souvenirs.
18. Don’t be too trusting
Scammers may try to gain your trust by offering to help you with directions or other services.
19. Don’t take shortcuts
Scammers may offer to skip the line for a fee, but it’s usually not worth it.
20. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’re unsure about something, ask a local or a fellow traveler for their advice.
21. Don’t fall for the “good luck” scam
If someone approaches you and tells you that you have to give him money for good luck, don’t believe him!
22. Be wary of “official” taxis
Always pre-book a taxi or use an app to ensure that you’re getting a safe and reliable ride.
23. Don’t be fooled by fake police officers
If someone claims to be a police officer and asks for your money or passport, don’t believe them. If you’re unsure, ask to see their identification.
24. Don’t let anyone pressure you into buying something
If you’re unsure about a purchase, just walk away.
25. Don’t get Lost in Translation
Scammers may approach you with a fake map or offer to help you find your way, only to lead you to a store or restaurant that pays them a commission.
By following these 25 ways to avoid a scam in a foreign country, you’ll be able to enjoy your travels with peace of mind. Just remember to stay vigilant, trust your instincts, refuse politely, smile, and have fun!
What about you? How many of these scams have you fallen victim to? Share in the comments below.
A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.