As you think about planning your next holiday, make sure that you can protect yourself against these seven common travel scams:
1) Distraction theft: Remain aware of your surroundings, regardless of how crowded the area may be, especially when interacting with other people. Thieves may try to distract you—even just by asking for directions—in order to rob you.
2) False petitions: Be cautious of anyone who asks you to sign a petition for a charity or organisation—even if it is well-known—as they could then use strong-arm tactics to force you to provide a ‘donation’.
3) Identify theft: Verify that each Wi-Fi network you use is trustworthy to help mitigate the risk of your personal data being stolen by a cyber criminal. In addition, contact your bank and credit card provider to let them know that you will be going on holiday.
4) ‘The long rout’: Research your route in advance and contact only reputable taxi companies to ensure that a driver does not take a meandering route to raise your fare.
5) Currency confusion: Familiarise yourself with the local currency in order to avoid receiving counterfeit currency or incorrect change.
6) Online booking schemes: Only book hotels, rentals or timeshares through reputable sites or travel agents, and never provide personal information to receive things like free tickets or sweepstakes winnings. If you are unsure of the validity of a site or offer, find a more trustworthy option.
7) Police officer impersonators: If a police officer accuses you of a crime and asks to see your wallet and/or passport, ask to be taken to the nearest police station before giving up any personal information.