Showing posts with label travel safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel safety. Show all posts

Safe Travel 101: Common Scams and Schemes Abroad

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Your vacation abroad should be a time to relax, but when you’re traveling to a foreign country you should always be on your guard.  It doesn’t matter if you’re on a beach in Rio, staying in Tuscany villas with friends, or in a hotel in China.  Criminals and scam artists are everywhere, and tourists and foreigners are usually their favorite target.  If you’re going to be traveling abroad soon, make sure you don’t fall prey to some of these popular scams.

The “Counterfeit Police”

You’re walking down the street when all of the sudden two uniformed men stop you.  They claim that they’re part of an anti-counterfeiting task force that works with the local law enforcement officials.  After quickly flashing you their badges, they demand to see the money you’re carrying so they can inspect it for fake currency.   You may be in a foreign country with different laws, but no police officer or other uniformed official would stop someone and demand to inspect their money for fake bills.  Don’t believe what they’re saying and politely walk away.  If you’re being pursued, go somewhere public and contact the actual local law enforcement officials.

Found Valuables

As you’re walking to your hotel someone in front of you suddenly picks up a nice looking piece of jewelry.  After they marvel at the high quality they ask if it’s yours.  When you say no they claim that they would love to keep it, but that they can’t because of religious reasons or because they live in a bad area.  Since they “found” the jewelry they offer to let you keep it if you give them money, but it’s only for the fraction of a price it would normally cost.  This scam is one of the oldest scams around.  The “high quality” piece of jewelry is usually just painted brass and fake jewels, and they person who “found” it noticed it because they purposely covertly dropped it in front of you.  Never purchase anything if you find yourself in this situation, even if you think you’re getting an amazing deal.

A Night On The Town

You’re approached by a very attractive member of the opposite sex that wants to spend time with you.  Maybe they want to practice their English with someone over dinner, or maybe they know of a hot new club that a lot of other tourists don’t know about.  Either way they want you to follow them to a new place for food and drinks.  Before the bill arrives your new friend excuses themselves to use the restroom, and almost as soon as they leave you’re presented with an extravagant bill that costs you several hundred dollars.  You don’t see your new friend anywhere, and when you try to leave some very large and armed people demand their money.  This scam has become surprisingly common abroad.  The best way to avoid a situation like this is to insist on picking the place you and your new “friend” will go.  If they insist on going somewhere they choose, it’s very likely that you’re being scammed.
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Five Essential Safety Tips For Traveling Abroad

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Whether you're traveling to villas in Tuscany or a hotel room in Paris, safety is the top priority for any traveler that's going abroad.  Being safe while traveling abroad doesn't have to be difficult, if you use your common sense and trust your instincts you can have a great vacation.  If you're going to be traveling abroad for your vacation, remember to follow these five tips.

Separate Your Money Sources

When you're at home you keep all of your bank cards, credit cards, and cash in your wallet, but you should avoid doing that when you're traveling abroad.  If your wallet gets lost or stolen when you're away, you could find yourself stranded without any money.  Keep at least one credit card or bank card in a different place, preferably back at wherever you're staying.

Make Copies of Important Documents

Some people used to make photocopies of their important documents like their passport or birth certificate.  It's still good to have copies of important documents, but instead of printing them on paper scan them and save them on your computer.  Email them to yourself so you'll always have a copy when you need it. 

Be Wary With New "Friends"

There's nothing wrong with making friends when you're on vacation, but you should think twice about going to new and strange places with people you've just met.  People who are traveling abroad should be wary of local scam artists who work by befriending tourists so that they can rob them later.  The Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree has a variety of threads devoted to warning fellow travelers about the scams they could encounter.  Before you travel, see what local scams could be occurring where you're traveling.

Check Certifications

Before you take that scuba diving course or bungee jump, make sure that you make sure that the operators have legitimate qualifications and have a good safety record.  Some tourists get lured into some of these specialty services because of their low price, but the low price tag may be because the people running it aren't qualified to do so.

Leave Expensive Items at Home

You may have always dreamed of wearing your $1200 diamond bracelet on your vacation, but if you want to stay safe you should leave all of your expensive personal possessions at home.  Aside from the fact that you could lose them, wearing expensive jewelry or taking pictures with a costly camera makes you look like an attractive target for thieves.
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