Don’t Fall for These 10 Scary Traveler Scams
3. Shady Cabs
Cabs will often take advantage of tourists in a number of ways. They may be using a broken cab meter to charge you more. They may request that you pay an ‘off the meter’ flat-rate cab fare. They may drive off before you have a chance to grab your luggage. They might take you the long route in an attempt to fleece you for more money. Heck, the car that you enter might not even be an actual cab.
The best way to avoid cab scams is to do your research. Familiarize yourself with what the area’s most reputable cab company’s cars look like. It’s also important to avoid any unmarked vehicles that pull over to take your fair. When it comes to cabs, it’s important to be firm and unafraid to pass on a cabbie that seems suspicious.
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Pickpockets are common in tourist heavy areas. Some create a distraction, some work in teams, and others still take advantage of close-quartered situations to get in close and rob you blind. In particular, trains and public transit vehicles are popular marks that make it easy for criminals to root through your bags and your pockets.
If you’re traveling on trains or buses, it’s important to keep your bags close at hand. Avoid overhead storage bins that are out of your field of vision. It also may be a good idea to invest in some anti-pickpocket gear like special wallets, bags, and locks. Pickpockets are incredibly tough to protect against but preparing yourself with hidden pockets and secure bags goes a long way.
5. Fake Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi when you’re on the road can be incredibly tempting, especially if you haven’t touched base with your friends and family in a couple of days. But things aren’t always as they seem.
Hackers often set up public Wi-Fi hotpots at popular tourist destinations in an attempt to harvest personal passwords, online accounts, and pretty much anything else that you store on your computer or phone.
How can you protect yourself against Wi-Fi honey-pots? Verify which connection is the secure connection by reaching out to the café or hotel staff first. And never (that’s right, never) log on to suspicious Wi-Fi hotspots, no matter how tempting it might be.