Enjoy an Incident-Free Trip: How to Outsmart the Scammers

You save money so you can go to foreign places. It’s a time for peace and relaxation. Unfortunately, there are those who have other plans for you. Scammers prey on tourists and those who are too trusting. Here’s how to outsmart scammers or at least be aware of common ploys.

The Magic Show

Want to see your money and belongings disappear? Stay focused on the person in front of you doing the magic. In the meantime, one of their associates is working the crowd, pickpocketing people who have devoted their attention elsewhere. You don’t have to be speculative of every magician with a rabbit and a hat but be alert as to who may be lurking in the crowd.

The Drug Trade

Some tourists seek new experiences on vacation, which includes illicit drugs. Be wary of taxi drivers or locals who can ‘get you what you need.’ Some scams involve fake police showing-up once the transaction is completed. The officers demand immediate funds for your pardon. Most are too nervous to realize that they’re handing money to a phony official.

The Scenic Route

If you’re new to an area, it’s likely you have no idea as to how long the ride to and from different locations should be or how to get there sooner. Cabbies without scruples will take the scenic route so you have to pay a lot more money than those who are savvy to such wily routes. You can use Google maps or a travel app to find the shortest route between two points. You can avoid such confusion by asking Charleston Marriott Town Center front desk representatives about best routes.

The Cargo Contortionist

Using the Trojan Horse technique, contortionists fit themselves inside a large duffle bag and get thrown underneath the bus and stored with other bags. Once underneath, the contortionist makes way through all other bags, taking jewelry and valuables within.

The Phone Recorder

Some vendors pretend to be on the phone as you pay for services or products with a credit card. While they’re swiping your card, they’re taking a picture of your card to be used by others with malicious intent. While it’s not uncommon for workers to be multitasking, be wary of what people are doing while they have your credit card in their possession.

The Charge for Kindness

Some locals seem friendly and present you with a smile. Others are a bit pushier and offer to give you something for free or help you take a picture. Directly afterward, they demand payment for their kindness. That’s if they don’t run off in the other direction with your camera.

The Bogus Money Officials

Some tourists have reported being pulled over while in a car or on a bus. Officials, who look like police officers, state they are looking for counterfeit money that has been circulating in the area. Unknowing tourists give-up wallets and handbags unaware the policemen are swiping bills.