8 Popular Travel Scams You Should Know About
Don’t let these clever scams ruin your vacation.
This travel scam is most often deployed in Paris, in high-volume tourist spots like the Pont des Arts foot bridge. If someone comes up to you asking you to sign their petition for some ‘really important cause’, in a foreign language no less, don’t do it. The poetic french writing is really saying something to the effect of “if you sign this you have to give me 200 Euros or else.” Don’t sign anything you can’t understand, regardless of what the young activist is telling you about it.
The String Trick
My mother always told me not to accept gifts from strangers, and when traveling, this is one of the most important rules to follow. This scam is particularly prevalent in the Montmartre area of Paris, where tourists run rampant. If someone comes up to you with a piece of string, yarn or fabric and asks to make you a bracelet or ring as a gift, say no and walk away. They’re planning on tying the string around your wrist or finger so tight you won’t be able to get out of it, and then they’ll force you to the nearest ATM and only free you from the string if you empty your bank account for them, usually with the help of some burly friends. As they say, don’t take candy from strangers. It’s a common trap that way too many vacationers fall for.
Being an educated traveler is essential to staying out of trouble and having an amazing vacation. You often don’t even need to leave the US to get scammed by someone banking on a gullible tourist falling into their trap. The most important words of wisdom to remember when jet-setting are that nothing is free, and don’t accept anything from strangers. In other words, do your best to not be a tourist! You’ll look cooler anyway.
Have you been scammed while traveling? Tell us below!