Skip to content

How to Avoid 5 Common Travel Scams

As summer break approaches, many families and individuals are looking to take their next vacation. Unfortunately, fraudsters know this and are looking for a way to capitalize on it.

We’ve compiled a list of 5 common travel scams and how you can avoid falling victim to them.

1. Too Good To Be True Vacation Packages

Vacation packages are very appealing. Transportation, lodging, meals all rolled into one, saving you time and money. However, not all packages are created equal. Some have hidden fees and conditions; you need to watch out for.

To avoid a vacation package scam, do not sign or pay for a package until you know the terms of the deal and the cancellation and refund policies. If you can’t get these details, walk away.

2. Free Bracelets or Other Items

A common scam that happens more so in city and popular beaches is a friendly person approaches you trying to offer a free bracelet, crown, flowers or something else. Once you accept the offer, they will give you the item and then cause a scene and demand payment. The hope is that you feel embarrassed and will give them money to make them stop.

You can avoid this type of scam, simply by saying “no” and walking past people trying to hand out items.

3. Overpriced Taxi Rides

Some taxi drivers will pray on tourists by trying to overcharge for a ride. Typically, the driver will say something like the meter is broken or it’s cheaper without the meter to try and charge you more.

You can avoid this scam by researching beforehand how much a taxi ride should cost and refuse to pay over that number, or by using a reputable car ride app, like Lyft or Uber where payment is handle through the app and set by the company not the driver.

4. ATM Card Skimmer

A card skimmer is a device that is attached to the mouth of the card insert on an ATM. When someone inserts their debit or credit card into the ATM, the card skimmer will pull the card number for a scammer to use later.

You can avoid this type of scam by only using ATMs at reputable financial institution as they are regularly maintained by the institution. You can also give the ATM card reader a little shake to ensure there isn’t something attached to the end of it.

5. Fake WiFi

You can find free WiFi pretty much anywhere, but some of these free connections can place your information right into the hands of a hacker. Scammers can set up unsecure WiFi hotspots in public locations giving them access to the data of the people who connect to the network.

To avoid this scam, always ask the merchant which WiFI network is the correct one. Also, don’t use your computer to access accounts or sensitive information while on public WiFi.

Travel scams can really ruin a vacation, so follow these steps to avoid them and enjoy your time away.