10 Popular Travel Scams Around the World

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    Aug 22, 2011 8:16 PM GMT
    I've been a victim of the New York City scam before... it was a struggle to get them to go away....
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    By Ray Pagliarulo, BudgetTravel.com
    (Budget Travel) -- You may have heard of, or fallen victim to, the old "catch my baby while we pick your pockets" scheme. The new class of tourist rip-off makes that look like chump change.

    Orlando
    Here's a scam so bad even Mickey Mouse took a stand. Guests in hotels around Disney World have been finding pizza delivery menus conveniently slipped under their doors, but place an order -- and make the mistake of giving your credit card number -- and you'll really pay. The phone number isn't connected to a pizza parlor but to identity thieves. Disney World supported a law designed to crack down on the people handing out the fliers, but Orlando police say the problem persists.

    Solution: If you're craving a slice, get a recommendation from the hotel.

    Vietnam
    In Vietnam, open-ended bus tickets are the best way to travel at your own pace between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and the Sinh Tourist line is widely considered the best. So widely considered, in fact, its many impostors call themselves Sinh Tourist, too. Because of Vietnam's lax intellectual property laws, it's difficult to know which Sinh is the real deal. Take the wrong carrier, and you'll get iffy service or, worse, an unexpected overnight stop at an overpriced hotel in cahoots with the bus line. "In summary," says Stuart McDonald of travelfish.org, a travel advice site covering Southeast Asia, "it is a snake pit!"

    Solution: Always use the bus company's official website: thesinhtourist.vn.

    New York City
    New Yorkers are famously pushy, but Times Square's so-called CD Bullies take the stereotype to new lows. A guy on the corner barks, "Check out my music!" and hands you what seems to be a free copy of his CD. He's so nice, he'll even offer to autograph it. But once the disc is in your hands, the aspiring rapper -- suddenly surrounded by friends -- refuses to take it back. You need to pay $10 or so to stop them from menacing you.

    Solution: If the musician won't take the CD, gently place it on the ground and walk away.

    Las Vegas
    You go to Vegas to gamble, but you don't want to risk your luggage, too. Sin City's cabdrivers are notoriously sketchy; one common scam involves a cabbie who insists on unloading your bags at your hotel or the airport. He says he's in a rush, slams the trunk and speeds away. Only later do you notice that one of your bags is missing. "When you're coming to Vegas, you gotta be on your A-game with your stuff," says Sergeant Jerry MacDonald of the Las Vegas Police Department. "Trust me when I tell you, they'll snatch your luggage up faster than you can blink an eye."

    Solution: Note the driver's name, cab number and company when you get in; that way, if anything should happen, you have recourse.

    United States
    Some criminals who want your money are brazen enough to come right out and ask. An increasingly common scam involves hotel guests who receive a phone call in the middle of the night from someone claiming to work at the front desk. There's been a problem with your credit card, they say. Could you read the number back one more time? The scammers are banking you'll do something while half-asleep that you never should -- give out credit card info by phone.

    Solution: Hang up and call the front desk directly to make sure the request is legit.

    Egypt
    The pyramids around Cairo are one of the world's best photo ops, and some tourists up the ante by posing on the back of a camel. Often, there are trainers standing by to coax the eight-foot-tall, 1,500-pound animals to lie down passively in preparation for riding. Once you've paid your $15 and mounted the beast, though, some touts will insist that you pay again to disembark and hold you hostage on the hump until you do.

    Solution: "Never just get on a random guy's camel," says Kara Lucchesi of STA Travel. Stick to rides arranged via an established tour company.

    Bali
    Bali has an altogether unexpected kind of crook -- the monkeys who are so beloved that they have their own sacred forest and temple, where they're allowed to roam free. These monkeys can have sticky fingers, going after food if it piques their interest -- and, worse, valuables. Some enterprising locals are usually on-hand to coax the monkey to give back its plunder, though they'll ask for a small tip of up to $3.50.

    Solution: Seek out a staff member for assistance if a monkey snatches something from you. Better yet: hold on tightly to purses and backpacks and remove and secure glasses or anything else that can be easily purloined.

    Rome
    While some pickpockets make their living on not being noticed, others do it by getting aggressive and in your face -- then ripping you off while you're distracted. Rome is home to the infamous "fake baby" ruse, which sees a woman trip and throw a bundled doll into your arms, or just drop it on the ground, in an attempt to draw your attention away from pickpockets, often children, nicking your wallet or making away with your camera bag.

    Solution: Beware of women who "throw" their babies or any other unusual distractions.

    Bolivia
    The cramped and congested passageways of Cochabamba's famed La Cancha -- the largest market in Bolivia -- make it the perfect staging ground for "the squeeze." Overwhelmed by the chaos and distracted by the overflowing stalls, you might find yourself suddenly pressed among a group of burly men, unable to move your arms. By the time the surprise wears off, the thugs have already rummaged through your pockets and disappeared.

    Solution: Pay extra attention at cross-streets, which lend themselves to fast approaches and easy escapes.

    Colombia
    It costs nothing to spend the day at BarĂº Island's Playa Blanca, which with its white sands and crystal Caribbean surf might be Colombia's most beautiful beach. Lying on your towel, you might feel a pair of warm hands on your shoulders, and hear the soothing voice of a woman saying to accept this massage as a gift. Tempting, but if you aren't prepared to part with at least $10 in pesos, the price will be an especially histrionic fight.

    Solution: Remember, there is no such thing as a free massage.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/08/19/travel/popular-travel-scams-bt/index.html?hpt=tr_c2
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    Aug 22, 2011 8:50 PM GMT
    People are damn creative. Thanks, we'll be traveling soon and need to be aware of this stuff.
    My partner and I were walking in a tacky section of Florence, at night, and this young girl, probably 12 or 13, came up to us and pulled her blouse down so we could look at her titties. Obviously she had poor gaydar. We sped up and got out of there fast as we could.
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    Aug 22, 2011 9:07 PM GMT
    antelope said My partner and I were walking in a tacky section of Florence, at night, and this young girl, probably 12 or 13, came up to us and pulled her blouse down so we could look at her titties. Obviously she had poor gaydar. We sped up and got out of there fast as we could.


    OH GOD WHAT

    I didn't think Italy would be THAT bad, but there you go, a case of desperation at it's worst it seems . . .

    Also, little piece of advice when travelling around my part of the world - Malaysia is considered relatively safe by many foreign tourist reviews of the place, but just be very careful of how taxi drivers in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, may short-change you without knowing - http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Malaysia/Wilayah_Persekutuan/Kuala_Lumpur-1282074/Tourist_Traps-Kuala_Lumpur-Taxi_Driver_Scams-BR-1.html
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    Aug 22, 2011 9:17 PM GMT
    not only did he help me with homework...he's trying to protect people from travel scams!

    What an awesome fucking guy. icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 22, 2011 9:24 PM GMT
    Nice post!
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    Aug 22, 2011 9:26 PM GMT
    "Never just get on a random guy's camel,"

    Remember, there is no such thing as a free massage.


    Those must be true since they've got a vague sexual innuendo feeling to them.icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 22, 2011 9:53 PM GMT
    People have always scammed other people, since the caveman days.
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    Aug 22, 2011 9:53 PM GMT
    I heard about one in Japan that happened to a friend of a friend of mine.

    Yakuza apparently bump into your shoulder and then pretend that you injured them and demand money in return for medical bills.

    Not sure about which cities...maybe it's urban legend, but better safe than sorry. Just avoid guys walking around in black suits in groups and you should be gravy.
  • Syphon

    Posts: 366

    Aug 22, 2011 9:56 PM GMT
    Polynesian Cultural Center - Oahu.

    Just don't go.
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    Aug 22, 2011 11:35 PM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidPeople have always scammed other people, since the caveman days.


    Good boy. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Aug 22, 2011 11:43 PM GMT
    Do you know about the blowjob raping motorcycle pickpockets in Nha Trang Vietnam? They are known to come in n a motorcycle (two hot Vietnamese chicks) then slam you to the wall, one will start giving the tourist a blowjob, and the other manages to take the wallet...

    Trick: do what I do, when I went out at night, I went with empty pockets... when the girls started dashing for me, I quickly pulled my hands out of my pockets showing them they were empty.... they were gone immediately

    Tip: if you are bi, keep your pockets clean, but dont show that to the girls.. those chicks are damn hot! Might as well get somethng out of it...
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    Aug 22, 2011 11:52 PM GMT
    Seriously, after reading this, I'm going to hide my wallet in my underwear.icon_razz.gif
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    Aug 23, 2011 12:01 AM GMT
    GreenHopper saidDo you know about the blowjob raping motorcycle pickpockets in Nha Trang Vietnam? They are known to come in n a motorcycle (two hot Vietnamese chicks) then slam you to the wall, one will start giving the tourist a blowjob, and the other manages to take the wallet...

    Trick: do what I do, when I went out at night, I went with empty pockets... when the girls started dashing for me, I quickly pulled my hands out of my pockets showing them they were empty.... they were gone immediately

    Tip: if you are bi, keep your pockets clean, but dont show that to the girls.. those chicks are damn hot! Might as well get somethng out of it...


    but what if they use teeth when they see no wallet :S
    I think i'll KEEP running
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    Aug 23, 2011 12:03 AM GMT
    Evan87 said<
    but what if they use teeth when they see no wallet :S
    I think i'll KEEP running


    Lol, no need to run, they are not dangerous... just show them empty pockets... they will not touch your dick when they see no money lol
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Aug 23, 2011 12:13 AM GMT
    Good post!

    Even as a fairly seasoned traveller I have been scammed before.

    I have to put my mind in "travel mode" while on the road to be more streetwise. It;s quite hard when you live an ordinary life and are surrounded by familiar faces that you donlt have to put uo defence too.

    I do genuinely hate travel scams. It constantly remind you of the human lows, and is especially distracting when you are enjoying the journey.
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    Aug 23, 2011 12:32 AM GMT
    I have never heard of that CD scam in NYC. But that's because I tend to avoid Times Square like the plague.

    I have heard of the Great Wall Street Scam though. Where does this get a mention.
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    Aug 23, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    GreenHopper saidDo you know about the blowjob raping motorcycle pickpockets in Nha Trang Vietnam? They are known to come in n a motorcycle (two hot Vietnamese chicks) then slam you to the wall, one will start giving the tourist a blowjob, and the other manages to take the wallet...

    Trick: do what I do, when I went out at night, I went with empty pockets... when the girls started dashing for me, I quickly pulled my hands out of my pockets showing them they were empty.... they were gone immediately

    Tip: if you are bi, keep your pockets clean, but dont show that to the girls.. those chicks are damn hot! Might as well get somethng out of it...


    ew wtf icon_eek.gif
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    Aug 23, 2011 2:08 AM GMT
    I thought the cd was $5. Those guys are always target tourists not localsicon_lol.gif
  • brendanmuscle...

    Posts: 593

    Aug 23, 2011 2:31 AM GMT
    last Friday i went to Splash in nyc and some guy reached into my pocket, pulled the cash i had in my pocket (it was loose) from the bottom of my pocket up to the top of my pocket...i ntoiced this and i took my other hand and very firmly and strongly grasped his wrist (the hand that was in my pocket) I do have quite a strong grip; i squeezed very hard. With my other hand, i waved my index finger (in a no-no expression) continued holding a hard grip on him or a few more seconds and then walked away. he looked quite nervous actually during this time.
  • germanguy888

    Posts: 208

    Aug 23, 2011 2:50 AM GMT
    another big one is in Argentina... If you don't speak Spanish well enough they will drive you all over the city to rack up your fare....or even worse when they give you change they will give you back fake currency (most foreigners can't spot the difference then when they go to use it other places reject it...I know a few people this has happened to!)
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    Aug 23, 2011 2:59 AM GMT
    AvadaKedavra said
    Egypt
    The pyramids around Cairo are one of the world's best photo ops, and some tourists up the ante by posing on the back of a camel. Often, there are trainers standing by to coax the eight-foot-tall, 1,500-pound animals to lie down passively in preparation for riding. Once you've paid your $15 and mounted the beast, though, some touts will insist that you pay again to disembark and hold you hostage on the hump until you do.

    Solution: "Never just get on a random guy's camel," says Kara Lucchesi of STA Travel. Stick to rides arranged via an established tour company.
    ...


    And make sure you've got that hump covered as well! You just don't know who else has been riding that hump!