Travel Scams to Avoid

Travel Scams to Avoid

Be ready to out-wit tricksters pushing these common tourist scams.

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Be ready to out-wit tricksters pushing these common tourist scams, outlined by Lonely Planet:

Fake Police: When a uniformed policeman demands payment of an on-the-spot fine for some irregularity in your passport, offer to pay at the nearest station. Miraculously, he may waive the error.

Timeshares: The nice young man offers you a scratchie, you win (how about that?), and the prize awaits you in a hotel room across town. There, you and other obliging travellers watch a video about your 'prize' of a cheap timeshare apartment spruiked by Westerners.

"That restaurant is closed": "But my brother-in-law's restaurant around the corner is open, and much better, etc".

Motorbike Scams: Your apparently sound rented motorbike develops a mysterious fault, the motorbike owner escorts you to a local mechanic, and the repair bill costs more than most locals earn in a month.

A second scam occurs when the owner steals your rented motorbike when you have parked and locked it. Carry your own lock and key to subvert this trick.

Other scams include the dingy hotel that trades off the name of a more upmarket competitor; the 'spilled mustard' that a waiter immediately wipes off your shirt while lifting your wallet; and the local girls who invite men to buy them drinks at a convenient cafe, only to disappear when the bill for hundreds of dollars is presented.

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