If you find something ‘too good to be true’, you are probably being scammed. The phrase wisely throws light onto the situation which can lead you into temptation.
Chances of being scammed increases when you are traveling internationally. You cannot trust someone while you are on foreign soil. The risk starts as soon as you are on board on a PIA Birmingham to Lahore flight.
Chances of being conned are very high on airports as you are bound to meet strangers there. They carefully mark their target and make the move. It can be a luxury tour offer or a dinner invitation from a person you met in a first-class cabin. Or a trip to an off-season sale with the person just became friends at a party.
It doesn’t matter how wise you are, scams can happen to anyone. We’ve some simple travel tips that can protect you on distant lands.
- Know Your Destination
For travelers, Google is a good friend and probably one of the wisest ones. You can dodge numerous scams only by searching for the destination on the internet. Not only you get to know the place better, but also it can caution you about some common cons. All you have to do is add the word “scam” with your destination. For instance, if you are traveling to Lahore, search “Scams in Lahore”.
- Currency Exchange
Most of the time travelers do not know the local currency rates. You should have an idea about the conversion rates to do the math by yourself. This will save you when someone is trying to overcharge you with a service. Another way to save yourself is by announcing the amount loudly. It may sound silly but they will know that you are not the person to trick.
- Take Care of Your Possessions
Do not carry everything with you all the time. If you have a safe in your hotel room, leave your passport there. Only carry some cash or a credit card with you. This way your belongings will be safe even if you are conned. At least you’ll have some cash or spare credit card as a backup. Carrying little cash will also keep you from buying costly things.
- Be Careful with Transportation
A lot of travel scams occur on local transportation. A better way to avoid transportation scams is to organize it beforehand. Plan your local conveyance, especially if you are going to travel for hours. Try to purchase tickets from the direct source instead of an agent. Avoid agencies or a third party who doesn’t have a secure site or lacks an online presence.
The best way is to travel through a riding app like Uber or Careem. These apps allow you to share your ride details with the loved ones. In addition to that, you have details of the driver and can see where you are headed. In case you have to book a tour, do it through your travel agent or hotel that you are staying in.
- Take Photos of Your Surroundings
Do not feel awkward to take pictures while renting a vehicle. Try to cover the agency or person in your photos who are renting out. This will help you avoid any fake damage claims. They will know that you are cautious and hence you will not be targeted. However, don’t hand over your passport in any case. It is better to deposit cash than losing your passport. If someone signals you that you have a problem with a vehicle, ignore them. You can pull over and examine it later but don’t do it immediately.
Take pictures of your surroundings to dodge a scam. This will also help you find your way in case you are lost. Take photos of the hotel and area where you are staying. Take a picture of your room while leaving to know if someone has searched your room in your absence.
- It’s OK to Stay Aside
Another common scam is asking for help. People distract you with a gesture or shout only to rob you and steal your possessions. Do not try to be too polite, it’s ok to stay away. You can call on an emergency line if you want to but don’t get distracted.
- Avoid the Company of Strangers
Travelers are often scammed when they are in the company of a stranger. It’s ok to make new friends on a distant land but never be too friendly. People often try to con travelers by selling goods or services that are unique. Like pearls or traditional sculpture. However, it is in your best interest to avoid such purchasing. Your friends may appear nice but they can be part of a scam too.
You can dodge a number of scams by following a straight forward approach. Do not try to polite for the sake of making some stranger happy. Being nice isn’t going to keep you safe. So don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ to someone that you may never see again in your life.