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Video Credit: The Wise Traveller

Whether you’re on a trip for business or pleasure, scammers and thieves see travellers as the next potential victim to fleece. Here are some of the most common scams to be aware of, courtesy of The Wise Traveller:

 

Porters’ Help – At A Price

The Wise Traveller

A common simple scam is that of a Good Samaritan such as an airport worker offering to help tourists take their luggage to the exit point. You may think it’s a nice gesture – only for that to turn bitter when the ‘porter’ demands a fee for the carrying and fetching. If you don’t pay up, you could find yourself surrounded by other ‘porters’ coming to the defence of their ‘friend’ and the perceived slight. Facing the inevitable delays, you’ll be pressured into paying the porter off – just to get your luggage back.

The Wise Traveller suggests: Never let your baggage out of your sight or your hand. And always be weary of trusting a helping hand that may well turn into a grasping one.

 

Phone Tricks Should Ring Alarms

The Wise Traveller

Phone booths in airports attract scammers and allow local operators to charge premium call rates. Today most phone booths allow you to charge to your credit card, and the bills can be eye-watering. Travellers may also fall foul of a local promotion to ‘rent’ a mobile phone for the duration of the holiday and hand it back – except they are unaware of the sky-high charges and add-ons fees that are charged to their credit card. Using your own mobile/cell phone on uncontrolled ‘international roaming’ can equally provide a feeling of being scammed well after you get home from your trip.

The Wise Traveller suggests: Avoid phones in airports at all costs. If you need to make a call, try doing so via Skype using secured Wi-Fi. If you do take your own mobile phone, plan ahead with a international roaming plan, consider buying a pre-paid local SIM card that works for the duration of your holiday, or, if you are travelling to a number of destinations, get a global roaming SIM card from a reputable compan

 

Pickpockets and Thieves

The Wise Traveller

Scourge of most airports are those that lurk and walk away with your luggage and unattended baggage. Or they may even swap your bag for a similar one. Unattended laptops are a thief’s paradise, and unlocked cases can also offer a nimble-fingered baggage handler a feast of opportunities.

The Wise Traveller suggests: Lock your baggage, keep your wallets and purses covered, keep hold of your valuable items or within sight at all times, and avoid being bumped as it could be a thief at work. Try to keep your personal space and avoid people leaning in or distracting you. Try and split up your cash and valuables (don't keep them all together).

 

Lapping up the Laptops

The Wise Traveller

If you feel safe hugging your laptop, then you may be surprised that you could be vulnerable when you get two passengers working in tandem to nick your laptop right on point at the security gate. With one in front and one already cleared, seeing your laptop disappear on the conveyor belt may well be the last time you do see it. Equally, be wary of piggybacking unsecured Wi-Fi for laptops, as you may well fall foul of a hacker looking to scoop up your ID info.

The Wise Traveller suggests: Never let your laptop out of your sight and scream and holler if someone grabs it. For the ‘silent theft’ of ID using Wi-Fi hot zones, opt for using the airport’s Wi-Fi or a secured zone, such as a café. Avoid using unsecured network,s or if you do, keep it quick and don’t enter private information or passwords and never do credit card or banking transactions.

 

The Wise Traveller

 

ATM'd Out Of A Holiday

A favourite for scammers is to ‘help’ a poor unfortunate arrival at the unfamiliar ATM machine in the airport. Little does the victim realise that scammers are secretly siphoning off their bank details and are then maxing out their accounts. Scammers can also modify ATMs by placing a small reader on or near the card slot. These simple little boxes will read your card and store the information, allowing the scammers to replicate a credit card in minutes.

The Wise Traveller suggests: Never accept help from anyone (even if they are well-dressed) and never give your pin numbers out. And if you scent trouble or think things aren’t right, cancel the transaction and report it immediately to airport or bank security. If the ATM looks tampered with or you are unsure about it, avoid using it. Try to arrange a little local currency prior to arriving so you can avoid the airport ATMs altogether.

Comments

Rated
8
Richard
ELITE
779 comments
11 November 2019
As a pilot and a frequent traveler this is a fantastic article for most. Thanks for sharing.
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Rated
8
John
ELITE
189 comments
5 November 2019
Here's another excellent article with some great travel advice. How to Avoid Extra Fees Invading Your Hotel Bill...Much to a traveller's dismay, extra fees are just like little minions that appear unannounced and unwanted on your final hotel bill. The amount you paid for the hotel room fades into insignificance compared to the costs incurred whilst in situ at the hotel. From that room service pig out to letting the kids watch their favourite movie, they all add up on the day of reckoning. Hotels, desperate to increase their bottom lines, seem to have a "no holds barred" approach when it comes to charging for so-called extras. It is now estimated that at least 75 per cent of hotel guests are paying well above the price they have initially paid for their room. One reason why cruises are seeing resurgence on the holiday market is because of their one up-front cost, which includes everything, so there are no nasty surprises at the end of the holiday. Read on for a few pointers on how to avoid the post-holiday debt blues. https://www.expatchoice.asia/travel/how-avoid-extra-fees-invading-your-hotel-bill
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