Since we were a kid, our parents have always reminded us to not talk to strangers, more so, trust them. However, when you are traveling, you've got no one else but other travelers and locals to guide you through your journey. In which, it is advisable to build friendships and connection in order to gain a better travel experience. Although, being skeptic and paranoid can sometimes save you from tears of being a victim.
People will go lengths when it comes to gaining a quick buck, especially when desperation is present. Having said this, being wary and careful will come in handy whenever you're overseas or out-of-town.
Avoid becoming a target of these scammers and read this list of scams compiled by Cosmo Philippines which are common to travelers.
1. The Fake Police
Whenever someone approaches you and accuses you of something, don't immediately turnover your passport. Stay alert! These people will try to pressure you into giving them this, but what you can do is to tell them that you are only providing the necessary documents in a police station. Better yet, just inform them that your passport is not with you.
2. The Broken Taxi Meter
Other than airports, the next thing travelers are greeted by once landing in a new place are taxi drivers. This might be the oldest trick in this list, but still, people are being taken advantage with this. Taxi drivers do this to ask for an absurd amount on everyone, not only foreigners. The best thing to do is get off the cab once you find out about the "broken taxi meter." When it is necessary for you to take that cab, it is advisable to negotiate the rates or stop in front of a nearby police officer or station.
3. The Pretender
In the middle of the night, you might receive a phone call from front desk agent asking to confirm your credit card details. Only to find out that you've been scammed and they've maxed out your credit card. One option is to put down the phone and call the front desk yourself. Second option is to walk over and personally hand over the information to them. Handing out sensitive information such as credit card details should not be taken lightly.
4. The Photographer
Sometimes, Instagram-worthy photos are not taken on your own. This kind of scammer will pose as a friendly stranger offering to take your picture. Whilst, it's lovely that people are still showing kindness, read the situation. Throw shade if something stinks.
5. The Rental
According to CosmoPH, this scam is most common around South East Asia. If you ever end up renting a bike to stroll around, someone might sneak in the middle of the night and cause damage to it leaving you with additional cost for repair. What you can do is to take picture of the motorbike's current stage. Also, use your own lock and not the one provided by the rental place. Lastly, don't tell the owner where you are actually staying. If damage occurs, bring the bike to someone else and not the shop the owner recommends.