Beware of These Tricky Tourist Scams

If you’re planning on taking a vacation overseas or even close to home, it might pay to take a look at some of the more inventive scams that target tourists and travelers around the world.  In a recent infographic, Just the Flight details 40 of the most common and deceptive scams, and where they are most often used. Feel free to check it out for yourself or read further to see some of the most memorable and relevant ones below.

In Rome, watch out for women who will approach you and toss her baby into your arms. While you’re preoccupied and surprised, her accomplices will take the opportunity to pickpocket you. You’ll feel like even more of a fool when you realize the baby was just a doll.

In Vegas, make sure you aren’t too dazzled by the flashing lights to keep track of your own luggage. Taxi drivers might purposefully leave one of your smaller bags in the trunk of his cab and make a quick getaway before you notice it’s missing.

Universally, it seems, tourists should watch out for locals who provide seemingly free services, only to demand payment afterwards, even if you originally refused.

Pickpockets deploy a myriad of strategies to get into your wallet. Most pickpockets, however, like to know where your cash is before they attempt to relieve you of it. In Rome and Ukraine pickpockets will strategically place wallets, that look like they’ve been stolen, on the street so that you will check that you still have yours, tipping the thieves of to which pocket it’s in. Some pickpockets actually put up warning signs in the area so that those walking by check to make sure they still have their wallets.

In Europe, make sure you check out your hotel before you go. Taxi Driver accomplices will convince you that your hotel is closed for refurbishment and direct you to another place that you can stay, which will be overpriced and out of the way. Sometimes these hotels have the same names as popular hotels in an attempt to fool visitors into thinking the photos online were incorrect, when in fact they are an entirely different hotel!

As always, if you’re vacationing in North America, check out any businesses you will be dealing with first at

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About Andrew Brailey

Andrew Brailey is the communications intern for the Council of Better Business Bureaus based in Arlington, VA. He is a sophomore at Elon University and is pursing majors in economics and political science. His hometown is Vienna, VA.