3 Common Tourist Scams and How Travelers Can Avoid Them

One of the most exciting things about traveling to a new destination is experiencing the feeling of being completely outside of your comfort zone. Unfortunately, whenever you venture to a place that you are unfamiliar with, you run the risk of being confronted by a scammer. The following are some of the most common scams that travelers have reported—and some tips for beating scammers at their own game.

  • Currency craziness. Some of the most common international scams rely on a traveler’s unfamiliarity with the local currency. From “accidentally” giving you the wrong change in a store to a conversion rate that vastly favors the local, there is an endless number of ways that travelers can have their money separated from them. Before you leave, spend some time getting familiar with the look and feel of the native currency you’ll be receiving, and always remember to count your change when shopping with cash. You can also download the XE Currency app to quickly convert USD to hundreds of foreign currencies at the most recent market rate.
  • The destroyed hotel. When your flight finally lands in your destination of choice, you hail a cab from the airport and tell the driver the name of your hotel or resort. The driver has terrible news—your hotel has burned down!  Or been closed for renovations. Or went out of business. Or is just plain awful. But don’t worry—he or she has a cousin who owns a resort, and the driver is kind enough to take you there instead.  If you run into this type of taxi scammer, stand your ground or threaten to hop into another taxi because chances are high that the hotel would have contacted you if it actually burned to the ground. You’ll often find that the driver suddenly remembers that they were thinking of a different hotel when you try to take your business elsewhere.
  • The travel guide scammers. A number of fake travel sites have popped up claiming to be the U.S. branch of legitimate international travel companies. These fakes may use a name and URL that’s close to the name of the real resort and may put up a copycat website to boot. You can protect yourself against frauds by working only with known travel agencies in Philadelphia, PA—meeting with your agents face-to-face before booking greatly decreases your chances of being scammed.

Jet Set Travels is the best travel agency in Philadelphia, PA—and we’re ready to get you on the road to your next adventure safely! Give us a call today at 215-309-8272 to learn more!



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