This Infographic Breaks Down The Most Common Travel Scams By Country

This Infographic Breaks Down The Most Common Travel Scams By Country

Keeping yourself, your money, and your possessions safe during travel is important. This can be especially daunting when you stick out as a tourist, making you an easy mark to spot for local tricksters.

This chart highlights issues to watch out for and some of the popular destinations around the world where they’re common. Check out the full infographic below for detailed info.

This Infographic Breaks Down The Most Common Travel Scams By Country

40 Tourist Scams to Avoid [Just The Flight]


  • Thanks for the useful infographic, another taxi scam is the declined eftpos scam which forces you to have to go to the nearest bank to get money out so you end up having to pay for 2 trips instead of 1 best method of preventing this is just to have emergancy cash in your wallet.

  • I’ve encountered a few of these types of scams:
    In Manilla, I was stopped by a car full of ‘police’ (unmarked car, plain clothes guys, no ID) who said they were looking for counterfeit US $. Happily I only had an Australian note and local currency. They wanted neither and let me out after patting me down in their futile search for US currency.
    The gypsy child scams in Rome were pretty irritating and transparent, kids would come up with a sheet of cardboard over their hand asking for money. I kept plenty of air between me and them as I ignored them; a nice Italian lady told them to scoot as she walked by, on one occasion (this was near them main railway station in Rome).
    In Istanbul I kept running into a carpet seller who ended up inviting me to his shop to check out the carpets. I went back, had some apple tea, listened to his line, which included that I could sell the carpet for a big profit when I got to Sweden, where I told him I was going (always have a fake story, then you won’t be so easily sucked in). So I told him to forget it, I was a back packer, how would I carry a carpet to Sweden? All was quite polite, but I walked out with money intact.

  • In Vietnam there are two govt taxi companies, cheap as chips if you use them. There are dozens of private companies with tampered meters though, they’ll cost you more than a taxi in Australia.

      • be very careful with cabs. Literally every time I caught a cab that wasn’t one of the two companies recommended by the lonely planet I got scammed.

      • I can’t remember the names or colours, best bet is to have your hotel organised fixed fare cabs until you’ve worked it out or call the proper company for you.

        Also tipping is not part of Vietnamese culture, but Americans have ruined it enough that some touristy places now see white people and expect tips. Places less effected will actually be embarrassed and refuse tips.

        I was happy to tip for great service, usually just round up my bill, but I wasn’t getting sucked into the “you’re white so tip everyone no matter how shit” Americans perpetuate. You can tell the dual economy going on due to tourism and tipping though, nearly everyone in the tourism industry has a smartphone, barely anyone outside it has one, there’s no way they could afford it. Go on a $60 tour with Americans and watch at the end, they’ll tip the guide $50-$100US, don’t think you need to do the same.

      • Oh, fake raybans, Hanoi night market were $7.50 for glasses identical to the ones for $240 in AU duty free. Ben Than markets in Saigon they wanted $80 for POS with plastic lenses. Fake watches, very limited in Hanoi, tonnes in Saigon, the ones in the front window of the shop are crap and will break quickly, they have more in cupboards behind that are closer to being replica for double the price, got a very good U-boat 1001 automatic copy for $65 or $70, wouldn’t trust it to be waterproof though. If you get shoes or clothes made in Hoi Ann, go to the bigger shops with a good reputation, they’ll all come up to you trying to get you to go to their aunties cheaper place that’ll make crap clothes and take longer. Big places don’t make you pay fully until you pickup. Don’t bother with leather, good leather doesn’t exist, and anything glued you might have to touch up, good glue doesn’t exist.

        More travel tips there than travel scam advice haha.

  • Wow, great infographic. First time I went to the states I had a wallet on a chain. Mostly because I didn’t want to be stranded if I left my wallet somewhere, but also so I wouldn’t get people trying these.

    Other places I visit, I always keep my hand in my pocket and on my wallet, and make a habit of doing the three taps (phone, wallet, keys) far more often than normal so I’m aware faster if something isn’t right.

  • Sweet knowledge, needs another infographic on how to avoid and counter some of these. But I suppose the best defense is to stay sharp.

  • The three taps is a giveaway to any pickpocket. You’re basically advertising where your stuff is.

    After travelling a bit in Europe I’ve seen.. the ring trick, that was in Paris. The friendship bracelet… that was also in PAris and I actually made a conscious decision to play along and see what happened. he wanted 10 euros! I laughed and told him I’d give him 2 euro coin for the experience.

    In Venice there are the aggressive fake handbag sellers.. beware, they really don’t like to lose a customer and will chase and threaten you. (witnessed this, avoided them entirely), there is also the Gypsy with the questionnaire. A ‘student’ with a clipboard will ask for a signature or similar for a petition, they’ll probably target you with something they think you might want to sign… while you’re busy with clipboard and pen you’ll be pickpocketed.

    I’d heard about this ruse, so was able to avoid when approached.

    All this was no avail though in Kuala Lumpur international airport because standing in line at Hungry Jacks a young kid pushed through the line. That was the last I ever saw my iPhone.

      • Actually.. rather stupidly it was in my laptop bag outer pocket. I’d just got off the plane and was juggling coat, bags etc so a bit laden down with stuff. Took the phone out of jacket pocket as it was too hot in the airport for a coat and popped in in the bag.

        Another thing to watch out for at KL is the ‘taxi’ drivers. We had a free airline supplied shuttle bus voucher but got surrounded by drivers saying the buses were full and the wait was long. We were hussled off to an ‘official counter’ and given a price. Some quick maths on my part worked it out to be about US$200 !!!! They weren’t happy with me dragging my companions away and to the bus. (which wasn’t full, and was about 15mins wait)

  • Have to include the Bali airport scam, where people wait at the baggage carousel wearing official looking uniforms. They politely smile and ask “Are these your bags?” before whisking you through security, then demanding payment. Get through security pretty quick though…

  • On my first day in India, in Calcutta, I was approached by an old woman with a baby. She didn’t ask for money, but instead asked me to buy her some powdered milk to feed the baby. Since this fitted my idea of practical assistance for the poor, I followed her as she led me to a nearby pharmacist. The pharmacist seemed bothered by her presence and was quite rude to her, which got me feeling quite cross with him, but eventually I was able to purchase the baby powder for her and she left with it.

    Later I found out that the scam is very common in Calcutta – the beggar and the pharmacist are working together. She returns the unopened powdered milk to the pharmacist who pays her a small percentage of the purchase price, then returns the box to the shelf for resale.

    The not very hungry looking baby probably should have been a warning.

    It wasn’t a lot of money, but I felt pretty stupid and annoyed at being tricked. Next time I buy someone food, I’ll be ensuring it is not returnable – open the box or something.

    • I got this one near Chowringhee too, but couldn’t work out the angle. Anyway, as I am suspicious by nature, I bought the powdered milk (which was in a plastic container) for the woman but screwed the lid off, punctured the foil seal with my finger, then handed it to her. I knew that it couldn’t be resold whole that way.

  • I was scammed in KL when buying aftershave. The tester is genuine. The product you receive is fake, although the bottle and packaging look real.
    It smells like toilet freshener, which is exactly what I am using it for.

  • There is a government certified scam on the inter-city trains in Italy. I bought a train ticket from Florence to Pisa and because I did not “validate” the ticket (put it in a device which prints the date and time it was put in the machine), I got a 40 Euro fine on the spot. It’s not like this is a metro service and I had a stored value card that needed to be validated for this trip. The ticket was for this specific service and at this specific time. It’s a scam designed to remove money from tourists.

  • We had a mate’s carry-on backpack stolen from between his feet when he was in the line for train tickets in Spain. The lady behind us was sitting on a large box/chest and wouldn’t move when we went looking for the bag. We think the box was hollowed out – just the right size for his bag!

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