Whenever you leave the borders of your own country, you open yourself up to getting scammed.
It’s part of being in a foreign environment. You don’t know how things work and sometimes, you don’t even know you’ve been ripped off until it’s too late. That’s why Canada AM host Bev Thomson sat down with Travel Expert Loren Christie, so that the next time you travel, you’ll arrive prepared.
Getting overcharged by a taxi
This is an extremely common problem, but there’s an easy fix. Before you even leave for your trip, call the hotel you plan to stay at and ask them how much a cab should cost from the airport to their location. Then, before you even put one bag in any cab once you arrive, negotiate a flat fare for around that amount. At the very least, ensure the fare meter is on and working!
Your cab driver tells you your hotel is overbooked
If you haven’t made a reservation at a hotel prior to leaving, your cab driver may tell you the hotel you plan to stay at is overbooked. Generally, drivers who do this receive a small commission for bringing passengers to a certain other hotel. Simply tell them you have a reservation at the hotel you first mentioned (whether you actually do or not) and that you’ve already paid for it.
You rent a vehicle that gets lost or damaged while in your possession
If you were negligent with the vehicle and that’s what led to it being damaged or stolen, unfortunately, that’s on you. But in some rare instances, vehicle rental shops may actually recruit people to go out and damage their own vehicles after they have been rented to force you into forking over cash. To avoid this, take lots of photos of the vehicle before you even leave the shop (even take some while you’re in the vehicle), so that you can prove it wasn’t damaged when you left. If you’re unsure about where the damage came from, do not listen to the advice of where the rental shop tells you to get the vehicle repaired. Instead, ask staff at your hotel.
The group photo scam
If you’re standing near a landmark with a bunch of friends and someone offers to take your picture, be careful. While this person could be trying to be friendly, you should see it as a little suspicious that they seem so eager to take your picture (and possibly run off with your device while you’re posing). Selfie sticks can help you get around this problem. Alternatively, ensure that you are the one approaching someone to ask if they can take your photo.
For more tips on avoiding common travel scams, check out the video above.