How to Avoid Scams While Traveling | Charleston is a great place to live. Living in Charleston is like always being on vacation; there are new things to do every day, from amazing restaurants to sites and plantations to visit. Charleston is full of historic homes that are usually a rectangular shape, at least two stories tall, and have a porch on the side of each story, and the short side of the home faces the street. According to some sources, one of the reasons the homes were built this way is to get a breeze during the hot summer months. Charleston houses for sale are selling at a record pace. Sellers are regularly receiving multiple offers due to an inventory shortage combined with amazing demand for homes in Charleston.
Going on vacation or taking a trip anywhere can be a great break from everyday life, but there are still some stressful moments that can occur. Traveling can be an amazing adventure, yet it comes with risk. The majority of people you meet will be honest and kind. However, there is always that chance of someone trying to dupe you in some way. Traveling to another country puts you at a disadvantage from the onset. You are overwhelmed and unsure of things. Unfortunately, this is the perfect opportunity for you to be taken advantage of. Travel scammers know this, and their scams are designed to capitalize on it at your expense.
Any time you travel, you want to know that you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself safe. Here are a few tips to avoid scams while traveling.
Research the Area You’re Visiting
Even if you’re traveling to a beautiful location at the top of your bucket list, it can still be a dangerous place to visit in some areas. You can be a victim of a scam or find yourself in an unsafe situation in most major cities if you aren’t careful. Before you leave for your trip, you should research how safe the place you’re visiting is or if there are any certain places to avoid. You might also be able to learn about specific scams that tourists experience in that area so that you know what to expect and can make a plan to avoid it.
Use Reputable Tour Services
If you’re traveling to a new city, you’re probably interested in going on at least one tour. This can be a great way to learn more about the location you’re visiting, but many people get scammed doing this. In some locations, there are fake tour services that take your money, without getting what you paid for. Not only do you waste your money, but going on a tour in an unfamiliar area with strangers who aren’t real tour guides could put your safety at risk. If you do want to go on a tour, make sure you research beforehand to ensure the company you use is reputable.
Take Reliable Transportation
Beware of taxi scams in New York. A person may approach you and offer a ‘taxi.’ However, this is not an official driver meaning they can charge you whatever they want and get away with it. Of course, this is not legal, but most tourists do not realize it is a scam. Another taxi scam – is tied to a hotel. While en route to your hotel, the driver will tell you your hotel is either closed or overbooked and then take you to a more expensive hotel where the driver receives a big commission.
Be Careful of Your Money
Switching of money. The taxi driver gives you less change than you should receive. Or worse, he/she will quickly swap out a $5 for a $50 bill and claim you didn’t pay enough money. This has even occurred at the foreign exchange booth when you ask to change money. During the exchange, the worker switches the bills, and you end up with less than you paid for. Always check and double-check your money, remain calm, and don’t rush.
Take Photos of What You Rent
Another scam to look out for – you being accused of damaging something. The scammer will claim, “you damage it, you pay.” You rent something, and upon return, you are met with demands for payment for existing damage on it. Your passport may be held, and the police may be called. Always inspect it and take photos of the existing damage, showing the hire operator before renting any vehicle or equipment.
Protect Your Bags and Pockets
Pickpocketers are extremely common in tourist destinations around the world. An experienced pickpocketer can easily make money from your bag or pockets quickly, without you even noticing. In some instances, they might cause a scene or distract you to make it easier to steal from you. To ensure that your money and any other valuables are safe, make sure they can’t be easily grabbed. Don’t leave money or your wall anywhere visible, or somewhere that can be grabbed quickly. If you’re carrying a bag with you, make sure it’s always visible and unable to be opened by anyone but you.
Don’t Take Any Free Things
Sometimes, scammers will offer you something “free.” For example, there might be someone who randomly offers you a bracelet, and they may even insist you take it. This might seem like a nice gesture and a token that you can bring home to remember your trip, but it’s not as simple as this. Things like this are often a scam, and once you accept whatever someone is giving you, they expect to be paid for it. Even if you try to give it back, they may continue to insist that you pay them back. Whenever someone tries to offer you something when you’re traveling, don’t take it and just walk away instead.
Watch Out for Fake Tickets
During your vacation, there might be a few times when you need to get tickets for transportation, such as a train or bus. You might also want tickets to go see a game or show during your trip. Tickets can often be hard and expensive to get, especially if it’s last minute. Tourists looking for tickets is a great opportunity for scammers to take advantage of them. This is something that happens all over the place. You’re struggling to find tickets or want a better price for them, and suddenly someone offers you what seems like legitimate tickets. However, these tickets are fake and now you’ve wasted your money. When you’re looking for tickets for anything, be sure that you’re buying them from an actual seller, it’s much more worth it to pay a little more or deal with a long wait if what you’re buying is real.
Always Stay Alert
Anyone can become the victim of a scam, and they can sometimes be hard to detect. Wherever you go, even if it’s somewhere close to where you live, you should stay alert and watch your surroundings. However, don’t let potential scams be all that you think about. Traveling can sometimes feel scary when you think too much about the bad things that can happen. While it’s important to stay alert and be aware that things like those listed above can happen, you don’t want to stress yourself out and ruin your trip.