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Tourists Beware The Most Frequent Tricks Used to Target Tourists

Scammers and thieves love highly trafficked tourist areas, and their favorite targets are people who obviously havenât traveled much and donât look capable of defending themselves. Yet even those of us who have traveled widely arenât immune to scams. Crooks are always coming up with new rackets, and their creativity can be astonishing. So, whether youâre a new traveler or a worldly veteran, donât fall into the trap of thinking youâre too smart to be scammed. In foreign countries, weâre all a little disoriented at times, and we may be blind to things that are happening right under our noses. So stay on guard, and watch out for these tricks.

Corrupt cabbies: Being overcharged by cabbies is the number one scam faced by tourists in Europe and elsewhere. Thatâs why itâs a good idea to take cabs only rarely or in emergencies. Instead, depending on what type of trip youâre going on, use transportation or rent a car. And if you plan to take a cab, say, from the airport to your hotel, print out driving directions and maps beforehand. That way, if the cabbie tries to take you the long way, youâll be able to call him on it. Also, obviously, only use certified cabbies. Research ahead of time how to identify the legitimate cabs in the area youâll be visiting.

Fake police: Fake police in foreign countries usually donât even have to try very hard to be convincing, as naïve tourists will not know how to identify a real local cop. And once the scammer identifies himself as a police officer, some people will do anything he asks, including handing over their wallets. Be aware of what real police look like, and know your rights. In most countries, police canât arbitrarily stop you and ask to see your ID or inspect your bags. Most laws governing police behavior are similar to those in the U.S. Do a little research before going.

Miscounting: Itâs very common for people like waiters, currency exchangers, and cabbies to try to give the wrong change to tourists. When paying, especially with a large bill, state aloud how much you are handing them, and make sure they give you the correct change. Donât be in a rush. And if they give you the wrong amount of change or try to take a larger tip than you intended to give them, donât hesitate to speak up. You may feel impolite doing so, but remember thereâs a good chance that theyâre knowingly trying to rob you.

Helpful locals: Beware of people who seem a little overanxious to help you with somethingâsuch as finding your seat on a trainâthat youâre perfectly capable of doing yourself. Politely decline their assistance, and make sure not to let them help you. Thereâs a good chance theyâre going to demand a tip for their dubious service. Also, watch out for people in fake uniforms.

Attractive locals: If an attractive person starts coming on to you on the street or in a restaurant or bar and it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A common racket in many foreign countries involves enticing single young men into dark nightclubs, where they are then not allowed to leave until they hand over their money.

About Author Caterina Christakos :

Caterina Christakos is a published author and reviewer. Read her latest reviews of <a href="" target="_blank">hudson jeans sale</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">7 for mankind</a>.

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Article Added on Sunday, April 4, 2010
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