TikTok Account Exposes 23 Of The Most Used Tourist Scams That Still Work Because Not Enough People Are Aware Of Them
TikTok account @isotravels has released a series of videos titled "Known scams in every country" and while they don't cover every country, we can forgive the clickbait—underneath the slightly misleading title lies a comprehensive list of all the dirty ways in which people try to rob tourists blind.
From "artists" to "train inspectors", scammers come in many disguises and they're willing to use every trick in the book to make a dollar. Continue scrolling and check out what you should be careful of when traveling abroad.
To learn more about potential dangers abroad, Bored Panda got in touch with a travel blogger and speaker known online as A Lady in London. From what she has seen in the 112 countries she's been to, the places scammers target tourists the most are the places where tourism is prevalent.
"The more tourists there are in a place, the more scammers have easy targets. This is particularly true in big cities or places where large crowds of tourists congregate on a regular basis," A Lady in London said. "Touristy restaurants, street performances, and other areas can fall into this category as well."
We often dismiss stories about these experiences, thinking only naive and trusting people can fall for these cheap gimmicks. But according to American traveler Rick Steves, even sophisticated travelers can become victims; there are just too many subtle ways to be scammed — a cabbie pads your fare, a shop clerk suddenly inflates prices, a public Internet terminal records your password, or a waiter offers a special with a 'special' increased price. The list goes on.
In Europe, for example, Spain is considered the worst country for tourist scams. A few years ago, a survey by financial comparison website money.co.uk found that more than one in five UK holidaymakers who visited the country in the last year became victims of misdemeanors like the ones you see in the pictures. France came in second, and Italy was third. A similar study found that Barcelona was the worst city in Europe for scammers, with Paris and Rome closely behind.
But A Lady in London thinks tourist scams exist nearly everywhere, and it's often more about the specific scammers rather than the country as a whole. "Individuals who want to take advantage of tourists will operate regardless of location. Some places may have stricter laws against scams or punishments for them, so those countries might deter scams more. But that won't necessarily stop everyone. Culture and income disparities can play into whether there are more scammers, too," she pointed out.
Her biggest advice to avoid these situations is to always be aware of your surroundings and to trust your instincts. "Being aware of your surroundings will help you avoid common tourist scams like pickpocketing, and trusting your gut will help you avoid people who may seem friendly and helpful but are actually trying to swindle you," A Lady in London said. "Things like money belts and bag locks can help from a logistical standpoint, too."
Have you personally been wronged by scammers in the countries you visited? Let us know in the comments below. By sharing our experiences, we can help each other spot these opportunists before they cast their nets on us.