Be Aware: Travel Scams

If you’re planning a gap year adventure, your travels may take you to places you’ve only ever imagined. However, whilst you’re enjoying your expedition, you must be aware of any new and potential dangers the destination may present.

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Petty thefts and scams happen all over the world – including in the UK, so the risk these present shouldn’t stop you from travelling and experiencing everything possible, but being aware of them could prevent you from becoming a victim.
Travel company Cheap Flights recently created a handy infographic explaining common travel scams from around the world, and how to avoid them. For example around popular tourist attractions in Italy and France, you may be approached by someone who will tie a ‘friendship bracelet’ string around your wrist, and then immediately and aggressively demand money for it. If you feel a local is being too friendly, and offering you ‘free’ things you don’t want, walk away and contact the police if necessary.
Another common scam happens in Italy and Eastern Europe, where a woman will approach you and practically toss her baby into your arms. While you’re busy trying to figure out what is happening, her accomplices will rob you and run before you realise the baby is actually a doll!
Travel scams can happen all over the world, but you should be especially careful when choosing a taxi driver. There are many different types of taxi scams, for example a driver may tell you that your hotel or attraction is closed, and instead take you to a much dearer destination – the driver of course gets a cut for each guest he brings. If your taxi driver attempts this trick on you, demand to be taken to the correct place (closed or not), or ask him to pull over.
Another common taxi scam is the claim that their metre is broken, then charging you extortionate rates when you arrive. To avoid this nasty trick, agree a rate beforehand or find a taxi with a working metre.
Before your trip, ensure you do plenty of research on your chosen destination(s), just to check if there is anything you should be especially aware of.

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