When people get ready to travel somewhere, they often check out the weather forecast, currency rates, major landmarks beforehand. However, they fail to educate themselves on how to avoid various scams when traveling. Let’s fix this and discuss the top five ways you can secure yourself during your trip.
What is a traveler advantage scam?
There is no precise definition of a traveler advantage scam since it happens in different forms. It can happen anytime during your trip from buying online tickets and booking rooms, to having your smartphone hacked while you use an unsecured Wi-Fi spot on the other side of the world. The scams’ rates are growing annually and more scams appear.
The main travelers’ advantage scams you must avoid
- Third-party discount travel scams.
When choosing a holiday destination, many travelers are tempted by discounts. Some firms lure their clients offering instant discounts for hotels, flights, cruises, etc. The only thing you need is to pay a small sum with your credit or debit card. All the clients get a promise that after the payment, they’ll get unbelievably low prices.
- Free vacation.
Some travelers often come across free vacation offers. They often come from companies you’ve never heard of. However, there is always a catch. You must know and detect the major signs of a scam. One of them is a beautiful picture & description without specifics (dates, the name of the hotel, resort, airline, etc.)
- Rental fraud.
It’s booming now as travelers tend to pick Airbnb and private residential home rentals. Such fraud often involves huge discounts on travel rentals. The owner convinces you to pay immediately and offers an almost luxurious apartment. However, when the customer shows up, he sees deteriorated rooms. And this is the best-case scenario. It might turn out that the owner is another person who never offered the accommodation for rent at all.
The good news is that some sites now offer protection against such situations. Yet, it can be rather difficult to get in touch with customer support and get the money back.
- Bait-and-switch scams.
This is a very widespread rental fraud. It basically offers highly desirable accommodation. After a person books it and arrives, the property manager says it’s currently unavailable and gives you a less desirable option.
- Currency exchange scams.
Traveling overseas, it’s important to take caution when exchanging the currency. The street-based exchanges might seem user-friendly but charge high fees or give you the wrong sum of money. They count on you not knowing the exchange rates. Anyway, it’s better and safer to change money in banks. Moreover, you should find out about the exchange rate beforehand.
Traveling experience can only be great if you take precautions and secure yourself from scams. Using the knowledge about these widespread fraud schemes, you are sure to be more attentive now. However, you can come across other issues. For example, you should be very careful using free Wi-Fi spots. To prevent identity theft or hacker attacks, it’s better to use a reliable VPN.