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7 Tourist Scams to be aware of in 2020 - High Risk Voyager

1) The Ring

You are minding your own business when without realising it, someone drops a ring in front of you and asks if it's yours. When you inform them that the ring doesn't belong to you, they will inspect the ring and try to prove to you that it is real gold and very valuable. They will then badger you to buy it at a much higher price than it is worth.

In this situation, a suggestion is to not engage in conversation with this person if you can help it and just keep walking. When the person asks if the ring is yours, just give a firm no and walk away very briskly.

2) The Stripper

In the middle of a busy square or shopping market, a woman is accused of theft by a vendor. She starts causing a scene by shouting at the vendor and begins emptying her pockets and stripping to her underwear to prove she hasn't stolen anything and so the vendor apologises. While this argument escalates, naturally passers-by stop to watch the drama unfold and while they are distracted, pick-pocketers make their move on the crowd. The vendor, lady and pick-pocketers are working together.

If you spot the drama unfolding, just keep walking to your chosen destination and avoid the crowds!

3) The Loose Change

You see a 'helpless stranger' drop their change all over the floor and as a good Samaritan, you may be inclined to go and help them pick it up. However, be cautious as while you're helping them pick their change up off the floor, their friend will be watching and waiting for an opportunity to pick your pockets or grab your bag while you're pre-occupied.

As bad as you may feel, it isn't worth the risk of losing your camera, your wallet or worse, your passport. Divert eye contact and keep moving.

4) The Dropped Wallet

You see an empty wallet on the floor, as you walk past you instinctively check that your own purse or wallet is safe. An onlooker will see this, possibly the person that placed the wallet on the floor and they will make a note of where you checked your wallet and will know exactly where to put their hands when they pickpocket you a little further down the road.

Rather than checking the safety of your wallet there and then, walk a little bit further down the road or stop off in a caf� for a drink and check it there out of sight of the scammer.

5) The Slow Counting Cashier

You enter a money exchange centre in order to change your local currency into that of the destination you are visiting. A cashier will begin counting through your change but this will seem painfully slow and often, they will take long pauses.

This is in the hope you will either lose patience or to trick you in to believing they have finished counting so you take the money and bid your goodbyes, leaving you with a lower sum than you're owed.

6) The Room Inspectors

You are relaxing in your hotel room when all of a sudden, there's a knock at your door. There are two people outside dressed as hotel employees asking to enter for a routine 'room inspection'. You allow them entry as they look official and whilst one carries out their 'checks' the other will distract you with conversation. After they leave, you realise your valuables are missing that you left on the dresser. You've just been scammed.

Before answering the door, call down to reception and ask if they carry out routine room inspections and if so, ask if your room is currently on the list. Alternatively, open the door a jar with the chain lock still in-tact and ask to see their hotel ID's and confirm the 'employee's' status whilst on the phone to reception.

7) The Free Massage

You are relaxing on the beach when a local approaches asking if you would like a massage. You politely decline however, they instead offer you a free sample massage for free. If you choose to accept, once they have started, they will hang around and pester you for payment for what you received.

Just say no to both and if you do decide on having a massage, find a reputable masseuse in your hotel or at an official establishment.

Buy your Travel Insurance before you leave

Before you head on that business, leisure or volunteering trip, one of the most important things to remember is to book your travel insurance!

Be prepared, get protected with High Risk Voyager travel insurance. One of the smartest and best ways to protect yourself overseas is to make-sure you have good, quality travel insurance.

Remember, if you do fall foul to a scam abroad, report it to the police as soon as possible, get a copy of the police report and check your travel insurance policy on how to make a claim.

This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice in any way. The information provided here is correct at the time of writing however please check the latest policy wording for the latest terms, conditions and exclusions.

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