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Forums » Health, Safety & Travel Insurance » Travel Scams


Travel Scams

by Ramblinman »

Interesting if discouraging list of coomon scams against tourists in this news story.

Captain Larry

RE: Travel Scams

by Captain Larry »

I am fortunate that I have not been subjected to any of the listed traumas, but some members of groups with which I have been traveling have been so targeted. But, a couple of anecdotes...

We took a taxi from Shipol Airport to the harbor in Amsterdam. We did not yet have any Euros in hand but the cabbie said not to worry, he would accept any major credit card. So we paid with our MasterCard which he ran through his embossing machine that makes a paper copy of the card face. Even in 2006 that was old school, but I thought nothing of it. When we returned home some three weeks later we had a number of phone messages from our credit card supplier. It seems that our credit card had been charged for some $3,500 in London. We had been in The Netherlands, Germany, and Austria. The bank denied the charges, cancelled our card, and issued a new one, all within 48 hours of our return home. I had given the bank our itinerary, including dates, so they were alert to the charges from a location not on that itinerary. We were out nothing.

I spent a couple of weeks in Manama, Bahrain. Our usual evening activity was a stroll through the suq, not really shopping but mostly people watching. One of my companions was hit by the "bird poop on the jacket" routine. Except it was real pigeon poop, and the person helping to clean him up was the proprietor of the stand in front of which it happened. It was all on the "up and up". The stand where the incident happened was a perfume stand, and the proprietor even sprayed my friend with some sample perfume to cover the odor. We all, including the nearby merchants, got a good laugh from the incident.

I have changed my routine several times over the years as I read about various ways tourists are preyed upon. I have never reverted to the "old way" after making such a change. I figure what is good for me in Rome or Berlin is good for me in Pittsburgh or Washington, DC. Such articles as the one referenced here should be used for education and not for intimidation.


RE: Travel Scams

by billiv »

I think taxi cab scams are still among the most common.  Twice we've been to Spain, and both times on our last day, the cab driver tried to ding us for a bunch of made-up extra charges on the meter when we arrived at the airport.  It does leave a bit of a sour memory at the end of the trip.  I guess we will use public transport or a prepaid van service next if we ever go to Spain again.