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 Practical tips on avoiding travel scams

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Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: Practical tips on avoiding travel scams   Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:04 pm

ANDREI MEDINA, GMA NEWS

For many Filipino families, the school vacation months of April and May in the Philippines are the perfect time for a family vacation.

However, travel scammers abound wherever we go, running after our hard-earned money.

A really bad travel scam can ruin any vacation. Here are a few scams that Filipinos can avoid when they travel:

Cheap bus ticket
Risk zone: Thailand

According to the travel site "Globe Spots," some scammers entice travelers into buying cheap bus tickets for their journey.

Globe Spots said the risk zone or the area where this will most likely happen, is in Thailand.

The scammer promises an earlier arrival, much earlier than what other bus companies offer.

Don't be tempted to ride with unscrupulous bus operators as your bags and luggage in the compartment area could be ransacked as you sleep.

The worst part is, the thief is part of the bus crew. You wouldn’t know what happened until the bus has left and you check your luggage.

'Dirt on shirt'
Risk Zone: Europe and South Africa

Globe Spots said this scam is usually done in crowded areas in Europe and South Africa.

Someone might bump into you or carelessly toss something that would land on your shirt.

A couple of “friendly” locals will immediately come to your rescue and offer to wipe the dirt with napkins.

You might find yourself unconsciously handing over your valuables to them as they try to "help" remove the dirt off your shirt.


Finders who do not keep
Risk Zone: Russia

Globe Spots said this trick has been going on at the Red Square for some time.

One person would pass by you and "accidentally" drop a wad of cash near your feet.

A second person will then arrive, pick up the cash, offer to share it with you, and then leave.

Then the first guy would return, demanding the full amount from you.

Rape allegation
Risk zone: Cambodia and other countries

Globe Spot said this scam is pretty hard to avoid especially for guys who love to party in places they hardly know.

Globe Spot noted that this scam happens in Cambodia "but probably elsewhere too."

While you are drinking in a bar, a local woman conveniently shows up and seduces you. From strangers, you suddenly become intimate lovers overnight.

She will also introduce you to her "family" and "friends," who may actually be her accomplices.

After about a couple of days, she will meet you at a public place and suddenly accuse you of raping her the previous night.

Her accomplices will then threaten to take you to the police unless you try to settle things with money.


Taxi scam

Meanwhile, the news site BBC said if you think taxi drivers are harmless then you are wrong.

This scam is pretty simple. The taxi driver asks where your destination is and will chat with you.

In a while, he will say that your hotel is already fully booked and he will “kindly” suggest another hotel just around the corner.

Make sure that you check with the hotel first or any online booking sites whether this is true or just another scam.

A reminder

Most of the locals in the countries you visit might actually be kind and helpful. However, remember to be vigilant and keep your common sense afloat at all times to avoid getting scammed. - VVP, GMA News
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