Travel Scams – 6 Vacation Traps

When you are out traveling, enjoying your time in a different culture and taking in all the new impressions, it can be easy to let your guard down a little bit. While most people in this world are nice and welcoming to travelers, just keep in mind that there are those who are not so nice. We have listed a couple of the most common travel scams so that you can keep an eye out, and hopefully avoid them.


The Friendship Bracelet – Not a very nice friendship

scam bracelet vit

How to avoid: Awareness is key to solve this one. If you don’t want the bracelet, don’t let the ‘salesmen’ touch you. Confession time: I have actually fallen for this one myself.


A Golden Ring – The deal of your life?

scam ring vit

How to avoid: Tell the lovely person that a golden ring ain’t your thing and you should be fine. Not all that glitters is gold.


The Rosemary Sprig – A blessing or a curse?

scam rosemary vit

How to avoid: Don’t worry, the woman doesn’t have magic powers. You and your family are safe.


A ‘free’ massage? – A ‘free’ no thanks!

scam massage vit

How to avoid: Go to this link and show him that his definition of free slightly differs from the norm.


The Fake Policemen – Live to serve and scam

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How to avoid: This one is hard. It is not easy to say no to someone dressed as policemen, and it is a serious crime as opposed to some other parts of this list. The best course of action is probably to call the real police and avoid carrying too much cash.


The Music Artist – You are not just his customer but also his PR agent

travel scams

How to avoid: Leave the CD on the ground and start walking away from them. They probably won’t take the time to argue further, so they will just move on to the next unsuspecting tourist.


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Now, you are hopefully a little bit more prepared! Still though, there is no shame in getting scammed. These guys are professionals at it and this guy right here, me, has been fooled not just once but several times in different ways. I have a ‘lovely’ reggae bracelet at home and my name on a petition for something I have no idea about to prove it. I guess that’s what happens when you are a little bit too unsuspecting of people, a little bit naive. At the same time, they are somehow both very fond memories and make for great stories. I guess there is an upside to everything. But even if you should keep an eye out, don’t be too paranoid. Not everyone is a scammer. =)

Henrik Vilén
Loves architecture, old landmarks and prefers to spend his time abroad in quaint, small towns or in the countryside. Is the happiest when sitting at a local café with the only sounds being a dog distantly barking in harmony with chatter in foreign languages. The next item on his bucket list is the Easter Island.