Scammers, criminals and lowlifes await you on vacation; so if you want to stay safe, avoid these popular scams. Don’t be a victim to immoral people all over the world who are waiting to swindle you out of your hard earned money. Tourist are conned and stolen from every day in every possible way imaginable. I’ve had some of these happen to me so everyone is susceptible.

Common scams:

Pick Pocket

This is number one for a reason, it happens all the time. Why do people not take care of their valuables? First rule of traveling: NEVER keep your wallet in your back pocket!

Simple rule but so many people fail to follow it. I carry a traveler’s wallet, it slings over my shoulder and I keep it under my shirt. The pickpocket would have to literally take my shirt off and only my wife and doctor have that privilege.

Women keep your purse under your jacket or double wrapped around your wrist. Ladies, your purses are a huge target and pickpockets can plan their attack from any angle.

Pickpockets run all sorts of scams to get your attention away from the fact that they are taking your wallet. Here are the most common pickpocket scams.

The Bump

This is a great diversion, since you are physically being bumped; all your attention is being diverted to the initial strike. While you are being bumped, your wallet is skillfully being taken out of your pocket or purse. When in large crowds or small areas pay extra attention to your loot.

Misdirection

This is usually a two-person scam. The first criminal is somehow stealing your attention while the accomplice cleverly snags your goodies. The misdirection can be anything from asking for directions or trying to sell you something. As long as they break your concentration and you are sidetracked, they’ve already won. Again, an easy way to avoid this widespread trick is to keep your wallet or purse safe.

The Spill

Pickpockets will clumsily spill something on your clothing and while they haphazardly try to clean it up, they are expertly pilfering your stuff. So, if some stranger spills coffee on you, DON’T let them help you clean it up. They will not only get coffee on your fantastic pea coat, but they will be spending your cash in no time flat.

Taxi Scams

The Overcharge

This is the most common one and happens everywhere, even in your hometown. Taxi drivers can spot a mark from a mile away and will exploit your naivety for their benefit. I’ve had this happen to me a few times and its more common than you think. The cab driver will either take you on an extremely long route or flat out overcharge you. They think you have no idea where you are going and they are probably right. The key is to ask someone knowledgeable that you also trust how to get somewhere and how much it should cost. The airport has many officials that should help you and your hotel concierge will provide you with all the help you need.

Wrong Change

This scam isn’t just relegated to cabbies, any shop or restaurant employee will try this scam on you. Image for a second that you are in a foreign land and you are unfamiliar with the currency or exchange rate. You simply try and pay for something and the clerk gives you change, how e=on earth are you supposed to know what’s right? This is a tough nut to crack, but a little pre-planning and homework should fix this. It helps to actually know what the currency is and how much the exchange rate is. It isn’t hard work to find these things out. Here is a handy currency converter you can use for free.

An additional nugget of knowledge: Never get in an unmarked cab, these illegal taxis will scam you, guaranteed.

Other Popular Scams

Free Jewelry

Never trust anything that seems like too good of a deal. If a person tries to give you free jewelry, food or really anything, it’s probably a scam. They will give you the free thing then immediately demand money for it. When you at first don’t pay, they will make a huge scene and hope that this makes you pay. The key to staying safe is simple, never take anything from anyone.

Overly Aggressive Woman

This is an age-old scam, send an attractive woman to hit on a guy, she gets him to buy her drinks and then something happens. This is where the narrative changes; the woman drugs you, a man comes up pretending to be her boyfriend or she pickpockets you. Any of these are no good and can easily be avoided by being smart. Nobody wants to wake up with his or her kidneys gone or their passport missing.

Scammers are out there everyday trying to get over on someone, flip the script and be one step ahead.