Traveling This Summer? Here’s How to Prepare for The Unexpected Travelers Fraud

Summer vacations are filled with wonderful memories but what no one talks about, are the potential scams you can run into when you arrive somewhere foreign.

To help travelers prepare for the unexpected, Byrd Bergeron, travel enthusiast and the founder of Travel Byrds, shares what to expect when it comes to travelers fraud and how to handle it. 

Fake Tickets? Check Twice.

Byrd Bergeron emphasizes the importance of verifying travel tickets and booking confirmations. Scammers often create fake tickets or booking confirmations, especially for high-demand or last-minute travel deals or events. Travelers in a hurry may overlook details that hint at a scam, such as misspelled names, incorrect dates, or dubious URLs in confirmation emails.

“To avoid falling victim to this, always purchase tickets from reputable sources, double-check all the details in the confirmation emails against the official websites, and use secure payment methods that offer fraud protection. If the ticket price seems too good to be true, it probably is,” says Byrd.

Remember, Thieves Are Sneaky

Travelers often encounter petty thieves, especially in crowded tourist spots. Byrd warns that thieves might create distractions, such as bumping into you or engaging you in conversation, to steal your belongings. 

“Keep your valuables in secure, hard-to-reach places and maintain awareness of their surroundings. Consider using anti-theft bags or money belts, and avoid displaying expensive items publicly to deter thieves,” suggests Byrd.

Don’t Always Trust Those Who Look Like Police

Impersonating a police officer is a common tactic used by scammers to exploit tourists. Byrd advises that if someone claiming to be an authority figure approaches you, especially if they demand to see your personal documents or money, you should politely but firmly ask to see their identification. 

“Verify this by noting their badge number and calling the local police station if something doesn’t feel right. Never hand over your passport or money unless you are at a police station and are sure of the officers’ authenticity,” comments Byrd.

Taxi Drivers Increase Fares

Taxi drivers might take longer routes or hike fares, especially when they realize a passenger is unfamiliar with the area. Byrd suggests researching the common routes and the expected fares beforehand. 

“Use official taxi services or ride-sharing apps where routes and fares are transparently displayed. If you suspect a taxi driver is taking a longer route, don’t hesitate to speak up or ask to end the ride in a safe location,” says Byrd.

Beware of Phishing Scams

Phishing attacks often target travelers with fake booking websites, promotional emails, or urgent travel updates designed to steal personal information. Byrd emphasizes the importance of sticking to well-known, reputable travel websites and being cautious of emails asking for personal or payment information. 

“Always verify the legitimacy of the source before clicking on any links or entering sensitive information. Use different passwords for different sites to minimize risk if one gets compromised,” suggests Byrd.

ATM Skimmers

ATM fraud can occur through devices attached to machines that steal your card information and PIN. Byrd advises covering the keypad while entering your PIN and inspecting the ATM for any unusual devices attached to it. 

“It’s safer to use ATMs located within bank branches or in well-lit, secure areas. Opting for credit cards over debit cards can provide additional fraud protection, as many credit card companies offer built-in security features and fraud liability policies,” comments Byrd.

Featured Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash.

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