One of the rather unfortunate realities travellers have to constantly deal with is opportunistic tourist scammers who make it their full time business to try and con tourists out of their money and sometimes even valuable possessions and items such as your passport and other important documents.
It’s really hard to feel sorry for anyone trying to trick you and steal from you, but the reality is that most of the places which turn out to be attractive destinations because of how affordable they are, are home to people who generally edure a lower standard of living, especially those in regions which are frequented by tourists.
There’s naturally a balance between tourist scammers and honest people just looking to make a decent living out of trading with tourists, but a very fine line exists between the two. The nefarious deeds of opportunistic tourist scammers can get rather elaborate, so it’s worth discussing some ways through which to protect yourself from what can be serious joy-killing misfortunes.
Don’t Accept Help from Absolutely Everyone
Again, there are some honest people who earn their wages through the tips they get from helping tourists out, but be careful who you accept help from. The only form of help you should accept really is from people with whom you’ve made prior arrangements. Otherwise people who approach you directly and often rather aggressively are either looking to overcharge you for a product or service you can get elsewhere for a much better price, or they’re outright looking to con you in some way. It isn’t always like that, but that’s the likelihood.
Otherwise people who approach you directly and often rather aggressively are either looking to overcharge you for a product or service you can get elsewhere for a much better price, or they’re outright looking to con you in some way. It isn’t always like that, but that’s the likelihood.
Use Loose Money
The otherwise magnetically cosmopolitan capital city of Buenos Aires in Argentina is a perfect example of why you need to get into the habit of using loose change to make your purchases. It doesn’t have to be loose for the sake of being loose, but just so that you are in a position to pay with the exact amount of money each time you buy something or pay for a service.
This practice will protect you against counterfeiters who particularly target tourists with counterfeit change – most places these days will have tools like these Counterfeit Detectors so they are able to check the money that comes to them, and you don’t want to risk any consequences of having counterfeit money – even if you are totally innocent. It also protects you against vendors who like to suddenly claim that they don’t have any change, playing on the fact that you might quite easily forego having to argue with someone who’s ability to speak English suddenly disappeared between negotiating the price and paying for what you’re buying.
Otherwise make a real effort to enjoy your travels because not everybody is just looking to make a quick buck off tourists. Be careful anyways and exercise some common vigilance.