So, you arrive at your holiday destination, looking forward to a stress-free fortnight away from it all, but no sooner do you get off the plane than you’re tricked outof $ 200 of your spending money. That’s what happened to me, anyway, and I’ll tell you how. I took a taxi to my hotel, as everything was looking a little strange. When we stopped, I gave the driver a $100 bill, but he waved it in my face saying I’d confusedit with a $1note. So I gave him another bill, and while I was thanking him for pointing out my mistake, he drove off. It wasn’t until I got to my hotel room that I realized he’d somehow pocketed my first $ 100 bill and got me to give him another one. As simple as that. But the taxi dodge is only one of the many travel scams used to relieve tourists of their money and belongings. Here are five more common scams to watch out for when you’re far away from home:
You are walking down the street, enjoying a bit of the local culture and admiring the architecture, when splat! A large piece of what likes bird poo lands on your shoulders, dirtying your best holiday clothes.
Suddenly a person appears with a cloth and offers to wipe off the mess, complaining about the pigeons that live in their city. Beware. While cleaning you up, they will also be robbing you of all the valuables in your pockets.
You are at the airport and you put your laptop on the luggage scanner conveyor belt before waiting behind two people to go trough the metal detector. The first passes with no problems, but the detector goes off when the second person goes through. They then proceed to remove all their jewellery and empty their pockets of everything from coins to chewing gum. By the time you get through the machine the first person has disappeared, and so has your laptop.
You are delighted to find that changing your money on the black market from the suspicious-looking guy on the corner will give you a much better rate than at the bureau of change or the hotel front desk, and there’s no commission either. You hand over your cash to get a huge number of notes, which you rush to put away before someone can take them. Counting your money in the hotel room, you realize you’ve been handed a pile of worthless notes.
There you are feeling very pleased with yourself for managing to find an empty compartment. While waiting for your train to leave the station, someone on the platform taps at the window calling to you. You go to find them, only to see them run off. When you return to your seat, you find an even emptier compartment–your bags have been stolen.
A friendly stranger starts talking to you and while you are chatting away, a policeman approaches. He says he is looking for some false banknotes and asks to see your passport and money. The other traveler hand his over and gets them back. When you hand over your cash, the policeman and the traveler disappear with it.
Scam–a trick which is designed to take money from people in a dishonest way.
Business One: One, Oxford University Press
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