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|September 25, 2012|
Beware of fake police and tricksters - they are common in some destinations!
Melbourne: A travel insurance company employee has issued a timely reminder for Australian travellers (as good
for others) about falling for common and costly travel traps overseas. “All it takes is a momentary lapse of judgment to fall prey to scammers, and yet you might regret it for a very long time,” News.com.au
quoted Michael McAuliffe from SureSave as saying. Hot dogs, bracelets and newspapers
are among the items used by thieves to distract unsuspecting travellers and steal
their valuables, News.com.au reported. For those who don’t want to return home
empty-handed, McAuliffe has provided a pick of the worst travel scams and how
to avoid them.
Hot dog scam:– At locations around the world, commonly airports,
scammers will eat hot dogs and “accidentally” squirt mustard on nearby travellers
or alternatively drop bird poo on them. While they clumsily “help” clean up the
mess, valuables are stolen. Make sure to place your bags between your legs and
Fake police:- Phony police officers are common in destinations
such as Thailand and often falsely accuse travellers of committing a crime. For
example, fake police may charge an on-the-spot fine of 5000 baht (155 dollars)
for putting out a cigarette in public. Make sure to check the officer’s ID and
contact the real police if in doubt.
Newspaper attack:- Gypsy children surround
visitors to Rome and wave newspapers in their face to confuse and block the travellers
while they pickpocket or grab their bags. If approached by them move away quickly
Security scare:– This scam plays out at airports around the world. As
the target passenger nears the metal detector a person cuts ahead of them, where
the alarm will ring as he’d “forgotten” to remove his keys and change. Meanwhile,
a fellow thief who’d gone through security earlier steals the passenger’s belongings
from the conveyor belt and does a runner.
Bogus monks:- Southeast Asia has its
share of travel scams, but fake monks appear to pop up in almost all countries
in the region. Dressed just like the real deal, these fake monks hit up tourist
hot spots looking to collect “alms”, but they’re really after “financial donations”.
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