Tourists are always targets for scammers. Thankfully, there's no better guide on how to avoid tourist traps than the locals who see these tourist grifts every day. While some are worth seeing, it's better to know which to steer clear of before you go. These locals have been kind enough to supply you with common tourist scams from their hometowns so you know what to look out for the next time you travel.
- 164 VOTES
Buying Things From A Tuk Tuk Driver In Asia
From Redditor u/theomeny:
In Asia, you should never buy weed from a tuk-tuk driver either. They will offer to sell you a joint, drop you off at your destination, and ride around the corner to tell one of the police officers who are in on the [grift]. The cop will then detain you and extort you for as much as they can and give the tuk-tuk driver his cut.
I met a group of guys from the US who had been caught by this [grift] in Bangkok; the guy who was caught had to withdraw all of his savings for traveling ($4,000) and go home. It was 6 hours into his planned 3-month trip around Asia that they'd been planning for two years.
- 245 VOTES
Signing Anything In Paris
From Redditor u/MartelFirst:
Usually young girls will come to you handing a piece of paper for you to sign your name and give a donation to their bogus association for the deaf.
Not two weeks ago I decided to take a detour to the Eiffel Tower (since I live in Paris, I naturally never go there). And once I reached near it and went under it, in the space of two minutes I was stopped 4 times by different groups of [people] handing me the same piece of paper.
They'd come to me saying "do you speak English?". I knew the [grift], and would just answer in French "I'm French" to let them know I know their [trick], and they'd leave me alone instantly.
It enraged me though. I don't understand why authorities don't simply have teams of just two cops constantly around the Eiffel tower, just to dissuade [these people] from pestering tourists like that.
- 337 VOTES
Playing Games At The London Eye
From Redditor u/VvermiciousknidD:
London. Near the London Eye on the bridge, there are men playing games along the pathway. You put money in and they [trick] you and win. The actual [grift] is that while you are watching the games - there are well-dressed women playing the games pickpocketing all the tourists - happens every day
- 433 VOTES
Extra Fees In Hungarian Taxis
From Redditor u/corteno:
Hungary, if you catch a taxi at an airport and they ask if it's your first time here, tell them no. They would make you pay multiple times more for a simple fare than what it really costs.
- 533 VOTES
Fake Buses In Nigeria
From Redditor u/SamCropper:
There's a Nigerian [trick] called something like the 'quick quick' or something... Basically, someone would stand outside a bus and shout "Lagos, quick quick" or whatever it was. Because busses were so rare/crowded, people would rush onto the bus without thinking, only to be driven somewhere and robbed, etc.
- 649 VOTES
Swiping Your Phone In Amsterdam
From Redditor u/Andromeda321:
An Amsterdam one: when sitting down at an outdoor cafe, don't just place your wallet/phone on the table (as many people often do without thinking when their hands are full with a coffee and cake). A month or two ago I had a guy who came up to me mumbling not-Dutch with a newspaper in his hand and as I shook my head no he pulled the newspaper in such a way he pulled my wallet with it. Grabbed the wallet and told him off (in Dutch), then in English when I realized he didn't actually speak Dutch, but that really brought up my adrenaline a minute! (I've lived here several years but was in the city center to shop and it was a high-traffic cafe where I stopped for my espresso.)
Another one which isn't a [grift], but... after you leave a bar, be wary if some guys come up to you asking what time it is. If you take out your cell phone to check they will grab your phone and run off with it.