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10. The one with the fake accommodation

10. The one with the fake accommodation
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After scouring the internet looking for that perfect hotel deal, you finally find it! As you arrive at your destination eager to check out your accommodation, you realise the hotel or apartment doesn’t in fact exist. Although unwanted at any time of the year, this can be more prevalent during major sporting events and festivals as people are more desperate to find accommodation.

How to avoid:
Be sure of the site you are booking through. Avoid sites you’ve never heard of before. Just because it’s posted on the internet doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. Check out these other online shopping scams and how to avoid them.

Where it happens:
With this scam occurring through online platforms, it can happen anywhere with internet access.

11. The one with the free holiday

11. The one with the free holiday
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The age-old adage about something looking too good to be true comes into play here. In this situation, you are offered a ‘free’ all-inclusive holiday by a company no-one has ever heard of before. Quite simply, small travel businesses don’t do this without a major catch involved.

How to avoid:
A big red flag for this scam will be the deal not mentioning any specific hotel, resort or airline. Dates are not usually specified, further fuelling the need for caution. For this one, make sure you read the terms and conditions located at the bottom of the page. In here you’ll find the clause in the ‘free’ holiday.

Where it happens:
With this scam occurring through online platforms, it can happen anywhere with internet access.

12. The one with no prices

12. The one with no prices
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You’re approached by a lovely waiter holding a menu and you’re convinced to take a seat. You sit down, you’re given the menu and suddenly you realise the menu doesn’t show any prices. You may be in a relatively cheap area so you ignore this misprint and continue to order and eat. The bill arrives at the table and so does that gut-wrenching feeling of overpaying for something mediocre. You’ve been charged a colossal amount for a pretty basic service.

How to avoid:
In most countries, not providing a price on the menu is in fact illegal. If you can’t locate the prices on the menu, just ask the waiter. If they don’t give you the price, they don’t get your business. You can also report this to the local authorities.

Where it happens:
No priced menus are common in restaurants across Italy and Spain.

13. The one with the fake restaurant voucher

13. The one with the fake restaurant voucher
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This one involves someone giving you a restaurant voucher to use at a nearby eatery. What a kind and generous offer this is from someone who doesn’t even know you! After you tuck into your delicious discounted meal and go to use the voucher during payment, you’re informed that it has expired or is no longer valid. You’re then left to pay a hefty bill for your meal.

How to avoid:
The easiest way to avoid this scam is to confirm with the restaurant beforehand that the voucher is valid. If it’s not, leave. No harm done.

Where it happens:
Common in both Europe and Asia. Be mindful in Italy, France and Thailand.

14. The one with the dirty water

14. The one with the dirty water
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Not so much a scam, but more of a health hazard. This cheeky one sees local vendors fetch used water bottles from the trash, fill them from a tap, ice them and then remarket them as fresh, chilled water bottles. In many developing countries it’s advised to avoid drinking the local tap water to prevent ingesting harmful bacteria. If you want to bypass spending your holiday in the bathroom, then try to skip this one.

How to avoid:
This one is pretty simple in avoiding. Make sure the bottle is completely sealed before purchasing. Bottles could be tightly closed, but ensure that you hear the seal actually crack before sampling that sweet, thirst-quenching beverage.

Where it happens:
Only seen in places with recognised hazardous water issues. Such locations include Greece and Italy, as well as most of Asia and South America.

15. The one with the group photo

15. The one with the group photo
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This may sound too obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning. This occurs when you ask a stranger to take a photo of you and your entourage. As everyone is organising themselves to get their best angle, the helpful merchant has legged it with your expensive equipment.

How to avoid:
Be mindful of who you give your camera or mobile phone to. Asking someone who is part of a larger tourist group to take a photo might be a wiser choice than relying on a nearby local.

Where it happens:
There are reports of this occurring all throughout Europe. Stay alert in all major tourist cities.

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16. The one with the milk

16. The one with the milk
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This one involves a little deceitful collaboration. Largely seen in Southeast Asia, this scam sees a child ask if you are able to help pay for some unusually expensive milk from the local shop. After you assist the poor child, they later return to the shop with the bottle of milk, split the profits with the shopkeeper and carry out the scam all over again with another unsuspecting foreigner.

How to avoid:
Although quite specific, this little scam makes you aware of what could happen if you’re not careful. The milk is arbitrary, so just be mindful of basic foods being exceedingly overpriced.

Where it happens:
This scam is popular in many Asian countries, including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

17. The one with the fake wake-up call

17. The one with the fake wake-up call
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During this scam, you’ll receive a call from the concierge informing you there has been a systems failure and your wake-up call has been cancelled. They ask if you could politely provide them with your bank or credit card details over the phone, except this is in fact not the real concierge and you’ve just given your bank details to a scammer.

How to avoid:
Don’t give your bank or credit card details over the phone. Most hotels wouldn’t require immediate payment for a wake-up call, if any. And if you ever pick up the phone and hear this four-word phrase, hang up immediately.

Where it happens:
The fake wake-up call is seen all throughout the world.

18. The one with the airport security

18. The one with the airport security
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This one involves someone cutting in front of you in line while waiting to go through airport security. This queue-jumper will set the metal detector off as they pass through. As this causes delays at your end, what you don’t realise is that the person’s accomplice is taking off with your expensive goods at the other end.

How to avoid:
The best way to deal with this one would be to keep an eye on your possessions once they go through to the other side of security. Usually it’s possible to see them go through to the other side. For more inside advice, check out these 34 things airline pilots won’t tell you.

Where it happens:
Keep an eye out for this travel scam all throughout South America.

19. The one with the slow change

19. The one with the slow change
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As far as scams go, this one is just plain annoying. After paying for a meal or your shopping with cash, the shopkeeper is now taking forever to return your money and you’re in a rush. They are hoping you just grab the change they’ve provided you with and scurry out of there, leaving them with most of your change.

How to avoid:
If you can wait that little bit longer for your change then do. Eventually they have to give you the correct amount of change back.

Where it happens:
This happens all throughout Europe and Asia.

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