20. The one with the rosemary
Most common around major tourist attractions, you’ll be approached by someone offering you another ‘free’ gift. This time it’s a sprig of rosemary and it will bring you peace, friendship and just about everything in between. The moment you accept the rosemary, a payment will be demanded.
How to avoid:
As with the ‘friendship’ bracelet scam, simply ignore the person with the rosemary. They will try to rest the rosemary on your shoulder or force it into your hand, but it is best to just ignore them and let the rosemary fall onto the floor. This may sound somewhat rude, but it’s one of the only ways to avoid this tricky situation.
Where it happens:
Watch out for this one in Madrid and New Delhi.
The best advice for staying safe while travelling is to stay vigilant. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If someone is offering you a gift for ‘free’, there is likely to be strings attached. If someone says your hotel is closed, it probably isn’t. If someone says their taxi meter is broken, it probably isn’t either.
Of course, travel scams don’t affect everyone, but they are a friendly reminder of the importance of staying alert when travelling and doing your research before you leave home. Having a basic understanding of the possible travel scams provides you with a good foundation to avoid getting ripped off. The rest is up to you.