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Asia, Backpack, Bag

Common scams to avoid on holiday

Be careful on holiday and avoid these common scams to make sure your trip is one to remember for the right reasons.

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Look, most of us have been round the block and think we're quite savvy when it comes to spotting scams and tricks, but the reality is, scammers and thieves work very hard to take your money or possessions.

We've listed out some of the common scams you might encounter, so hopefully you won't be a victim.


We've all been there, we think we've lost our phone or wallet and have a mad panic only to find it's in a different pocket.

But, sometimes, it won't be there as someone else has had it.

But how? The most common technique is distraction. Someone might ask you directions, or 'accidentally' bump into you while walking past and while engaging you in conversation, they, or another person, will help themselves to your wallet or phone.

If you can, put all valuables in a zipped or locked pocket in your trousers, or an inner compartment of your bag. Never leave your phone on a table in a coffee shop. And keep your bag close and closed at all times. They might not look cool, but you can also use a chain.

The best thing you can really do is stay vigilant and aware if anyone 'randomly' starts talking to you.

Free Wi-Fi

This one might be slightly less obvious, but is also helpful at home too - avoid using free Wi-Fi.

Why? Because hackers can use the same network and potentially steal your personal data.

We'd suggest paying extra for roaming on your own mobile phone, or at least go into a coffee shop where they'll have a password and will likely change it quite regularly so it makes it harder to hack.

Booking accommodation that doesn't exist

One of the biggest scams can happen before you've even got to the airport - booking a place to stay, only to find out upon arrival that it either doesn't exist or isn't a rental property.

A lot of these scams come from ads on social media, so be careful the next time you book something you've seen on Facebook, Instagram, or any of the others.

Always try and book your holidays through a reputed website or agent, and ideally with a credit card. Never pay with a bank transfer or if they ask for bitcoin as that is a massive 🚩

Dodgy taxi

This one comes up a lot and is very common. You're tired and don't know where you are, so you hop in the first taxi you see and get hit with a hefty charge when you arrive at your destination. Why? The driver has likely got a dodgy meter (we've seen this first-hand in Vietnam), or gone a particularly long route to get you to your destination.

If in doubt, always book an official taxi at the airport (you can check online before you fly) or ask your hotel to book a taxi for you.

Our top tips to stay safe in person and online

  • Keep your stuff locked up tight

  • Stay on the beaten path

  • Read reviews of where you are going and any issues other travellers have had

  • Use a credit card wherever possible as it's a lot easier to stay protected

  • Only book your holiday through a trusted website or agent

  • Watch out for unsolicited emails or messages offering free holidays - it's probably a scam

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