5 Travel Scams to Avoid This Summer - Mazow | McCullough, PC
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5 Travel Scams to Avoid This Summer

Rules for TaxisSummer is coming and travel is starting to normalize following two brutal years of a global pandemic. Be aware of these top travel scams and how to get legal help if you’re the victim of consumer fraud.

5 Examples of Travel Fraud Consumers Should Be Aware Of This Summer

1. Taxi or Cab Fraud

Taxis, cabs, and even Ubers in tourist areas often try to scam travelers by “getting lost” or otherwise extending the length of a trip. Or, a cab driver may insist that the meter is out of order and ask for cash in an amount that is higher than what the meter would have determined.

How to Avoid This Scam

Avoid being overcharged by taxis and cab services in tourist areas by downloading a map that you can access without Wi-Fi or cell signal and becoming familiar with where you are going. If a cab driver takes you in a different direction, says your establishment has been closed but will take you somewhere else, or doesn’t have a working meter, end the ride as quickly as possible and get a new one to your destination.

2. Streetside Busking

Locals in tourist areas, whether abroad or here in the United States, often busk for cash in areas that travelers often frequent. They may play instruments, make art, or do any number of interesting or unique things for donations or pay. Some buskers, however, are con artists and aim to make as much money as possible using dishonest methods. They may rig games of chance or pressure you for more donations than you’ve already given if it looks like you might have more money.

How to Avoid This Scam

Be judicious about giving buskers money, especially for games of chance. Avoid streetside buskers that need your involvement in something. If you do want to support locals in the area, consider buying art or tipping street musicians.

3. Transportation Rental Scams

If you rent a bicycle or motorbike where you travel, be wary of the rental facility. A common travel scam is to ask for a large cash deposit before renting out the equipment, and upon its return insist that it is damaged and the deposit is forfeited. This occurs often, even when the equipment has absolutely no visible damage or defect.

How to Avoid This Scam

Take photographs of the equipment from every angle before you take it off the lot. You may even consider taking a video, zooming in on the tires, frame, and other key features of the equipment. Then, take photos and video at the time of return for comparison. Unscrupulous employees are less likely to even try to cheat travelers who are taking photos out of their deposits.

4. Incorrect Change Scams

If you travel to an area where the currency is different, locals often expect tourists to have difficulty counting money. One popular scam in places where the color or appearance of paper money is the same between types of bills is to give incorrect change. Tourists may be given the correct coins, but the wrong paper bills.

How to Avoid This Scam

If you plan on traveling to a place that uses a different currency, take the time to learn to identify the different bills and coins before you go. Always make the time after a purchase to count your change, even if the seller seems anxious or pressures you to leave quickly. Don’t be afraid to count twice.

5. Card Skimming Scams

Card skimmers are sophisticated pieces of equipment that fit flush with debit and credit card readers at gas pumps, ATMs, stores, and anywhere else you may be able to use a card. A skimmer allows the transaction to be processed as normal while copying the user’s data and sending it to an external source. That data is then used for fraudulent purposes, usually for debit or credit card fraud.

How to Avoid This Scam

Only use ATMs that are located inside of a bank’s lobby as these are much less likely to be fitted with card skimmers. You can check over the ATM or card reader for a skimmer by looking for indicators like broken security tape, a loose-fitting keypad, or even by using a mobile phone app that detects card skimming technology.

Were You Scammed During Travel? Mazow | McCullough, PC Can Help

Were you or someone you know involved in a travel scam that resulted in the loss of money or other assets? You may be eligible to bring forward a legal claim against the scammer. Contact experienced consumer fraud attorneys Mazow | McCullough, PC for more information or to book your initial consultation by dialing (978) 744-8000 or toll-free at (855) 693-9084.

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