Travel Scams to Avoid


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Travel Scams to Avoid

One of the unexpected spinoffs of Michael's Jackson death was a whole new take on an age-old travel scam-selling counterfeit or nonexistent tickets to unsuspecting people traveling from out of town to attend an event. With 1.6 million people applying for 17,500 seats to a bona fide "once in a lifetime" experience there were bound to be scams, including scalpers hawking free memorial service tickets for thousands of dollars each on Craigslist and eBay-before the online sales sites cracked down on the blatant exploitation.

Entertainment and sports events are a natural attraction for scam artists. Anyone is potential victim, but out-of-towners are especially vulnerable. Each year comes fresh tales of people traveling thousands of miles to attend an event only to discover that their package tour didn't include tickets or that the tickets they paid for by sending cash or money orders never really existed. Want to avoid becoming a travel scam victim on your next trip? Read on to find out the latest dirty tricks crooks are using.

Travel Scams to Avoid

Crafty crooks have learned that one of the easiest places to harvest data necessary to steal someone's identity is a hotel room. Never leave anything lying around that may contain personal information. Just like any other valuable (passport, cash, jewelry, etc) lock those documents in the room safe or your luggage.

Travel Scams to Avoid

One of the dirty tricks in the travel scam catalogue is bogus tickets to special events, in particular big games and sold-out concerts. It comes in two forms: paying cash for tickets that don't exist and purchasing event travel packages that do not include tickets to the actual event. In some cases, eager fans have paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars for seats that don't physically exist in the stadium or concert hall.

Travel Scams to Avoid

From pocketing small change to pilfering laptops and jewelry, parking valets at hotels, restaurants and other establishments can have very sticky fingers. They've also been known to park cars in red zones and other street areas subject to tickets or towing. Always stash your valuables in the trunk or take them with you. And if it's not obvious your vehicle is headed straight into a garage, ask where it's being parked before you hand over the keys.

Travel Scams to Avoid

Counterfeit Gucci bags or Michael Bolton CDs may not be harmful to your health (well, Bolton might be), but a growing number of counterfeit products could be. Among the cheap but dangerous fakes being offered gullible travelers are drugs laced with everything from motor oil to paint, electronics that can explode or catch fire, and phony luxury brand shampoo and perfumes full of bacteria. And that doesn't even get into the whole topic of the fines that are now being levied on travelers for trying to sneak counterfeit items back into their home countries.

Travel Scams to Avoid

Money changing scams can range from minor annoyances like inflated airport commissions and lousy hotel rates to more serious troubles like receiving wads of banknotes that are no longer in circulation or money changers who literally take your money and run. The lines might be a little bit longer, but good old-fashioned banks often offer the best rates and the safest ambience. Although, one could argue that ATM fees and debit card currency exchange fees are yet another twist on this travel scam.

Travel Scams to Avoid

Filed Under: Tips & Tricks

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A good vacation spot for the family, like a cruise.

May 03 2011 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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