Travelling all over the world has its perks most indubitably but if one wishes to do so without proper preparation, then one is prone to learn the sour truths as they come one’s way. That is not always a notion that would warm the heart of a person who wants nothing else but to relax far-far away from home.
Being scammed is nerve-inducing and it often goes to unimaginable lengths – these people, the scammers, are capable of just about anything to get to your purse and you have to be well-armed with facts before you know how to deal with them. Remember that they always prey on people who either fall for their tricks or are not strong enough verbally to ward off their often brazen advances. This is no easy task and if you’ve ever fallen prey to such predators, then read this article with attention. Today, we are going to discuss some of the most common scams that occur in North America – stay tuned!
1. You dropped it:
This is quite possibly one of the most common and most obnoxious scams to occur in the world and North America has its fair share of it: the “you dropped something” swindle. It goes as follows: you walk around unaware that someone is targeting you and whilst you do your general sightseeing, a person addresses you from behind to notify you that you’ve dropped an item (one that, of course dos not belong to you – it may even be money). Those who fall for the trick often end up overly thanking the scammer in question and, whilst the conversation ensues, his or her accomplices pickpocket them from behind. There are variations to this but the most common one is that the scammers actually pickpocket you first and then return the item in hopes of compensation. Should you refuse, they might even make a scene to pressure you to pay them. The way to avoid this is simple yet not so: always check whether the item they’re handing to you is actually yours. If you conclude that it is, take it back, say a simple “thanks”, and walk away – without hesitation. Even if you get addressed from behind or yelled after, keep walking and do not look back. If the item does not belong to you, however, refuse it and walk away, no matter the reaction. One thing though (and this applies to all cases – the wisest of the golden rules): never let anyone touch you – no matter what. Pickpockets these days are so subtle that you’ll definitely miss their nimble hands lifting your valuables. Again: under no circumstances should you let anyone physically touch you – NEVER!
2. The spilling scam:
This one is so common nowadays that it is often hard to miss. The spilling scam involves the scammer “accidentally” spilling something on you: be that coffee, ketchup, whatever. When that occurs (and while you’re obviously surprised – if not angry), they will go out of their ways to try and clean up after themselves. The most common way they do this is by tissue-against-shirt and guess what that involves? Them physically touching you (our MAJOR no-no)! If you let them clean you, they will lift whatever they can from your pockets. To avoid this, do not let these people clean you and walk away. Do not stay, for they might try to force themselves upon you in faked guilt.
3. The pirate cab and the fake UBER:
Yes, we are well aware of the fact that UBER has already become a major contestant for personal transportation but you must always keep a keen eye out for pirates. These drivers, like cabs, linger near major transportation hubs to rip off any traveller that might not be as versed in the quirks of the nearby environment as the locals are. To avoid this, always use your smartphone to double-check the directions before embarking. If you notice any suspicious turns, stop the car, get out and find another cab. Also, always encourage all drivers to start their metres – this is mandatory to avoid complications.
4. Broken item:
This scam is detested by most people around the world for it happens everywhere. North America, however, is well-known to be plagued by people who employ this technique. While you’re walking about, enjoying your trip, a person will bump into you and drop something. When the item hits the ground, it will visibly break and the owner will start making a scene that you are at fault. The catch, however, is that the item has been broken since the very beginning and him/her dropping it was just a façade. This one is genuinely hard to avoid (and this is why it is so nasty) because you never know whether you’ve actually broken something or not – there’s no way to prove it. To shrug such a case off, just walk away and hope not to be pestered further. If they pressure you, call a local policeman and have the matter resolved under the eyes of the law. This is always a good idea as scammers usually avoid the police for obvious reasons. If the dropper gets uneasy at the idea of an officer breaching the argument, you know you are talking to a scammer.
5. Free item:
Another item-related con that has countless faces, the “free item scam” it involves someone walking up to you (this may even be a group of people) and offering something for free. After joking about for about 30 seconds, they will ask for a small donation for the gift. If you try to hand the item back, they might refuse it and make a scene that you’ve robbed them. Furthermore, there’s a variation of this that often ends up being the broken item scam. If you refuse the item whilst the person in question is handing it to you in the first place, they might “accidentally” drop it and then cause a scene. Even if such a tumult erupts, walk away – these swindles are a lot easier to avoid than the aforementioned one as you’ve technically never even touched the item.
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had with scammers and what strategies have you used to avoid them? Tell us all about it in the comment section below and be sure to check back for some exciting new content regularly! Safe travels!