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7. Motorbike scam #2
The motorbike you have hired comes with a lock and two keys: you have one, and your rental company has the other. When you park the scooter and wander off, an enterprising person from the rental company arrives and "steals" your scooter, thus later requesting you pay a large sum of money to replace the "stolen" scooter. As you handed them your passport and you signed a contract, you are obligated to pay for it. Carry your own lock and key and an old passport to avoid getting sucked into this scam.

8. Helpful pick-pockets
Someone "accidentally" spills mustard or other condiments on you and suddenly a stranger appears to towels you down. In the confusion, valuables are removed from your person, never to be seen again.

9. Bar/tea shop scam
Notoriously aimed at male travellers, young local girls approach a tourist and, after gaining trust with some idle chit-chat, you agree to accompany them to a local bar/tea shop. Thrilled at the opportunity to converse with a couple of local lasses, you offer to buy them a drink. On receipt of the bill, the girls are gone, and all you are left with is a massive shock when you glimpse the sum total, which can amount to hundreds of dollars.

10. Hotel scams
As you hop off the train or bus into a strange town and into a waiting taxi, you ask them to take you to a specific hotel. You are dropped off, hand over the money for several night's worth of accommodation, you are persuaded to sign up for a number of day tours then escorted to your hotel room. The hotel is unusually quiet and it does not seem like the advertised atmosphere. Alarm bells ring: you have been duped by the friendly local who talked to you on the bus, and the quick phone call he had to make was to the awaiting taxi, whose driver was very quick to escort you to the hotel of their choice.

Like a well-oiled machine, they worked together to ensure you handed over all your cash immediately, and fleeced you for a couple of tours while they were at it. Many hotels trade on the names of popular hotels and are rarely of the same standard, so make sure you check the name and address of the place before you are shuffled in to sign your life away.


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© Lonely Planet. All rights reserved. The article ‘Buyer beware: 10 common travel scams’ was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.

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