I recently came across a show on the National Geographic Channel (UK) where a man named Connor Woodman goes undercover in a show called Scam City to expose scams across the world.
Conner provides viewers with helpful information tips and insight as to how not to get scammed when traveling. I feel that this issue is extremely important when traveling and the show is very beneficial.
Below are some highlights from some of the different areas that Connor has traveled to and shown to viewers.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Pick-pocketing Scam: Pick pockets are smart and resourceful in Argentina. (Watch the clip)
- Black Widow Scam: The black widow scam targets single male travelers with money. (Watch the clip)
- Counterfeit Money Scam: THIS IS A HUGE SCAM that affects many travelers visiting Buenos Aires. Fake tender exchange can happen in taxis, at banks, at money exchange houses, and even at shops. (Watch the clip). [“Every cash transaction that is made here has a potential to be part of the scam. It’s a multi-million dollar industry…” – Connor]
San Telmo Loft gives us a great way to spot fake money in Argentina in their post entitled ‘Fake Money in Argentina‘
- Pick-pocketing Scam: Barcelona is known as one of the pick-pocketing capitals of the world. Prostitution pickpocketing is especially big and drunk (non-Spanish) men are often the targets. Pick-pockets on the metro is also very common. ROUND 2000 people fall victim EACH WEEK. (Watch the clip)
Kash of Budget Traveller talks about what to do if you get robbed in Barcelona.
- Pick-pocketing Scam: The 64 bus in Rome is notorious for being full of pickpockets. A word of advice, keep a close eye on your belongings. This scam is so popular that it even made it in to Travel+ Leisure Magazine.
- Tour Package Scam: More than likely you will not get everything that the tour package guides are offering, an no, you can not drink tea with the Pope. It will NOT happen. (Watch the clip)
- Begging Children Scam: Begging can or cannot be seen as a scam in India. The tactics used to earn money however are a scam to get you to give up your money. (Watch the clip)
- Fake Doctor Scam: There are said to be more fake doctors in Delhi than real ones, but the cost of this scam can literally cost you your life. (Watch the clip)
- Temple Closure/Jem Shop Scam: Men will approach you outside of temples in Bangkok very often and tell you that the temple is closed for the day because of a ‘Thai holiday’. You will then be told about another ‘good temple that you can see’ and be ushered to another temple. From there you will be ushered to a gem shop and told that the prices at the shop are good and that you only have a limited time to buy at the special price. DO NOT GIVE IN TO THIS SCAM. Politely ignore people outside of temples that try to steer you away from entering. I myself knew about this scam before going to Thailand so I was not fooled when I was approached. There are many people however who are not aware of this scam and get baited in, so heed this advice.
The Site ThaiXperience lays out exactly how the gem scam works.
GlobetrotterGirls explain how they got scammed and tell you how to avoid the same thing happening to you.
Las Vegas, Nevada
- Nightclub Scam: Scalpers on the street will try to make money by selling you ‘VIP’ tickets to nightclubs in the city for a seemingly unbelievable price. When I personally went to Vegas I did not take a bite of the scalpers bait, but Connor did in order to see how the operations work.VIP is usually not the glitz and glam it is cracked up to be. (Watch the clip)
- Long-hauling Scam: When taxis take tourist on a scenic route to generate a higher fare. Vegas.com provides Ten Tips for Taking a Taxi in Las Vegas.
- Casinos: ‘The house always wins’. This is the rule, unless you become extremely good at card counting (which I am not condoning) when you are playing blackjack.
Have you ever been scammed when traveling before?
Yeap, I’ve been scammed in Buenos Aires by a cab driver who took my gave counterfeit money for change.
I’m sorry to hear about your misfortune 🙁 I am glad I watched that series there was so much to learn!
This is such a great resource – wouldn’t have even thought of looking these things up before traveling, but now I definitely will!
I’m glad these tips could be of help! The series is great, you should check it out if you get a chance 🙂
Mumbai, India Taxi scam — Happens mostly in major railway stations. Taxi driver will approach you saying he will take you for a cheaper fare and you can avoid the queue. Once you reach destination and pay him, he will switch the bill .. so if you pay a Rs 500 bill, he will switch and say it is Rs 100 forcing you to pay more. This goes around multiple times. Always take taxi from taxi stand . Police will note your name , address and taxi number. If you are scammed , you can complaint and the driver losses his permit
I had never heard of this one before! Thank you so much for sharing and I will watch out for this if I travel to Mumbai!