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Monday, August 8, 2022

A Smarter You: Travel Scams

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skepticalafricanwoman02_988793945.pngSummer time is the season when vacations are at an all time high.

Do not let your safety get jeopardized by using the following advice to
develop your own personal safety skills and strategies to help reduce
risk to your personal safety.

Fake road accidents.
In this scenario you come upon what looks like a road accident, stop
your car to see if you can help and someone tries to rob you. If you do
see an accident, it is best not to take chances, keep driving and
report it when you think it is safe to do so.

Distraction thefts.
These come in many forms. Often someone will spill something on you and
while they apologise and help you clean up someone else will be picking
your pockets or stealing your bags. If something like this does happen
to you, firmly refuse all offers of help, keep a tight hold on your
possessions and move away from the area.

Fake policemen, immigration officials etc.
A person flashes some ID at you and claims to be a plain clothes
officer who needs to check your passport, search your bags, ensure your
money is not counterfeit etc. Insist you go to the nearest police
station if you know where that is or back to the place you are staying.

Friendly strangers. Of
course many people you meet when traveling are genuinely interested in
talking to you about where you come from and perhaps practicing their
English on you. However people are robbed by people pretending to be
friendly so avoid going anywhere alone with someone you don’t know,
especially if you are being offered things to eat or drink.

Taxis shortchanging you.
The taxi driver switches the note you give him for one of a smaller
denomination and gives you change for the smaller amount. Be sure how
much money you give the driver and don’t give him a chance to switch
it. Ask advice from the place you are staying about reputable
companies.

Tour guides.
Be careful of tour guides approaching you on the street or the beach.
Often this is just an excuse to take you to lots of shops where your
guide gets commission. Worse, you may be lead to a conveniently quiet
spot and robbed. Stick to official guides.

Credit card fraud.
Check all bills carefully—watching for extra noughts being added. If
you are asked to sign a second credit card docket for any reason then
insist on seeing a printed cancellation of the first. Keep receipts and
make sure you check your credit card bills carefully. If you are
suspicious that your card might have been copied then contact your card
issuer straight away.

Listen to your instincts—they are there
to warn you of danger. If something feels wrong, get away from the
situation as quickly as possible.

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