5 Tourist Scams to Watch Out for When Abroad

Don't get tripped up by these common tourist scams.

Summer might be halfway over, but chances are you still have some travel plans lined up. In fact, a recent study from Generali Global Assistance found that 68 percent of Americans and 64 percent of Europeans intend to travel this summer, according to Forbes. And although traveling can be fun, it can also be costly if you’re not careful.

Keep reading to learn about five popular tourist scams to look out for when you’re traveling abroad.

1. The Bag Slash

It happens when you’re outside with your luggage waiting for your Uber or cab. A man on a bicycle will suddenly rush you, cut the straps to your purse and ride off. But that’s not all. While you chase down the thief who took your bag, his accomplice will make off with your remaining items.

2. The ‘Free’ Bracelet

This scam is a classic case of local versus unassuming tourist. Someone friendly will approach you and innocently wrap a bracelet around your wrist as if to give it to you. But after you wear it for a bit, the person will suddenly demand you pay for the bracelet.

Discover: 25 Destinations You Should Travel to Before They Get Too Expensive

3. Slowly Counting Change

Beware of a cashier who takes a little too long at the register. Usually, something’s up if the cashier counts your change really slowly. He will hope you’ll get frustrated by his perceived incompetence and anxiously accept whatever change he gives you, even if it’s a few dollars short.

Avoid These Other Travel Scams: 21 Red Flags to Watch for When Booking a Vacation Rental

4. The Shoe Shiner

This is when a shoe shiner will drop his brush right in front of you and hope you’ll be the Good Samaritan and pick it up. But once you return the brush to him, he will try to pass off the good gesture as a request for service and demand you pay him.

5. Restaurant or Tea House Scam

Nothing in life is free, so be mindful of that the next time a random young woman invites you for a tour of the city. What starts as an innocent promenade ends when she takes you to a bar or restaurant where you’re given a spiked drink and you pass out. In the end, you’re left with an expensive bill you have to pay for or run the risk of being assaulted.

Click through to learn about American tourist traps that are actually worth the money.

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