Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — Royal wedding fever has taken over and with Harry and Meghan’s nuptials this weekend more than a few clients will be thinking Europe. But while they’re on holiday and transfixed by the sight of some of the world’s greatest cultural treasures, a few unsavoury characters could have their eye on their wallets.
Active Journeys is reminding agents and their clients to always be mindful of travel scams, which can happen anywhere around the world but thrive particularly well in the crowded tourist attractions of Europe.
“Europe is a surprisingly creative place when it comes to travel scams,” says Active Journeys’ Managing Director, Lisa Didus. “Many of the most successful gambits require a naive and trusting tourist. But don’t think it can’t happen to more sophisticated travellers too.”
There are many subtle ways to be scammed: “A cabbie pads your fare, a shop clerk suddenly inflates prices or a public Internet hub can access your passwords. Be smart: Know what you are paying for before handing over money, and always count your change.”
Didus adds: “Scam artists come in all shapes and sizes. But if you’re cautious and not overly trusting, you should have no problem.”
Active Journeys has a roundup of tips (and tricks to watch for) for clients heading to Europe and beyond…
Such a Deal!
“If a bargain seems too good to be true … then it’s too good to be true.”
The Found Ring
An innocent-looking person picks up a ring on the ground in front of you and asks if you dropped it and while you are distracted, some other person will pick pocket your phone or wallet. “This recently happened to me while a young man tried to sell me gum. The other tried to get my iPhone out of my pocket.”
“Any time money changes hands, be alert, even when using ATMs. When dealing with the public, keep your cards in your sight, or much easier and safer, pay cash.”
But even paying with cash can have its challenges, says the company. “Have two wallets – one hidden with bigger bills and the other accesible with a small amount for every day purchases.”
“Before you leave, make sure all banking or credit card info is stored with two passwords. Be aware of paying for anything on an open network. It could be a recipe for disaster.”
The long list of travel scams also includes the string/bracelet scam, fake petitions and the rose scam. Check out TravelScams.org.