Today, CNN published this interesting article “10 popular travel scams around the world.” It lists 10 cities around the world and their most popular scam that you may encounter while supposedly having fun. The article also gives some suggestions of how not to be scammed.
I found the camel riding scam in Egypt to be somehow funny:
… Often, there are trainers standing by to coax the eight-foot-tall, 1,500-pound animals [camels] to lie down passively in preparation for riding. Once you’ve paid your $15 and mounted the beast, though, some touts will insist that you pay again to disembark and hold you hostage on the hump until you do.
And what man wouldn’t be distracted by an olive skin beautiful Italian woman? Not fair Italian scammers, not fair! You don’t even need the fake baby for distraction unless your victim is a woman:
… Rome is home to the infamous "fake baby" ruse, which sees a woman trip and throw a bundled doll into your arms, or just drop it on the ground, in an attempt to draw your attention away from pickpockets, often children, nicking your wallet or making away with your camera bag.
Of course scams in the US are usually all about credit cards:
… Guests in hotels around Disney World have been finding pizza delivery menus conveniently slipped under their doors, but place an order — and make the mistake of giving your credit card number — and you’ll really pay. The phone number isn’t connected to a pizza parlor but to identity thieves.
… An increasingly common scam involves hotel guests who receive a phone call in the middle of the night from someone claiming to work at the front desk. There’s been a problem with your credit card, they say. Could you read the number back one more time? The scammers are banking you’ll do something while half-asleep that you never should — give out credit card info by phone.
A Saudi friend told me he was scammed by a taxi driver in Jordan when he found that he paid 15 JD (21 USD) for the fair instead of 1.5 JD (2 USD). My friend misread the meter but the driver didn’t bother to correct him.
Have you been to Jordan or other Arab countries and been scammed or heard a scam story? What happened?
If you are a non-Arab who is planning to visit an Arab country or already visited one what measures you take to not be scammed? Do you not leave the bus tour, befriend a local or just try your luck?
Speaking of scams, what advice would you give to someone who is planning to visit an Arab country? Are there any precautious measures that someone can take to not be scammed?