Travelling overseas can very exciting, especially if you are going somewhere new. However, you can also be at your most vulnerable, as you only have the belongings you have packed, and you might not have any contacts in your vicinity to help you out if you get into trouble. Some of this trouble may come in the form of scams, so here are five common scams tourists often fall for – keep a look out for the warning signs and make sure to take the necessary precautions.


One of the easiest ways for people to take money or your belongings off you is the tried and tested ‘bump and grab’. These people can work in teams, but some do also work alone. Someone will distract you, either by talking to you, bumping into or shoving you, to get you off guard, before either stealing cash or any belongings you might have. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to keep your money and important documents in a cross-body purse with a zip. Specialists in travelling materials such as Luggage Direct can help you find something with which you will be comfortable.

Money Exchange

Make sure you always count your change before you leave a stall or a restaurant. Some shop owners will take advantage of your unfamiliarity with your surroundings and the currency, and can either hand you an incorrect amount of change or even counterfeit bills.

Fake Police Officers

Police officers are supposed to keep everyone safe, but unfortunately, it can be easy for people to impersonate law enforcements officers to take advantage of tourists. Such a scam may include a police officer approaching you to check your wallet or bag for counterfeit money, and then running off with it or taking a significant chunk of your cash.


Always use ATMs that are located in reputable banks, as some of the independent ATMs can belong to scammers. If your card disappears into an ATM in a bank, it can be quite easy to retrieve, but this is not the case with independent ATMs. Some of them might have card skimmers attached to them in order to steal your banking information, and others may cause your card to get stuck in the ATM, with no method of retrieval.

Dishonest Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers can swindle money out of unsuspecting tourists in many different ways. These include counterfeit bills or claiming you have not paid them enough. They may also work together to offer you fake deals for hotels or other services. Make sure you have your itinerary well planned in advance so you are not swayed by such propositions.

You want to be able to enjoy your time overseas, and scammers can make this difficult. These five scams are some of the more common ones encountered by tourists, so make sure you take the proper precautions, and then go and have fun!

Have you been scammed while travelling? How have you been scammed? How do you think you could have prevented it from happening to you? Leave your experiences in the comments section below.