Biker Beware ... And Nine Other Vacation Scams
You deserve your vacation, you worked hard for it and we're not about to let some lowlife spoil it for you, ok? So we're pleased to report on the ten most common scams/cons/tricks that ruin innocent holidaymakers' trips overseas.
The list, courtesy of Lonely Planet and the BBC, details some cons that are pretty obvious and fall into the category of "If You Fall For This One You Clearly Should Not Leave Home Ever", such as the rickshaw driver (substitute any local vehicle depending on region) who recommends a hotel/gem store/carpet dealer and then proceeds to take you WAY out of your way to a really dodgy shop where you're pressured/bullied/scared into buying something worthless.
Others have been around forever but can be hard to resist unless you're expecting them: the timeshare tout operates on charm and nonstop persistence to entrap you into wasting an afternoon watching a video presentation for a probably-legit but undesirable property deal. You need to instantly refuse their approach, and don't stop to argue!
More cunning are the motorbike scams, which are all variations on the theme of you deciding to see the island/city by hired scooter, and then the machine breaking down through some earlier sabotage by the supplier, or being "stolen" when you leave it for a moment, on account of you having been followed and the spare keys being utilised. In both cases, and all the other slightly different versions, you're bullied into handing over a lot of cash for needless repairs or compensation. Don't rent from small indepenents attached to guest houses or hotels, and take photos of the bike and the owner before you head off, as proof of the state of the machine. Oh, and never ever hand over your passport as security.
There are more, and another 90 NOT listed, but if you keep your wits about you, you'll not fall prey, and you'll have the time of your life!