Home TIPS 5 Scams Aimed At Seniors Traveling Abroad
5 Scams Aimed At Seniors Traveling Abroad PDF Print E-mail

The basic way to avoid these possible problems when in a strange country is to be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Travel industry experts cite these five as the most likely travel-related crimes you may experience, usually when least expected.

Mugging: Stay away from late-night city sidewalks and alleys. Travel with at least one other person, preferably with a group headed by a local guide.

Pickpockets: They appear in all shapes, ages and genders, and fit in with their surroundings. Tourists, especially seniors, who roam in flashy clothing, are prime targets of pickpockets. Loose hanging purses are favorites. Carry money, smartphones and wallets in deep inside coat pockets that button or zipper shut. Keep a small amount of local currency in a handy quick-open, outer pocket for purchases. Take only enough cash for that day, and leave most money and valuables in the hotel safe.

Beggars: Don’t give money to beggars. One of the most effective tourist rip-offs involves children beggars. They work in teams, with some distracting potential victims, while others quickly go through clothing and grab bags. When beggars threaten to surround you, keep your hands on your secured pockets and back away to safety.

Costumed Street Characters: As in some big American cities, you’ll encounter aggressive people wearing Disney, comic book and other costumes. They make money by posing for pictures with tourists. Unless you want to pose, it’s best to ignore them. If they perform music and you pause to listen, leave a token contribution.

Volunteer guides: Too-friendly locals on streets where tourists gather can be iffy. They may offer to escort you to markets, restaurants or monuments on foot or provide automobile tours. If you get into a strange car, it could result in robbery or worse.

Money: Always learn in advance the value of foreign currency compared to dollars. Use a SmartPhone or electronic translator to get the right comparison figures when buying. Before riding in taxis and exchanging money in banks, restaurants and retail stores, be sure you know the exact values involved.

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