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Experts Reveal 2023’s Biggest Vacation Scams and How to Avoid Them

by Aoife O'Riordan

Dec 30, 2022

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Tips / Safety

January often marks the busiest month for booking holidays in Europe, and that means more opportunities for scammers to take advantage of travelers. To prepare travelers for 2023, experts at Scams.info compiled a series of tips on how to avoid the most common scams targeting tourists abroad.


Public WiFi

While convenient, connecting to shared public WiFi has its risks. Public WiFi may not be as secure as your private network at home, so, when browsing on the internet on public WiFi, be sure to avoid sites and apps that require you to input personal information. One option for tourists abroad is to download a VPN, which blocks any unwarranted third-party companies from accessing your data.




Look up how to reach your hotel or designated destination before you arrive by finding reliable, licensed taxi firms. These firms require drivers to carry and display their ID badge in the vehicle. Often, unregulated airport taxis take advantage of tourists who may not know the typical taxi fares, resulting in extremely high rates or even a trip to the incorrect destination. Before entering a taxi, ask the driver what the fare will be before starting the journey. Do not enter the vehicle if the driver refuses to show you his or her ID or does not pre-warn you of fares.



Fully research the property before booking online. This includes looking for reviews with images and ensuring the property is a registered building. Many advertisements show accommodations that aren’t real, are outdated or are unlike the images shown. Book through reputable travel agencies to avoid illegitimate accommodations.



No landmark has official photographers, and companies claiming to be official photographers at landmarks exist to force tourists into paying them for something that is otherwise free. Consult staff working in or near landmarks, as they often have the best general knowledge of the area and can advise you on photography regulations.


Phony PCR

With some countries requiring travelers to report valid, negative COVID-19 tests before entry, more reports emerge of scammers conning holidaymakers with fake PCR tests and ‘fit to fly’ certificates. Research any required testing on the country’s official website.



Always book excursions through an official company. Some giveaways of illegitimate companies include the lack of health and safety precautions necessary to keep you safe. To avoid booking with an illegitimate company, book any excursions directly through the official travel agency with which you booked your trip. Should you opt for a third-party company, ensure you properly research the company before booking, as well as look at previous customer reviews.



Thoroughly research any casino games you intend to take part in before arriving. Casino staff may explain a game to you in a complex manner to take advantage of your potential lack of knowledge of the area that would benefit the casino. In fact, Scams.info includes six famous examples of Las Vegas casino scams here.



While this is nothing new, keeping this in mind throughout your travels is essential, as scammers become increasingly creative. Scammers might interact with you directly to allow a third party to steal from you without you knowing. To avoid any potential theft of valuables, leave them at home and, if you must bring them with you, store them in a money belt kept close to your body.


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