Major Travel Scams To Avoid: Tips for Digital Nomads
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If you’re a digital nomad, there’s a good chance you’ll be traveling most of the time. After all, it’s the benefit of being a digital nomad, right.
While it can be an exciting part, it also comes with its share of dangers. Being a solo digital nomad who travels frequently increases the possibility of scams. Therefore, it’s important to understand those scams and some ways to avoid them.
So, in this article, we’ll comprehend some of the most common yet majors scams to watch out for and give some tips that might come in handy on your next travel.
1. Fake Taxi Drivers
One of the most common scams that happen to frequent travelers is getting cheated by a fake taxi driver. These scammers will often claim to be taxi drivers, but they may take you on a wild goose chase around town instead of taking you to your destination.
The main aim of the fraudsters is to mint as much money as possible in the form of fares. The bigger threat is that they can prove to be quite dangerous if they sense your vulnerability.
Ways to avoid fake taxi driver scam
- Make sure you only take taxis that have proper licensing.
- If you're not familiar with the area, ask your hotel or someone else in town for a recommendation on a reputable taxi driver.
- Always use legit online taxi booking services to book your ride and ensure the fare beforehand.
- Avoid commuting at night when it's more likely that there will be fake taxi drivers out on the streets.
2. Rental Scams
Being a remote worker can be challenging, as it has its own share of difficulties. Working in a different location can be quite an expensive affair. Therefore, it motivates the workers to save money by renting a budget-friendly room or apartment.
However, this can often lead to disaster as many of these lucrative rental deals can be a scam. The property may not even exist, or the owner may take advantage of your being new in the town.
Ways to avoid rental scams
- Only rent from reputable online rental services or agencies.
- Always check the property yourself before handing over any money and take pictures to document its condition.
- Pay your rental using a credit or debit card, as it will provide you with proof of the transaction if needed in the future.
3. Bump and Grab Scam
This scam is particularly common in crowded areas. It involves someone bumping into you and then stealing your belongings before you have a chance to react. The thief will usually make a quick getaway on foot or by bike, making it difficult for you to catch them.
Digital nomads need to be extra careful, as it can be easy to spot them among the usual crowd. Therefore, they can become an easy target of scammers.
Ways to avoid the Bump and Grab scam
- Beware of everything in your vicinity, and be suspicious of anyone who bumps into you.
- Keep your belongings close to you and in sight at all times.
- If possible, avoid carrying any valuable items or documents while going out.
- If you do get bumped, immediately report the incident to the police.
4. Online Scams
As a remote worker, you’re likely to do a lot of your work online. This makes you an easy target for scammers, as they can easily pose as legitimate businesses or individuals in phishing mail. They do so to extract your personal information or money.
Moreover, some remote workers unknowingly use public WiFi, which may turn out to be dangerous. Cybercriminals usually target public WiFi to hack the systems of users to steal data and sell it on the black market.
Ways to save yourself from online scams
- Only use reputable online platforms and services.
- Never share your personal information unless you are absolutely sure of the source.
- Avoid clicking on any suspicious links or downloading any unknown files.
- Use strong passwords and keep them confidential.
- Avoid using public WiFi to save yourself from hackers. However, use a VPN in case there is no other option than public WiFi.
5. Currency Exchange Frauds
When you’re working remotely in a foreign country, it can be tempting to exchange your currency at a local currency exchange booth. However, many of these booths are actually scams and will give you counterfeit currency or incorrect change.
Ways to avoid getting scammed by a currency exchange booth
- Always use a reputable currency exchange service.
- Do online transactions wherever applicable.
- Avoid indulging in exchanging money at the airport, as these exchanges are often more expensive and offer worse exchange rates.
6. Cheap Deals Scam
It’s common for digital nomads to think about their budget and figure out ways to save some money. This drive leads to cheap deals scams among digital nomads, where scammers offer them a too-good-to-be-true deal on a product or service. Once they agree to it, they take the money and disappear.
Ways to avoid getting scammed by cheap deals
- Be suspicious of extremely affordable offers.
- Double-check the legitimacy of the business or individual before agreeing to any purchase.
- If possible, pay with a credit card so that you can dispute the charge if needed.
- Never carry too much cash with you when roaming around the town for work-related meetings.
- Keep in mind that nothing comes free, so prevent exploring such unbelievable deals.
The above-mentioned scams are some of the most common ones that digital nomads and remote workers face while working in a new place. These scams can often be easy to fall for, but you can avoid them with a few simple precautions.
Always trusting authentic sources saves you from a great hassle and makes your remote location a safe place to work. Be aware of your surroundings, use reputable services, and be cautious with any financial transactions, and you’ll be safe!