How To Avoid The Most Popular Tourist Scams

If you are planning on traveling in the near future, there are a few scams to avoid upon your arrival at your destination. If you are anything like me, then I bet you always try to see the best in a situation, and tend to trust people upon first meeting them. As a person, I feel that is a great quality to have. As a tourist ... not so much. I say this out of love and concern for your well-being. You cannot be too trusting in an unfamiliar place. Take it from me.

When I went to visit my family in Russia a few years back, things took a nasty turn at the airport on my way back to America. My grandmother and I had just spent a lovely month hanging with relatives and old friends from my childhood. We were exhausted and ready to come home to our normal beds. When we were going to the airport gate, security personnel took a look at our passports and told us to wait on the side. Another guard came up to us and started to explain that I didn't have some kind of form to leave the country. His words were vague at best, and his tone was rough. We spent the next hour calling my mother, trying to get some kind of form sent over to the guard, even though no such form really existed.

You see, the guard saw that our passports were American, and decided to ask for a quick bribe. Tough cookie. Turns out he stumbled upon the only poor people with American passports visiting Russia. Out of principle, I refused to bribe him. We missed our flight, and had to re-book our tickets.

That is exactly the kind of story that I tell my friends when they travel to other countries. I think we should all be a little more vigilant. Luckily, the people over at BuzzFeed agree, and have created this lovely video, which breaks down common scams which you might encounter. So be aware and be safe, people!

1. Misdirection

This two-step scam seems like a double whammy. Not only are your pants and shirt soaked through, but your wallet is now missing as well. This is what a handy fanny pack can save you from. Sure, you might lose some style points, but at least you wont have to figure out how to get your passport back.

2. The Telephone Game

I love how we all assume that only old people can fall for these types of scams. I can assure you that people tend to be really good at scamming, and that you are not above falling for it — especially when you are distracted by an unfamiliar place. So be vigilant!

If you want to see BuzzFeed's full list of advice, see the video below! Safe travels, Internet dwellers!

Images: Youtube (2), Warner Bros. (1)