Watch Out! Travel Scams Around the World

When you’re travelling, few things are worse than discovering that you’ve not only forked out for your hotel and flights, but you’re probably also paying for some street-scammers dinner/new watch. Criminality and scams are an unfortunate truth present at just about every corner of the globe; where there’s money, there will almost certainly be someone trying to take it from you. Here are some of the top global scams to look out for!


A popular scamming technique in Rome at the moment is the infamous “fake baby” ruse, which is where a (usually older) woman trips over and thrusts a bundled doll towards you. This is playing on the probably safe assumption that you’re going to be a caring enough person to drop what you think is a real baby, which distracts you for long enough for the cheeky pickpocket – often a child – to grab your wallet.

Image by yakobusan Jakob Montrasio


In Orlando, guests in hotels around Disney World have been finding pizza delivery menus under their doors, which they then use to place a phone order. You can probably guess the rest; the phone number is really connected to a pizza restaurant but to an identity scammer, who takes your card number and then spends it on – well – probably quite a bit more than a stuffed crust pepperoni.

Image by terren in Virginia

New York City

The CD bullies of New York’s Times Square are known for being particularly intimidating. A guy on a street corner will hand you what you assume is a free copy of his music. As soon as its in your hands, you’ll suddenly be surrounded by his friends who demand money for it – up to $15 in some cases. The best way to avoid is is just to lay it down on the floor and walk off.

Image by Diego3336


Near the pyramids in Cairo, there will sometimes be camels with trainers, offering a picture on top of the camel for a photo. They’ll ask for money, and after you’ve paid and mounted the animal, you’ll be asked to pay more money just to get down! If you’ve never been held hostage on top of a humped animal before, well, it’s best to keep it that way!

Image by Daveness98

Las Vegas

Sin City’s cabdrivers are famously tricky; one common scam involves a cabbie who insists on unloading your bags at your hotel or the airport. He says he’s in a rush, slams the trunk, and speeds away. Only later do you notice that one of your bags is missing. Naughty!

Image by o palsson

Top image by Gray Eminence