How to avoid getting scammed on holiday

Setting off on holiday is a great feeling and there’s almost nothing more relaxing than knowing you’ve got blissful days awaiting. To make sure nothing gets in the way of your well-earned break it pays to stay alert and aware of scammers who target unsuspecting holiday-makers.

Take a look at these tips below and tell us if you have any more to add to the list.

Metal Detector thieves

Everyone has to go through the metal detectors at the airport so it’s a prime spot for scammers to target unsuspecting travellers. There have been cases recently where scammers work in pairs at the security checkpoint. The first scammer walks through the metal detector, followed by the second who makes sure they have a pocket filled with coins to set of the beeper. While they are taking their time to empty their pockets, your belongings have already gone through the conveyer belt and out the other side where the first scammer picks them up and takes off. The best way to avoid this problem is to wait to the last minute to actually put your bag and valuables on the conveyer belt before walking through the detector.

Bad exchanges

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One of the most common ways people end up getting scammed on holiday is through dodgy money exchanges. Make sure you know exactly how much you should be getting back and take the time to re-count the money in front of the exchange officer.

Woeful Wi-fi

Finding free wi-fi on holiday can be like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but it pays to take a little bit of caution when using it. It’s best to avoid logging on to your bank account while using these networks as hackers can be waiting to steal your details. Social media and email accounts are usually fine, but avoid accessing sensitive information like bank and credit card accounts.

Internet schemes

As tempting as they might sound, holiday sales and deals advertised online aren’t always a good idea. While there are certainly reputable sites out there, if a deal looks too good to be true it probably is. As surprising as it sounds, thousands of people get scammed by these kind of ‘deals’ every year as they often appear to look professional and legitimate. A quick Google search of the company name should be able to tell you if they are trustworthy or not, and you can always contact a travel agent to ask for their advice.

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Dodgy taxis

Beware of unlicensed taxis as they will often raise the price at the last minute and try to get away with charging you an exorbitant amount of money for a standard fare. Familiarise yourself with the official taxi companies in the area and make sure they stick to the price on the metre. If you’re in the position to negotiate the fare before you leave make sure you have the correct change before you depart as you probably won’t get any change back.


Have you ever been scammed on holiday? Do you have any other tips to avoid getting scammed?