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Questions tagged [scams]

Tricks and deceits for defrauding travellers of money or valuables, etc.

115
votes
9answers
44k views

How to escape hip-hop CD giveaway scam in New York City?

Here is a situation I encountered multiple times in New York City streets, lately. Usually at a sidewalk corner where people are likely to wait for the pedestrian crossing "walk" signal, a gang of ...
106
votes
8answers
30k views

What's the deal with the “string people” in central Paris?

I've taken my fiancée to Paris twice - first for our 1st anniversary, and again for our 4th - and both times we had troubles with guys bothering us around the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. They hang ...
70
votes
6answers
19k views

How to get rid of the men who ask for money in Milan?

The men are mostly located in Duomo Square (Piazza del Duomo). They try to tie something to tourists' wrists and ask for money. I have fallen out with them many times. Also my friends who visit Milan, ...
69
votes
3answers
18k views

Job interview in London requires me to wire money to the travel agent. Is this a scam?

I was told that I can have a visitor visa to UK, is this legitimate? I have received an invitation letter and a job offer, and I was contacted by the appointed travel agent to prepare all related ...
60
votes
5answers
14k views

Can Customs make me go back to return my electronic equipment or is it a scam?

My fiance just returned home from Nigeria and he has been detained 4 days at Reagan International airport because he returned with electronic sonar hardware he used for his job. Customs has detained ...
58
votes
8answers
9k views

While on vacation my taxi took a longer route, possibly to scam me out of money. How can I deal with this?

I am on vacation and I have realized that some people here in Turkey are trying their best to get the money out of my pocket. I have already had a situation where after a folklore show I decided to ...
53
votes
3answers
10k views

Why do people in the Marrakech Medina say “That way is closed”?

I just got back from a Morocco trip and now have a massive doubt with respect to what it looks like a common behaviour in the Medina (old city). Whenever we wandered around off the souks and main ...
53
votes
1answer
4k views

My online friend is asking for money in order to visit my home country. Is this a legit request or a scam?

On Travel.SE we often see questions about a person (usually a love interest) asking for money to pay for airfare, visas, permits and other expenses. For example Visitor requesting a cash advance to ...
52
votes
3answers
9k views

Payment instructions allegedly from HomeAway look fishy to me

I'm in the process of setting up a long-term lease agreement for an apartment in my hometown with a landlord which lives abroad. The landlord suggested to use a middleman called HomeAway so that the ...
50
votes
1answer
5k views

Is it possible to insist on having your ID checked at the police station, not in the street in Austria?

I am a non-EU citizen and I understand that I could be stopped in Austria and asked for my passport (and visa). Moreover, as far as I know, there are police officers in Austria dressed in civilian ...
47
votes
5answers
14k views

How can I tell if this Polish villa for rent is a scam?

My in-laws booked a villa in Poland for the family vacation, and I found out too late they already paid half of the price by a bank transfer. Apart from the bank transfer itself I didn't find any red ...
43
votes
2answers
56k views

Will getting a refund from an ESTA scam site cause me to be blacklisted from the US?

A colleague accidentally purchased a US ESTA from a scam site that I won't dignify with a link, charging him $31. (The official site charges just $14.) Like most scam sites, the site actually did ...
42
votes
2answers
8k views

How does the taxi scam work at Luohu station in Shenzhen?

The Luohu station in Shenzhen has a taxi area where people queue to get their taxi: While queuing there are a few taxi drivers parked nearby who try to get customers from the queue. They claim that ...
36
votes
3answers
8k views

How to deal with the fake police scam in Spain?

I have read so many internet articles about safety in Spain, and the fake police scam is one of the most mentioned problems. Most of those reported cases are that the victims are surrounded by group ...
33
votes
2answers
7k views

Large cash requirement (2700 USD) for Russian citizens to fly to the US? [duplicate]

My girlfriend is Russian. Last night we tried to fly her to the US on a valid tourist visa. She was stopped at DME and told she would be required to have $2700 USD to get back home immediately even ...
33
votes
1answer
2k views

My tour guide took €78 for the airport departure tax from Northern Cyprus. Was this legitimate?

My BF and I just came back from a vacation in Cyprus (TRNC). My tour guide said there is a €39 airport departure tax, per person, payable directly to him in cash. I paid him, but didn't receive a "...
29
votes
2answers
5k views

Working in the USA for living expenses only; allowed on VWP?

My 18-year old niece has been offered work in LA by a 20 year old American born videographer she met at the Cannes Film Festival. She is learning scriptwriting/directing. He has suggested that he pays ...
29
votes
6answers
5k views

Am I being scammed somehow in being persuaded to move to another country? [closed]

Over the past year and a half I have gained quite a friendship with a person from another country. The reason we know each other is that I created a video online that gained a lot of attention. He ...
25
votes
4answers
8k views

Visitor requesting a cash advance to purchase airfare in-country. Legitimate or scam? [duplicate]

Woman planning to visit me from Ukraine to the US applied for a visa and such, claims to have paid for the visa but needs 500 dollars more for the airfare from Ukraine to the US. She says strict rules ...
25
votes
3answers
11k views

Is it risky to send a copy of my Passport to someone I only know online? [duplicate]

A few months ago, I met a man online, who lives in Jordan. He has asked me to fly over there from the US to marry him. He will pay for my flight and other accommodation costs, to which I have agreed. ...
23
votes
5answers
10k views

Is it possible that the return ticket of a round-trip is counterfeit? [closed]

Is it possible to buy round-trip tickets to Jamaica where the return ticket is counterfeit? My daughter-in-law says she's now stranded there. Is this possible?
23
votes
3answers
8k views

Does a Ghana citizen need $3000 in hand to travel to the USA? [duplicate]

I have met a girl online and wish to bring her to the USA. We have talked on the phone and via video chat. All documents are in order but they say she needs $3,000 (USD) in hand to travel. Is this ...
23
votes
5answers
91k views

Is Canadian Visa Expert a legitimate company or a scam?

I came across these guys: Canadian Visa Expert, who claim to be able to process visas to Canada, for work or study, for a fee of $467 (four hundred and sixty-seven dollars), and to carry out some ...
20
votes
3answers
7k views

Explain meaning of Mumbai scams

While reading about Mumbai on wikitravel, before my next business trip, I have found information about two scams, said to be popular in this city (or entire India?), which either lacks details or is ...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it normal for menus to be priced in grams in Venice, Italy?

I visited Venice recently. In one restaurant menus were priced in grams and not per portion. So this resulted in several times bigger bill when I have originally expected. Is this type of pricing is ...
20
votes
3answers
732 views

Are there plain clothes police patrols in Warsaw, or was I a victim of a scam?

I was walking along the river in Warsaw in the afternoon and was approached by two men who claimed to be police. They showed me ID, but I have no idea what Polish policja ID is supposed to look like, ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

Web Sites: Disneyland vs Disney World in the United States

I was looking for Disney tickets and I found these 2 sites (Disneyland and Disneyworld ) that look exactly like each other. However, one of them is way cheaper than the other. Which one can I trust?
19
votes
2answers
6k views

A Russian girl is asking for 500 euros to get a passport in Russia. Is this a realistic amount of money for a passport fee? [duplicate]

I met a girl from Russia and she wants to see Denmark. I told her to meet first in Moscow to know each other better - anyway she asked me for 500 Euro for an international passport (she never had one ...
15
votes
1answer
322 views

Why do some Indian hotels request more than the room rate as advance payment?

I've been travelling in India for about 2 months now and about half the places I've stayed have asked for an advance payment way over the room rate at the time of check in. Often asking for 1000 ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

How to tell scam taxis from legitimate ones in Bangkok? Does it make sense prebooking?

I know that most horror stories never happen, still I think it might be good to know how to tell apart legitimate taxi drivers in Bangkok from ones that will overcharge you... Does it make sense to ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Does a verified US citizen need a police & medical report to return from Ghana? [duplicate]

I've been told by a girl supposedly from New York I met online, who currently is working in Ghana, that she requires police and medical reports to return to the US. Is this true? The cost was quoted ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Travel agent is claiming I have made an online booking but I haven't [closed]

Today I got call from a Travel Agent and a mail which shows that I have booked a ticket to fly to India on 15th and return date 25 August 2017. Travel agent said I have booked the tickets. However, ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the name of the travel show that exposes how travelers are conned?

I once saw a travel show on Discovery or Nat Geo, I can't remember which one, in which the host of the show travels to different cities around the world and exposes how travelers are conned. Just ...
12
votes
2answers
326 views

Is there still any franc/ariary confusion risk in Madagascar?

Wikivoyage warns against franc/ariary confusion in Madagascar: The former currency Malagasy Franc (Franc Malgache) was replaced in 2005 by the Ariary (Ar-ee-ar) which is worth 5 Francs. For example,...
11
votes
1answer
848 views

What can I do if a hotel booked online turns me away but keeps my money?

I booked a hotel at Hotels.com for one night in Austin because I didn't want to drive the two hours back to Houston. I arrived at the hotel and the owner told me my card was declined on Hotels.com. I ...
11
votes
1answer
376 views

Is the Berlin Wall Section on the Sakharov Grounds Accessible at Night?

I am informed that the only known section of the Berlin Wall situated in Russia is on the grounds of the Andrei Sakharov Center. The centre itself is composed of his former residence and a 'largish' ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

“Booking” nightclubs for solo tourists in their thirties

I've heard about booking nightclubs in Korea, where you can pay a waiter to bring over someone of the opposite sex. I'd like to try it, but I've got a couple of questions. I'll be 38 when I go over ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Am I being scammed? (UK visit visa refusal)

I am from Pakistan. I applied for a 4 week UK family visit visa with my 6 year old daughter and they refused, my refusal issue is the same. I am going to quote my refusal letter: [ These objections ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I Fabricate Additional Support Document after UK V 4.2 (a) +(c) refusal

My UK tourist visa has been refused due to paragraph 4.2 (a) and (c). I'm planning to reapply and ask an agency to guide me on the additional documents that I need to provide. They advised me to ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Official ESTA application website and are the others scams?

A quick search for ESTA application returned many results. According to this page on cbp.gov, the official site to apply for an ESTA is esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Are the others scams, legitimate third party ...
10
votes
2answers
909 views

How do I recognize a scam website?

Inspired by How to get my passport back to me in Michigan from a travel agent in California, when he wants me to buy his services? I feel we should have a canonical place to deal with these. While not ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Can minors apply for a visa on their own to travel to South Korea for a K-Pop training program?

Does a minor need their parents' permission to apply for a visa and to travel unaccompanied to another country? I am a 15-year-old Tunisian and want to attend a K-Pop training program in South Korea.
9
votes
1answer
196 views

Is a request for photographic evidence (ID & credit card) legitimate for the purchase of tickets to the Australian Open?

Next month I'm going to Australia for the first time and will visit the Australian Open in Melbourne. Yesterday I bought the tickets for AO by Ticketbis and today received an mail requiring me to send ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Fake work permit and deportation

My friend didn't know that an agent gave him a fake work permit. He was not stopped at the Calcutta Airport and was cleared to board the Emirates Plane to Dubai. After reaching Dubai Airport T-3, the ...
8
votes
5answers
831 views

Gasoline beggars in and around Los Angeles — scam?

Last weekend, I was driving a car back to Los Angeles. I filled up in Victorville and topped up again near the LAX rental car return. On both occasions, a man approached me asking/begging to put ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Booking.com host asks to transfer money to his card. Should I comply?

I have booked a flat with the next conditions (get standard letter from booking.com): Your reservation 3 nights, 1 room Change Check-in Sunday 14 May 2017 (14:00 - 18:00) Check-out Wednesday ...
8
votes
1answer
573 views

Is myflightmart a scam?

I checked this answer and it has privacy policy phone number & address registered to the same name. However, I'm still suspicious. They have far cheaper tickets via chat or over the phone ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Another driver pulled me over on the motorway and asked for petrol. Was it a scam attempt? [closed]

These days, I was driving on the D11 in Czechia in the early evening hours. Shortly before Prague, I had stopped at a service area. Not too long after I had pulled out and was back on the motorway, I ...
8
votes
1answer
977 views

How can I tell if a visa agent is trustworthy?

I'm about to apply for a visa for an upcoming trip to China, so I'm looking into visa agents - those companies that will accept your passport and application documents by FedEx or UPS (etc.) shipment, ...
8
votes
1answer
630 views

Farestore.com, TravelMerry.com: MUCH cheaper than “normal” websites. Is this real?

Typically I use hipmunk to quickly figure out what good connections and good prices are. Recently I saw that "unknown" websites like farestore or travelmerry are the lowest bidder by a huge margin. ...