The summer months are right around the corner and I’m sure you have an idea (or many ideas) of where it is you would like to go on holiday, you’ve saved all year and have set a budget that you wish to keep. A holiday in the sun and time away from reality will be the highlight of the summer for many. But if you’re not careful, you could become one of the many people who fall victim to holiday crime every year. Here are scams to look out for:
Fraudulent Holiday Booking Websites
Before you’ve even left the country you can succumb to a holiday scam through the actual booking website. Scammers set up copy-cat websites offering all-inclusive services such as airline tickets, hotel accommodation and travel insurance etc. just like any other credible website.
- Shop around – To draw you in, scammers have considerable cheaper prices compared to other competitors. So, if you see an offer with a much lower deal from an unfamiliar website, you might want to think twice about it. Make sure to always check the verified identity of the website you are using.
- Never pay for you holiday via bank transfer, as it will likely be a scam. Use a credit or debit card that can at least offer levels of consumer protection.
If you plan on doing lots of moving around while away, a rental car would be the good alternative to avoid taxi fares. One of the most common scams that people come across are the differing fuel policies such as ‘full-empty’, this is where rental companies will insist you purchase a full tank of petrol upon picking up your car and return it with an empty tank.
Of course, what normally happens is that you don’t use the full amount of fuel and return it with a half-empty tank, leaving you out of pocket – always choose to return the car with a full tank, so you only pay for what you use.
Also, make sure to inspect the vehicle thoroughly for damages before leaving the rental car lot, as you could get charged for damages you didn’t do. Make sure to take pictures and note down where exactly the damages are, if any.
Taxis can be a cheap and convenient way of getting around while you’re on holiday. However, you need to be cautious that you don’t get taken advantage of for being a tourist. There are many shady ways that taxi drivers increase their prices such as, detours, excessive prices and unexplained additional charges.
To avoid such rip-offs, settle the destination and a fixed price before you leave. You should also ask the driver to show his/her license as well as a taximeter to determine authenticity and do some research before to determine the average cost of taxi’s in that region.
Tip and Cover Charge
There are several ways that one can be taken advantage of by a restaurant or even the waiter that includes, adding additional charges to your bill, adding gratuity without your knowledge and a cover charge.
To avoid these, make sure you always check and ask for a receipt and roughly estimate before how much you think it will be along with how much money you have. Make sure you check the fine print on the menu as you may miss the small text that details ‘information’, not noticing that could lead you to a surprise at the end of your meal with an unexplained charge.