Common travel scams you’re likely to encounter
(and how to avoid them)
Nothing beats the experience of exploring new places. But your trip can easily turn into a bad memory if you fall prey to a travel scam. Read on to learn about the most common travel scams in India and how you can be on guard against them.
Don’t pay the entire amount in advance
A lot of offline and online services allow you to reserve your hotel rooms by paying a small fee. Paying the entire amount upfront without knowing what kind of hotel you are paying for can be a bad idea.
Check the rooms before you confirm
If you also prefer advance hotel bookings, make sure you book from a trusted website. If you’re travelling during the off-season, it is advisable to first check the rooms and see what you’re paying for. Many websites show a different room in photos, and it’s only after you check in that the reality hits.
Google Maps can be your saviour
When you hire a cab or auto, make sure you have your own navigation (such as Google Maps) turned on, to ensure you aren't being taken on a roundabout route. Your driver may try to take advantage of your unfamiliarity with the city and try charging you a lot more than the actual fare. Insist on paying by the meter.
Beware of fake booking offices
If a ticket booking office looks dubious, it probably is. Stay away from such shady booking offices. Look for government-approved ticketing offices instead.
Don’t fall for the interstate entry scam
If you’re travelling by road and when you cross a state border, officials may ask you to pay some amount as a fee. This is illegal and you don’t have to pay. Government toll booths, on the other hand, are legal and you will have to pay a minimal amount at these booths.
Stay clear of dubious tour guides
If you’re visiting a new destination and aren’t sure of places to visit, hire a guide. But instead of hiring a local guide, you should hire an official government-approved tour guide. Local guides may not only charge you more; they rarely give you a proper tour.