8 Popular Travel Scams You Should Know About

Don’t let these clever scams ruin your vacation.


The Fake Baby Scam

Ah, Rome. The land of the infamous fake baby trick. This scam works by a woman tripping and throwing her bundled “baby” right into your line of fire so you’ll have to try and save it. While you’re enthralled with what’s probably a sack of flour in a scarf, thieves will be taking your camera bag or anything else you’ve left behind in pursuit of saving this woman’s baby. They’re really good. Another common gypsy endeavor happens when a small child comes up to you to give you a flower, while another one is picking through your purse or pockets behind you. Beware of anyone tripping and tossing their baby, or any other weird situations. It’s most likely a distraction.

8 Popular Travel Scams You Should Know About

“Free” Massages on the Beach

Who wouldn’t want a free massage while basking in the sun on the beach? This scam is super common on the beaches in South America, like Colombia’s Baru Islands Playa Blanca. You’ll be soaking up the sun when a woman comes up and begins massaging you, as a “gift.” Creepy, but great! Yet after you’ve enjoyed the treat, she’ll ask for about $10 in pesos for her services. When traveling, it’s important to remember that nothing is actually free, so expect local opportunists to charge you for just about anything they do for you.

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Avatar of Sarah Woodstock

Sarah enlightens us on a daily basis with the newest trends as (and often before) they transpire. She is the consummate globe trotter. Having traveled to over 70 countries, she earns her living writing, blogging ( and modeling while on the road. In her spare time she gets manicures, suntans on yachts in Greece, shops for even more shoes, and lives in the limelight. She loves photography, elephants, sailboats, bangles and ballet flats.

Reader Discussion: 128 Comments

  1. Avatar of Claire Martinez

    Claire Martinez

    I would just add that in a lot of countries, taxi drivers are just charging a lot more because you’re a tourist and they’re aware that you don’t know the prices there. So ask a local to book your taxi or someone that knows the country very well.

  2. Avatar of Sandra Walling

    Sandra Walling

    There was this kind cab driver, and I ask for his phone number so that I can easily contact him when I need I ride. He has been my driver for almost 2 years now 🙂

  3. Avatar of Mary Shirley

    Mary Shirley

    Those crazy CD bullies! It happened to me, one time. I threw his CD back to him! I was like, Dude, I don’t even know you!

    • Avatar of Mira Kent

      Mira Kent

      Haha! I love your come back to that dude! ?

  4. Avatar of Bernice Miles

    Bernice Miles

    You should always have phone records in case of emergencies. Aside from your phone contacts, you should have a phone book.

  5. Avatar of Cindy Simon

    Cindy Simon

    Oh, scammers! They’ll do anything just to have some easy money from people. Why don’t they just find a decent job!

  6. Avatar of Sharon Novak

    Sharon Novak

    Paris. This is a sad news to read that there are a lot of scammers in the city of love 🙁

  7. Avatar of Delores Mullen

    Delores Mullen

    I’m sad by those fake baby scams. You’re going to help that lady and yet they’ll be taking advantage of that kindness that you’ve shown.?

  8. Avatar of Ann Amos

    Ann Amos

    I’ve never liked traveling alone. I can travel alone as long as the trip will be by a group. I prefer that than being alone, by myself, in a strange place I don’t know.

  9. Avatar of John Lineberger

    John Lineberger

    I’m gonna share this with my girlfriend because she and her family loves to travel. It’s better to know about this and be careful than be sorry at a later time.

  10. Avatar of Donna Mack

    Donna Mack

    Poor camels! Those Egyptians should be the one who’s TAKING CARE of them since they’re making use of them.

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