Common Tourist Travel Scams In India – Before You Travel
Below, is a list of 3 very popular tourist travel scams that take place throughout India. These more so in the larger cities, that visitors should be aware.
Don’t let yourself become a target for scammers while visiting here, or for any other country around the world!
Beware Of Begging Scams
Common Tourist Travel Scams in India #1
One of the most common and biggest rackets involving visitors to the India, is the Begging Scam. This involves entire families working in conjunction with organized crime in the country.
Poverty in India is real, and unfortunately there are people and organizations taking advantage of this. Sadly, they are also making huge amounts of money off of this.
So big in fact, that it was last reported that over forty five million dollars annually is collected throughout the country.
Begging scams can vary widely and visitors must take care not to be pressured, or allow their feelings to be the victims of this scam.
Here a few common examples of typical Begging scams:
Children may approach you with fake bandages wrapped on various parts of their bodies. This, in order to make you feel sorry for them.
A mother and infant approaching you for money to feed her starving child. If you’re on foot, they may walk you to a market to purchase expensive milk for them.
When you leave, the mother and shopkeeper will split the proceeds you paid to her for the milk.
Tourist Scams in India #2
One other widely huge scam in India is the ⚕ Medical Racket Scam. At last count, there are believed to be over 45,000 fake doctors in India.
This is close to actual amount of real practicing physicians in the entire country!
These fake doctors are taking part in a huge and many times very problematic scam. They particularly feed off of visitors traveling to India.
Many of these fake doctors are also associated with the criminal underworld in the country. You will come across countless small medical clinics most everywhere, particularly in the larger cities.
Most of these fraudulent doctors will charge an average of $32 a visit. This is twice what the average worker employed in the city would make in a week!
They will also prescribe medicine for you that is not real. In many cases, it’s just a mixture of Ayurvedic type medicine that’s widely used in the country.
Safety of Ayurvedic Medicine
A prime example of this mixture is commonly used on visitors. Many tourist to India will often need to attend a clinic for dreaded Travelers Diarrhea.
In Mexico, this is commonly referred to as “Montezuma’s Revenge.” In India it is known as Delhi Belly.
A fake doctor will charge you for the visit, pretend to give you an examination and then make you purchase a concoction of Ayurvedic medicine.
In some cases, it could worsen your condition!
So, the best way to avoid seeing one of these scam professionals, is to first check with your hotel staff or similar reputable individual.
Ask where the best nearby clinic is with a Certified Doctor present.
Medical Certificate Scam – Insurance Fraud
Tourist Travel Scams in India #3
Some people most everywhere around the globe, can be dishonest and will try anything to make a buck. In India, m these fake doctors have been caught issuing fake medical certificates.
They will prepare one for those individuals who may be trying to scam their insurance companies back home.
For around 3300 rupees or approximately $55 usd dollars, you can get one of these scam doctors to issue you an authentic looking medical certificate. The individual then makes a false claim on their insurance.
For example, many use these to extend their stay for any particular reason. The certificate confirms that the individual is unfit to travel. The insurance company will then pay for meals, lodging and flights home, depending on the type of policy held.
Many insurance companies may have policies involving cash payments as well.
These types of medical certificates can be for many different types of fraudulent means, depending on how much you are willing to pay!
This practice is Fraud and strictly prohibited by law, for both sides involved. You can be arrested and thrown in a foreign prison if caught by police.
The Typical Taxi Scam
Tourist Travel Scams in India #4
Taxi Scams are by far, the most popular travel scam most anywhere you travel to these days. I’ve even tried to be scammed in Las Vegas, Nevada from the airport.
Luckily, we had traveled there many times before. The driver was going to take the long way to the hotel, but I stopped him abruptly!
A couple of taxi and tuk-tuk scams you should be aware of in India include;
Fast Running Taxi Meters Scam
If you are stepping into a cab with a running meter, be careful to watch that it is not running too fast. The few times we took a taxi in India, we always set a price with the driver before stepping into the cab.
At the airports, we used the prepaid government taxi booths.
They were great, with no hassle and your fare was paid right at the booth. You simply went out to the taxi line with your receipt and handed it to your driver!
With Tuk-Tuk taxis, always set a final price with the driver before stepping in and accepting the ride. At train stations in particular, touts will rush you and try to scam as much as they can from you.
Take your time and negotiate a fair price with the driver. It pays to do a little homework beforehand, to know where you are going and the distance to your destination.
Your Hotel Is Fully Booked And Closed Scam
We actually had a driver try to pull this one on us during our travels in Thailand. We hopped in a cab in Bangkok, and the driver told us our hotel was full for the evening.
He wanted to take us to another he recommended instead. We simply said – “No, take us to ours or we will find another taxi!”
Some drivers, particularly in New Delhi and Mumbai, will try their best to take you to a different place to stay, instead of your chosen one.
If they are successful, they will receive a cash incentive from the place they have taken you to. This can be for accommodations, shops and/or tourist attractions.
Be firm with drivers, don’t let them mislead you and you will be just fine. If they are persistent, just find another taxi to ride.
Final Tips And Recommendations
For Travelers To Avoid Tourist Scams In India
If you simply must give in and want to offer some money, then experts recommend a maximum of 10 to 20 rupees only. Try to give to very elderly or crippled individuals on the streets.
If I had some change left over and saw one of these individuals, I did hand over the spare change to them on a number of occasions.
Do Not give money to ladies with infants and be a victim of this scam. These scammers are after your money and are very persistent. In many cases, they will not leave you alone until you hand over some cash.
In New Delhi, I saw a number of these scammers on the street and even saw a few with 📱 cellphones in their hands!
Beware, if you do give these people some money, you may find yourself swarmed by other beggars and scammers.
These types of scam artists can be found all over the world, particularly in poorer countries when poverty exists. If you are traveling to such destinations, always be aware of this practice. Try not to let your emotions get the better of you.
I always prefer to donate to well respected world renowned charitable organizations such as Kiva, one of my favorites.
Having traveled throughout India for 7 weeks a few seasons ago, I really never experienced anything extraordinary from that of other parts of the world I’ve traveled to.
Certainly there are your touts and taxi drivers who will take advantage of you like anywhere else, even as mentioned that I experienced in the United States. You will always see a few shop keepers that will try to take advantage of you and squeeze as much as they can from you.
We had an amazing experience traveling throughout India, with memories that will last a lifetime. Sure, I got taken a few times for meals and a tuk-tuk ride, but the cost was minimal.
Most people were extremely friendly and helpful. They were anxious to speak with a foreigner, wherever we traveled to in the country!
Safe and Healthy Travels!
“The Very Popular Board Game Snakes and Ladders Originated in India.”
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