The Most Common Scams Played on Tourists in India


India is a country in southern Asia. It is the world’s 7th country by its surface area and the second most populous, with about 1.2 billion inhabitants and is the most populous democracy in the world.

In the south, there is a coastline of the Indian Ocean, in the south-west of the Arabian Sea, and in the southeast is the Bengal Bay. It borders Pakistan to the west, to the northeast with China, Nepal, and Bhutan, and to the east with Bangladesh and Myanmar. Near India, islands in the Indian Ocean, are located Sri Lanka and the Maldives; In addition, the Indian islands of Andamans and Nicobars share a border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Also, India is one of the world’s most fascinating destinations and its rich cultural heritage, the explosion of colors, smells and tastes will leave no one indifferent.

But behind its gorgeous colors, there are many risks. Perhaps during your trip, you will not be a victim of a scam, but it is best to arrive at the destination ready to identify a potential problem and to know how to react to it. These are some of the most common scams that tourists are exposed to today.

Invalid taximeter

The law in India states that all taxis must have a taximeter, so if you do not see it, do not even enter the vehicle. If your driver says the meter is defective and offers you to drive at a fixed price (which suddenly increases when you approach the destination), it’s also a scam. Sometimes drivers simply refuse to include a taximeter or adjust it so the price grows rapidly. In both cases, please kindly ask the driver to stop the taxi, go out and look for another vehicle.

Fake SIM cards

On the one hand, buying a SIM card in India is a good idea and will save you a lot of money. On the other hand, this venture requires a little effort, because in order to get it you need to have the complete documentation, to fill out a form, and a photo. However, if you are lazy and decide to skip these steps and simply buy the SIM from the “unofficial” vendor, be prepared for consequences. Namely, this usually means that you will have to pay in advance a significant amount for a SIM card credit, which is, of course, a scam, and your card will not only have any credit, it will be completely fake.

Non-stop hotel

It may happen that you sit in a taxi and tell the driver the name of the hotel, and then he informs you that the hotel does not exist, it is closed, or the roads leading to it are currently closed. Then he will offer you to take you to an even better and cheaper hotel for a smaller fee. This is most often the case when you use a pre-paid taxi from the airport, and it is blackmail because the driver has already charged you for a ride, but you need to give him more money to get going. Therefore, it is best to organize transportation directly with the hotel.

Fake banknotes

Counterfeiting is not a rarity in India, and it is easiest to force it on foreigners who are not completely sure what local banknotes look like. A vendor or a taxi driver will tell you that the banknote you gave him is a fake. When he returns you, he will replace your legit one with a counterfeit. Before going out, get acquainted with your money and always closely monitor every monetary transaction.

Fake tickets

Traveling in India is an unforgettable experience, but always buy tickets at the official ticket offices or through a trusted agent. If someone offers you a ticket at the station, even if wearing something that looks like a uniform or has an ID, you will buy an invalid train ticket for a lot of money.

Gathering blessings

Another indispensable attraction for India is its many temples and religious sites. Unfortunately, these places are not spared from the presence of tricksters, who are most often dressed like monks. They will come to you and ask if you want a blessing, which comes in the form of a bracelet or rosary, and will require you to pay a large sum for it. The scammers who are presented as elders of the temples and are seeking various types of donations are also frequently seen. The best tactic is to refuse decisively and politely, without any discussion.

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