The top 5 countries where you are most likely to get scammed

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It is true that travelers can be scammed everywhere, even in Europe and other traditionally safe destinations, especially when it is the first time that they go abroad and they do not yet have everything understood. Nevertheless, there is five specific destinations where the risk of being cheated is higherand more caution is therefore advised.

Galata Tower in Istanbul, Turkey

Going abroad and immersing yourself in a different culture can be an amazing experience, but it certainly does not come without its own challenges. On the other hand, most of the time, your knowledge of the local language and customs will be limited, which will inevitably leave you more susceptible to scams – even online.

For this reason, you may want to read the data compiled by the online trading platform Investment objective on the number of scams reported in a number of countries in 2021 before boarding:

5. Turkey

View of Ankara Fortress with the Turkish flag above the ancient structure, Ankara, capital of Turkey

Continent(s): Europe, Asia

Number of scams in 2021: 1,938,900

Turkey – officially Turkyia – is the fifth country with the highest number of online scams in the world. When planning a visit, travelers are advised to book their flights and leisure activities through reliable websites, as credit card cloning and data theft are much more common in Turkey than in other countries. other European or Asian countries.

More precisely, the online fraud rate is 23 per 1,000 people, but it should be noted that this is limited to cybercrimes only. Unfortunately, other types of scams have been widely reported in Turkey, such as friendly shopkeepers kindly offering “free” samples for which you are then forced to pay a fortune, and taxi drivers operating with inflated fares.

4. Russia

Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

Continent(s): Europe, Asia

Number of scams in 2021: 5,330,000

While we don’t see tourism picking up in Russia anytime soon due to its aggression against Ukraine, this intercontinental monster has captivated visitors for centuries, having spawned novelists like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, and home to the Bolshoi Theatre. Despite its cultural prestige, Russia is the fourth most corrupt nation on this ranking.

There are currently 37 scams per 1,000 people in Russia, with Americans among those affected. In fact, the US State Department has dedicated a whole section from their website to internet dating scams in Russia; Additionally, visitors are told to beware of ‘fake policeand unlicensed tour operators charging exorbitant fees.

3. Mexico

Aerial view of Mexico City, Mexico

Continent: North America

Number of scams in 2021: 5,500,000

America’s favorite, Mexico ranks at an undesirable number 3. This supports other findings that, in the space of three years, travel scams have increased by more than 200% at one of the country’s most popular beaches. As it seems, ghost agencies selling fake vacation packages are largely responsible for reputational damage.

With 42.7 scams per 1,000, Mexico is the only North American country to make the top five, despite the government’s latest promise to fight crime more actively. From targeting vulnerable tourists online to Cancun’s well-documented record of taxi scams, Mexico still has a long way to go to become a more just society.

2. India

Tourist couple riding an elephant in India, South Asia

Continent: Asia

Number of scams in 2021: 120,000,000

The second, India, registers a whopping 87 per 1,000 people, more than double the figures of Mexico and Russia. Beyond the Internet, where shady operators sell the usual fraudulent packages, visitors can get ripped off at unofficial “tourist offices”take more expensive taxis from the airport and fall victim to the indian mark “change of hotel” scam.

Additionally, the United States lists “crime” and “terrorism” as two other reasons why Americans should not let their guard down when visiting India, and maintain a high level of situational awareness in transit areas marked by my conflict (for example, along the border with neighboring Pakistan) . Women can also be at a particularly high risk of danger when traveling alone.

1. Brazil

Historic colonial town of Tiradentes, Minas Gerais, Brazil, South America

Continent: South America

Number of scams in 2021: 125 410 052

Crowned scam king by a wide margin, Brazil had a rate of 590 scams per 1,000 people in 2021, 503 points ahead of India, and even further 567 from Turkey number five. Although India has 1.38 billion people and Brazil only 212.6 million, the latter still overtakes the South Asian giant in total incidents.

It may be South America’s top-rated sunny destination, with 4,650 miles of coastline and a myriad of incredible, off-the-beaten-track places ready to be explored, but traveling to this country the size of a continent requires careful planning in advance and a deeper knowledge of Brazilian culture. Otherwise, theft and violence remains a major concern.


Travel scam concept Image of a woman holding her credit card while chatting on the phone overlooking the sea

Although data from InvestinGoal does not indicate how many of these online scams affected tourists or were specifically travel-related, research is a clear indication of countries where the practice is prevalent, whatever its nature. In Mexico and Turkey, for example, tourism accounts for a significant portion of their GDP, making this specific sector extremely profitable for criminals.

Therefore, in order to avoid getting scammed and ruining your vacation when traveling to any of the above countries, make sure to:

A solo male traveler gets into a taxi or Uber car as the driver opens the door for him, Uber concept image
  • Always book leisure activities/excursions through an authorized operator
  • Avoid making a flight or hotel reservation through a local travel agency that you have never heard of or whose online reviews are not good
  • Use Uber or official taxi apps where available (for added safety, recheck driver score)
  • Pre-book airport and/or intercity transfers online in advance
  • Keep a low profile when visiting overly touristy sites where scammers and thieves are known to operate (never flash jewelry or other valuables unnecessarily)
  • Keep an eye on your belongings when approached by a random stranger, as friendly as he seems
  • If you need help as a visitor or looking for information, find the nearest tourist welcome center

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This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your upcoming trip, please visit:

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