Federal Trade Commission
I told them I just had new windows installed in my house and didn't need any new ones and she hung up. Microsoft office was turning my windows settings off and trying to chardge for new drivers and then disabled drivers on my computer that was working fine for 9 monthes before they started playing money games -- they had tech still logged in and moving arrow on my mouse and stuff -- spyhunter4 from enigma software has my old crash reports and i paid Geeks tech support dollars for 5 years to fix up what microsoft office messed up on purpose and tried charging outlandish prices to fix -- all was fixed except i went from windows 10 back to windows 7 and is still that way because facebook is crooked enough that they tried charging dollars to reinstall window 10 and blue screen crashes have just started again -- i,m ready to have geeks tech support fix it again and turn the reports into trade commission , better bussiness bureau or the trade center -- Microsoft office has over complaints on Twitter for the exact same thing and nothing ever done about it.
I started asking about the date and error code, their name and employee ID, but the one that got them to hang up? I called the number and was told this person Indian accent worked for Microsoft and my computer was infected with a Zeus Trojan Virus.
Through remote access I was shown I have errors on my computer and several Windows programs were not working. I had been hacked by the Russians. Thankfully nothing detected but could they have my info or could I still have the virus? Check your browser extensions and run a scan for adware.
You should be fine, but avoid the website where the popup appeared. If it's a site you consider reliable, contact the administrator to let them know what sort of ads they're using. Gave the usual story about my so-called 'infected' computer. Told him I wasn't home and asked for his number for so I could leave a message for Kathy me to call back After all these years of having a computer, this is the first time I got one of these scam callers!
Omg someone just called me from a Washington DC area asking me bout my email; I hung up a man with Indian accent. I actually tried this right now. But the woman said "you do, a laptop".
She was right and it creeped me out. I didn't immediately hang up, just stayed quiet to make her think she lost the line. After two ticks she hung up. This is interesting, as i've long suspected employees of major retailers or the retailers themselves of selling customer information.
I was watching a Derren Brown video on YouTube when the video suddenly cut out and I got a blue screen of death on my Windows 10 laptop. The stop code was Memory Management. That's never happened before. My laptop restarted and I continued to use it. As soon as I put my laptop down and walked past the telephone, it rang. It was creepy timing. The caller had a distinct Indian accent and there was a lot of noise in the background, like a rather chaotic call centre. He told me he was from Windows and that a virus had infected my computer and that these viruses usually come from opening emails.
I replied that I hadn't opened any emails and I hung up the phone. I knew it was a scam straight away. Windows don't make personal calls for viruses, they don't call your landline, and they don't operate from dodgy call centres in India. I also hardly ever use my windows laptop as we have an iMac and I prefer to use that. I did a virus scan straight away and sure enough, there was nothing found. Is it possible that they were able to trace my landline from my IP Address?
I've only been living here for a short amount of time. I used to live over the other side of Australia. I bought my laptop over there.
The landline here is my husbands. Also, was this connected to my watching YouTube? As that is when my laptop crashed. Or was that just an eerie coincidence? I can understand how some unsuspecting people may see the blue screen with the message at the bottom: If you call a support person give them this info: I'm not really computer savvy, so I'd appreciate your feedback.
Got a flashing screen on my computer that I was infected with a virus and if I didn't call this MicroSoft number, scammers would have access to my log in info for AOL, Facebook, my bank, etc. I called the number and was told it was an easy fix. They needed remote access to my computer. He had a very official looking MicroSoft screen with phone numbers, addresses, etc, but it flashed by so quickly I couldn't write them down or remember them.
When this happens to you, don't call the number. The screen will keep flashing and it's very upsetting but just mute the volume and see if you can get help elsewhere. I'm afraid these scammers now have sensitive data and I'm feeling stupid and helpless. I would suggest Lifelock or the like for anyone that may have been duped to keep your personal info safe. I have 3 family members that have had their credit card numbers stolen. Guess what the common thread among them was?
Those ass holes at lifelock are either 1 scam artists with alot of support. OR 2 a service that can not adequately defend its data and servers from hacking.
Do not trust life lock. You are paying to be ripped off by incompetence or fraud. Not sure which is worse. That is exactly what just happened to me. Have you suffered damage to your computer? My instincts tell me these people used to be former Tech Support. I know they are screwing with me by using my Web Cam. On the bright side my connection to Microsoft is working again. There is interference when I try to download certain fixes and malware detection programs that would allow me to trace the IP location of these people.
I have initiated a counter attack on these people but they are probably immune to prosecution. Got similar call this morning. Suspicion led me to Google scam and to this site. My usual practice is if i don't recognize a caller's number on caller ID i don't answer, let it go to voicemail. Usually telemarketers and scammers just hang up. I just said Hello?
My computer is not always on and i close my satellite connection down when not in use and maybe that gives some protection but that is a scary biz. Hi Gloria -- I think perhaps you've misunderstood some of the comments, or the ones you've read have maybe been unclear. There's no way the cold-calling scammers can get access to your computer unless you follow their instructions to download their software.
However, the type of scammers who you would call following a pop-up, that's a slightly different story, as obviously there is something on your computer. Some interesting suggestions, but let's try and keep our responses to the scammers civil.
Hanging up is preferable to insults, which can lead to unfavorable responses from the scammers. I received a call - Alberta, Canada. The timing was perfect as I just installed a bunch of new software and they called so early. I actually went to the event viewer - because I hadn't heard of the scam before. Then I looked up the error codes immediately as everything seemed off - and realized it was fully a scam. When I questioned the validity of their call again and said nothing looks malicious here- they used several F bombs with ma'am.
I guess it was good to have taken their time up - for what little good that does, but it's annoying that I can't report them. I have now placed a feature on my line that next time a blocked number calls I open the line for 5 seconds, hang up and then dial a code that blocks the number. I wish they could be shut down. I hate that they might get away with this with my mom or any other person.
I am actually a computer type person, just not a morning person, so after coffee it would have been a quick hang up! They call me several times a week sometimes i string them on and insult them then line goes dead they always have heavy indian accents and names like steven cooper or frank watson fukkoff.
This is the second time they've called me today. First number was from Ontario phone number There persistent cock suckers. Both times I told them to blow me and both times the call miraculously got disconnected. Don't call these numbers above, they are to people's houses and they are getting loads of people calling them from here. Either OP is posting incorrect numbers or the scammers are giving fake numbers.
I just got a call exactly like this. Strung the dude along for about 25 minutes whist reading the news. He finally caught on, read out my address and said he was going to "come and knock on my door and do me". Then called me an idiot and finished with "I'm coming to kill you now".
He hung up before I had a chance to give him directions for his TukTuk or donkey. We don't know where these people get phone numbers from, we also don't know what other details they possess.
As such, it is not wise to taunt them in this way. Got a call each day for the past couple days and told them to f off and to get a real job. Next time won't be as nice. I've had a renewed burst of these calls after nothing for about a year. What I don't understand is that surely by now everyone on the planet has had these calls or read about them or know people that have had them so there can't be many people left who can be duped.
Who are these people who today, in , are getting a scam tech support call and thinking it's genuine? Have they been living under a rock for 5 years? So they called me and I knew it was a scam because I like to go to my microwave and push buttons and pretend it is my computer. They get mad when I tell them the only buttons i see are "popcorn, Pizza, etc. Just stop trying to scam me and get money. Like, butt stuff and everything. I said he was nasty and told him to have a good day and hung up.
He called back again, I answered but didn't say anything and put it on speaker and recorded it. I want to have a good time with you. I can come tonight and you WILL have sex with me. Has anyone else had rape threats from these callers? Gross but ya gotta laugh. It pisses them off so much. Just remember this is as good as their life gets. Friday my husband's computer had a red page on his computer saying it was from Microsoft , not to turn off his computer but to call a number for technical support.
He had a virus! So he asked me to look at it. I tried to get rid of the page, could not, so I turned his computer off. Restarted it and it was fine. Called our technician, he said I did the right thing. Then yesterday, I get a call from Window's 7. The mans name was Michael, the number was from Wash D. He said that they were notified that my computer was getting warnings that some one was trying to hack my computer.
If I was close to my computer to turn it on and they would show me. Dumb me, I did. The man had a thick Indian accent, and after he had my attention, he switched me over to his supervisor Max. Oh, by the way this was a courtesy call, no charge. Then after Max, got me to one point he switched me over to a senior tech, Brad.
He noticed I had Malware and Kapersky, and could not get in. I told him, that I have a Technician that I use. And then was trying to sell me a plan for 2 years to prevent this from happening in the further. And then hung up! They called me 7 times!! I turned my computer off instantly! I saw what he was trying to do. I then called my technician, he said that this was a scam, and he removed the " team viewer".
Then he ran a scan, and rescheduled my computer to an earlier date. Just received call from tech support. Couldn't even hear him over back round noise. Which I brought to his attention. Had him repeat himself a few times. Figured out he wanted to tell me something about my windows computer. I asked him about which device because I had multiple devices. Smart phone, tablet, computer, asked if he could narrow it down by giving me the IP address or serial number he was looking at of course he couldn't and he seemed to be frustrated I couldn't understand him simply saying your computer.
Last time I checked all three of my devices do computer like things hell even my tv can bring up emails. Figured I wasted enough of my time so dropped the bomb shell that all my devices are macs with no windows. Said remove my number and don't call again then hung up. Hi, I used to string them along but due to the increasing frequency of these calls 4 this morning I now find simple abuse more satisfying. I get these calls on a regular basis. I do one of three things: I tell them I don't own a computer.
They usually seem a bit surprised by this. I go on to tell them that I don't own a telephone. I blow an air horn into the phone. Got a message on my computer threatening to disconnect Windows if we didn't call a number. Hung up when they asked for money.
Not sure what to do. Plan on taking it to the Geek Squad to check it out. Usually I waste their time by using my computer is downstairs and my land line phone is upstairs with no WIFI. After I get bored, I let them know I'm on to their scam and they start calling me every swear word they can think of. They know my name and phone number. I keep thinking that they must be getting this information from one of the customer service centers in India.
So be careful about what information you give these customer service reps from India. They followed my action I told them I will report then have me in a start up repair. What should I do. They have all my information. Help computer is now??? They interrupted me during bank transaction. I just received an unknown no called ID call on my cell here in Houston, Texas of which a man with what sounded like an Indian accent told me he was calling about my computer that was running Microsoft support system and that mine had errors; he then proceeded to ask me if I was near my computer.
I said no and that I would call Microsoft support back later and then he just suddenly hung up. I'm not sure but computer froze gave me a number to call to fix the problem so I did they want I got a call this morning from "Roger William", a very American sounding name but his voice had a very heavy Indian accent. The number "Roger" was calling from was He said he was from Windows Technical Support and that my computer was "showing error messages last few days".
He asked me if my computer was on and I told him it was not. He said he would "hold the line" while I turned it on. I did not turn it on and informed him there was nothing wrong with my computer. He insisted that there was and again said he would wait while I turned on my computer.
This banter went back and forth for awhile. I told him this was a scam and that I was not going to fall for it.
Whenever he told me to do something he would end with "okay? Don't blame us if your computer crashes. I got called by Mr. Antony from "Microsoft Support"! He mentioned he's aware i use laptop and its got a critical issue. I told him , Mr. Antony you are using a wireless headphone connected to IP telephone and am on wired telephone line connected with tracking system. I asked him to keep talking for a minute: He hung up instantly. I got phone call from them today saying I have been have warning on my computer for months.
I asked him if he wanted to talk to my sheriff office technical support and he said yes so I then hung up the phone. He called me right back and cursed me out. I guess he figured it out that I work for Law enforcement. I hope I don't get another call from them. The number he called me from is Told him i havent been on my computer in over a month he hung up. Sounded like mid eastern accent.
Probably pakistan or india. I received a call just a few minutes ago from "Microsoft Tech Support" for my Macintosh Do people really still call them that? Dude was kind of bossy. I asked him where he got my information he said" Microsoft". The number he called from was I hung up on him. I keep curisng at them and instulting them and their family members until they finally hang up. Does the trick all the time Having finally had enough of these guys, I told them I was Amish.
The guy apologized and hung up. I've talked with the Scammer and I hang up doesn't seem to stop the calls. I will be reporting to the FTC thanks for the info. I didn't buy into the scam nor give access or any personal data. Just call him a monochod scammer. Was on computer and site popped up said it was from Microsoft tech report and they could disable my lap top I hooked in to that last year and paid told woman I knew it was a scam and could not shut page down called my computer guy he told me how to get rid of them Please Do Not play in to these crooks hands.
I have had three calls from the "Windows Support Centre" today - one at my very elderly father's house this morning, and two at my own home just a few minutes ago. The same script was used for each call, made by one Shane Smith - who had a very strong Indian-type accent - apparently from a London phone number: Strangely this number was not logged when I did a number check - this was , which according to BT, does not exist. Fortunately I'm aware of this scam and just told "Shane" I was not going to follow his instructions and to go away and not waste my time; he got quite angry but I just hung up on him.
I dread to think what my 97 year old father would have done; for once his deafness has worked to his advantage, as he couldn't hear "Shane" and passed the phone to me. This happened to me just recently. The guy on the phone had a thick accent and I had him repeat himself several times so he was pretty angry. He told me he was from technical support from windows and that he received an alert that people were trying to hack into my computer.
It just seemed fishy, especially when he was trying to make me install things on my computer and talking down to me about how I don't know how to use a computer. He then asked if I owned my computer and I said no this is my company's computer but I'm the only one who used it so I may own it I may not.
He then just gave up hacking on me because clearly I don't know how to use a computer. Yes, though I remember no phone call to my house. Apparently the first msn tech number I called was to my phone support! Because when I actually reached msn , they had o case number for me. They have of had a trojan horse on my computer, icon and all!
When I figured this out. I called my bank, who then called the scammers! He called my phone support. They , of course said they were contractors to msn. My phone support was hitting the card every time I did business n the computer with MSN..
These are bad fraudsters! I gave access to my computer and paid them to do it. I am such an idiot. I canceled the visa care I used. How do I remove what the programs they installed? Your not alone Loreen. I bought into this scam. I didn't know about the scam. I got a bad window pop-up on my computer I thought I was really talking to someone legit. They still call me and tell me something is wrong with my computer. They basically fixed something that wasn't broke and charged me.
The shame and guilt got me. I just see it as lessons learned. I installed some really good anti-virus software and educated myself about computer security. Its to the point now I answer my phone with a funny voice and tell people they have the wrong number. I think they will leave me alone now. I have received such calls from scammers pretending to be from Talk Talk. Most of the time they claim to be from the technical department. The last scammer who made that claim was very rude to me, when he couldn't get his way.
I knew it was a computer scam. I actually had to hang up, as he refused to. I then left it for five-ten minutes, just in case he was hanging on the line, before I called Talk Talk about it.
These people still continue to call. Just today I picked up the handset and after pressing the answer button, said nothing. He then said hello twice, before hanging up. Beware, these scammers are now withholding their numbers. In my own experience, Talk Talk have very poor customer service, but these scammers do seem to be claiming to be from various non-Microsoft organizations throughout , now that the scam is becoming more well known Tried to scam me today.
Got a call this a. I knew it was a scam. I got his phone no. And called him back. I wouldn't g I ve him my name. This scam has been around for at least 3 years. Last year i had a company that i called and they cleaned it once a month and charged me Western union set up the account and i still thought that it was not a scam.
But then my wife piped in and convinced me that this wasn't right. I hug up and proceeded to run windows defender full scan. Just thought that this might help. PS i also uninstalled the software that they downloaded also but have not shut down my computer. I was on my computer and started watching a movie online and normally I'm good with the ads and I'm careful of not let any of them stay on, but when i started watching the movie a critical alert from windows came up on my screen, it wouldn't let me do anything and told me to ring windows tech support the number on the screen and that if i shut it down or don't call then my hard drive would be erased within 10 minutes.
In a panic and not thinking I rang them and there was this lovely lady answer the phone and start to help me. She told her employee address and so on so i did think it was genuine i was in such a panic that i didn't think to think it was a scam. After her calming me down she told me these instructions and eventually lead to me allowing her to remotely use my computer. She had showed me what went wrong and how they were going to fix it.
It legitimately felt real. This is when I called my mum in a panic since i didn't have any money and she told me to hang up its a scam and to shutdown my computer. Since she was on loud speaker the lady heard her and told me that I'm just going to have to put up with a broken laptop.
This is when I panicked. It was to late she was controlling my computer. She suddenly went rude and telling me to put up with my broken laptop and then she restarted it without my permission and then told me on the phone that she is not responsible for what happened and what will happen afterwards and hung up. I literally felt humiliated, stupid, naive and frustrated. I lost everything and have had to reset my whole computer.
I was blown away because I am not a stupid person and I let them in. Since then I have completely changed all my passwords and installed more then one virus and ad protector for my computer and I wont be watching any movies anymore unless I buy them or netflix. Just hope in this bad circumstance that this will help others in the future. It's just another one of their stupid tricks. I had a call today from Windows Texas I live in Australia to say my computer was compromised by hackers.
He gave me a code which he said was my computer ID number. I refused to engage with him and told him I didn't believe he was genuine. I asked to speak to his supervisor who was called John Lee, but he told me he was in the toilet I hung up on him 4 times and he still kept calling back. Persistent and really quite plausible at times apart from the manager is in the toilet comment and although I was adamant that he was a crook, a tiny part of me was afraid that I could be wrong Iwas contacted by vape sucure 1 or he told me my com.
Was infected his name was larry paige could not speak a lick of inglish,I dont lnow how far he go but he did change my password,or gave me one,im not com,swave,and dont know alot about how they work,ben away for 20yrs,when I called back for an address all he said was michigen,N,E,W,Street??? I told him I am reporting him to the ftc,he hung up on me,. These people are persistent The first time they called I played with the guy.
He ended up calling me about every name in the book and threatening me that he knew all my personal info and was going to come kill me and my family. I laughed and said now that I have kept you on the phone long enough to trace the call the police should be showing up at your door about any time. Then I decided to play along again.
I pretended to do as they said and when she asked what do I see, I said I see that I am not falling for your scam!! I have had about 20 calls over the last month. The only thing that bothers me is that they did know my email address.
And think about where they might have got your address. I suspect certain retailers or their employees are providing this, with the purchase of a new PC, phone or tablet. I can tell when i get one of these calls because they never answer your first hello they answer the 2nd time you say hello and that is when i know its one of these kinda calls coming in. I have no tolerance for these money sucking scumbags i dont give them a chance to talk i yell as loud as i can i cuss i call them names but i dont talk long just a couple choice words then i hang up.
Then i start my redial revenge and redial the number as many times as i can tit for tat. I rarely hear from these lowlifes anymore and know this if your a woman and you are a stay at home type older over 50 your their prime target so yes watch over your mothers please don't become their victem get a rape whistle and use it for every call that doesnt answer on your first hello goodbye and dont let the scummers get you.
A good tactic is to not speak when you answer the phone. I have received calls from "Windows support" saying they would help me with the problem on my computer. The first few times I told them I don't have a computer and they hung up but I did think it was weired as the accent was Indian.
Then when they called I started asking how they got my phone number as I am ex directory they hung up. I have just received another call which I hung up. Surely there must be something that can be done as it is very annoying.
Today I received 2 calls. The first one woke me up , it was about It sounded like a african lady. Hello I am from microsoft ringing up about your PC. I hung up 10 minutes later another phone call this time a man.
Saying the same sentance as the women. Over yrs ago the same thing happened to me. Someone rang same message as above, I was on the PC at the time and it was running slow so everything they said made sense.
They quickly took hold of my PC and said thiss or that is slowing your system. I then began to smell a rat after I disconnect the PC. Why do authorities not want to investigate even with hard evidence?
Nigeria has become a country where scamming is actually a profession and children look up to and respect those who do it wel l. I tried reporting one to my local Police force last year. Cutting it short — I explained to them that I ran this blog and was submitting a particular email as it seemed it might be traceable.
I received a phone call from my local Police force — who tried to explain to me what a blog is and tried to tell me that as anyone could post on a blog I had no idea where the email came from. I gave up in the end! I applied for this job and then what happens?
Then I look in the internet and see this and the same letter and name. He says that I must sent the money to him or I will get a custodial sentence in jail of 4 years. I insisted with him that he can take the money as I wont touch that money of my bank account then he keeps insisting that I am a thef!
I am not not thef! I seen tthis post and i acted upon it and he wont take the money out of my bank account! I tried to reassure this reader that they would not be sent to jail, but should go to the Police and report the scammer. Hi there i have been back and forth with a lady Julie Hughs from Alliance and Leicester Bank out of the UK im not sure if its a scam, weve been emailing each other for over a month for a loan that i was approved for but i have to make a down payment of I get scam mail everyday but this is a lot diffrent then the past a comment from March I replied and just hope I answered in time to stop the commenter from falling prey to the scam.
My son was taken by a scam last year and it cost me over I am so sick of this happening to people, I intend to follow this to the end to try and catch whoever is doing this. As I am writing this, I realise this was left by the same person that left the comment above.
Now what did i have to do now plz tell me comment from Jan I asked an Indian contact to advise on the correct course of action and replied to this commenter. She almost got me she wanted me to pay I hope that you are well health, I to read well your lette well on the site in internet http: I will say, I can add to the attractive man one by stating an even more dangerous one that has happened to us twice with teenage daughters in the Caribbean once on Grand Turk, and once on Grand Cayman.
Needless to say, they scrambled away when they could see an angry mother and father approaching quickly! I was 14 and super uncomfortable with the situation. He may have kissed my cheek. I learned at a young age not to trust the prices on things, and they definitely took advantage of my youth and unwillingness to haggle to scam me out of money. I am always carefull at street performances painters, dancers, singers, magicians. Love watching them, but I always make sure to hold my bag carefully as well as it seems to be the perfect place to be pickpocketed.
I am also always a bit suspicious with local tourist offices: In Tanzania through someone we actually met in Uganda, we had a good experience in his hostel before we booked a safari with a guy that ended up just booking a safari for us with another company, without actually joining us even though that was the deal. We had car trouble when we drove ourselves. Owner blamed it on us, we blamed it on him. When we went in Bali, a guy with a motorcycle stopped and gave us some lottery tickets.
He then said that my gf won a iPad and i won a shirt and we only have to go with him to get the prices. Later we checked it on the internet and we found out, that it was a popular scam in Bali for timeshared houses. Even later we saw the same guy doing his sheme to an other couple in the streets, so we warned them as well. Great list, I had the ring scam happen to me in Greece. I was young and naive so I of course fell for it.
It was late I was one of the last ones there playing backgammon with the waiters that were oh so friendly and just wanted to drop the bill with me so I could take my time… needless to say I was ready to leave after that. I had a similar experience in Istanbul, I was walking around Ayasofya at night when a stranger asked me to take his picture with his cell phone, i took the pic and we started talking.
He said he was a business traveler from Dubai and was heading to the airport the next day, he showed me a room key to a local hotel and said he was on his way to a bar the hotel recommended, and since i was travelling alone asked if I wanted to grab a beer. He was really chatty, talked to me about his wife and kid back in Dubai, even showed me pics on his phone.
Well his bar around the corner was actually across town at Taksim sq, we took a cab there which I was hesitant at first, but I weigh a good hundred lbs more than him, so I figure if things get dicey I could fight my way out of the cab.
Immediately the girls leave, and this giant Turkish guy with one eyebrow comes out and gives me the bill, it came to something ridiculous like 2 grands. I refuse to pay, and call them con artists, and demand they call the police. At this point they start pushing me and demanding I pay, I refuse, they try to make me use my credit cards. Though the adrenaline was pumping and I visualized myself fighting my way out of their like I was jason bourne.
I had a gut feeling things were off the second the guy wanted to get into a cab, long story short, trust your instincts if it feels off, it probably is.
I can see why some people let it put them off travelling. Thanks for sharing, these are great tips for those new to backpacking! We got talking to her several times while walking the beach. She said she went out one night with so called friends they drank partied and bar hopped. You never know who is keeping tabs on you. Drinking too much in unfamiliar towns, putting all your valuables in one spot and being too trusting with unfamiliar people can cost you.
Never keep your money plus credit cards all together. Also in this town we heard men dress up as women by the busloads ready to rob tourists. So be watchful of flirtatious women!! We also saw this little boy try to steal a phone from a restaurant guest.
The boy came up from the beach grabbed the phone and ran thru the restaurant catching the eye of almost all the waitstaff. We watched 6 or more staff members chase this boy down take back the phone then deliver him right to nearby police officers! Lesson to be learned. Because this is when there are tons of people in the cities much harder to be observant. People would bee-line to you if you were foreign to ask to pay for hospital bills.
I even had a caucasian white man ask me for money for his hospital bill. I encourage anyone to give if they have the means to do so and want to help out, but make sure you know exactly who you are giving your money to! They go right around your stomach so you can hide it right under your shirt.
Kinda like a fanny pack without the bulk and you wear underneath clothing instead of over. Someone would have to really be putting in extra effort to get to this! Definitely gives you peace of mind, now you can focus on your actual vacation spot! The PacSafe bags are great, I agree.
Just so you know, if you leave them on the beach to drunkenly go skinny-dipping at night, they will still be stolen from you! Just kidding here, but shame on my year-old self for that. The overpriced shoe shine. A nice old guy offers to shine your shoes. In this is pretty common. He just starts in, no prices mentioned. The fake police scheme. A cop in legit looking uniform and carrying an ID that may or may not be fake and asks for your passport.
I luckily had my passport taken by the hotel front desk, but he demanded I go with him. I was so lucky a kind, wonderful local intervened. He may have been a real cop and just having a bad day, but he could also have been a robber or rapist. I would call my guide or local male friend if I had one.
If not, I would tell them to call my hotel and start walking quickly back to the hotel. If it was a real cop who was that concerned about my visa status, let him clear it up with the hotel staff.
I was also annoyed at being way overcharged for a taxi back to the airport. I should have negotiated up front. While living in Israel I would get delivery. Often I did not have the exact amount of cash that the total came to, so I would need to give the delivery man a larger bill and get change. My father in law had his wallet handed back to him by an… undercover policeman in Rome. In the Galapagos last September we went to a restaurant as a group and when we came to pay one of the notes was returned because it was fake, but actually it had been swapped.
Moral check the numbers on your notes before you give them if the money is taken away to get change. Our Intrepid guide sorted it. I experience taxi drivers trying to scam me more in the US than other countries, especially in Boston. They always try to take the longest route or sometimes they flat out try to go to the opposite part of the town.
I have to tell them where to go and be super alert. Another scam I saw was at Notre Dame Cathedral. A gypsy lady older, looked homeless maybe was standing right next to the entrance begging for money because their home had recently burnt to the ground.
She had this story about having all her grandchildren she needed to clothe and feed. I knew better, but she was convincing. As I was reaching in to my pocket to give her a few euros a cop came up and grabbed her and shouted at her to leave.
Glad I was saved from that one! Also helpful to carry the card of the hotel to show the taxi drivers where you want to go as they often do not speak English and cannot read the hotel map. Not so much a scam but when taking taxis in Bangkok get on the right side of the road for the direction you want to go.
It can save time and money as traffic jams and not being able to u-turns can cause delays etc. Also try to avoid if possible taking taxi when the sky opens up with torrential rain as jams start so quickly. I remember in France, our tour guide warned us about Gypsies who asked for a donation for a rose, while someone else pick-pocketed you around the side. A lady came up to me and offered me a rose. I had scammed the scammer in my year-old mind. Wow when you read this it is kind of hard to go travelling.
Most people who come from dense metropolitan cities have had their fair share locally and can usually differentiate a genuine thing from scam.
Yet, the differences in cultures and social acceptance can lead to letting down of the guard. It was a fair ground and while the main fair was over a good 3 months ago, it had been replaced by a smaller market of sorts. The overcharging rides are much too common and being aware of the actual distance is the only way to avoid it. I had the ring scam tried on me in Paris.
I knew what was happening, so the girl left disappointed. In San Francisco, I had a guy try to sell me his bus pass for less than the going rate. I refused the offer because I knew the pass was probably expired! I went on a four wheeler tour in Nicaragua.
The guy at the company said not to worry about it. Our guide said that because we did not have licenses, the cop would have to take us to the police station to fill out some paperwork … or we could just pay a fine.
When talking to locals at the bar that night, they confirmed that you do not need to have a license to drive these vehicles. I was also told that if you do have a police situation that if you have money to offer you have a better chance of getting the situation handled.
Nicaragua is a poor country and their police force is not paid very well. Often they will need gas money for their vehicles or whatever. Idk I guess offering a small sum of money to get whatever situation handled may be worth it. I was aware of this scam and I got really pissed when a taxi driver drove past the station entrance to take me to a broker. I had him pull over, paid him, hopped out and then braved some Bangkok traffic to cross the street to the station. It was only when I got to the sidewalk near the entrance that I realized I left my wallet in the cab!
I turned around to discover the cab driver chasing me on foot to return my wallet. Life can be quite surprising. He probably was taking you to the drop off point at the side of the station instead of a broker. Taking you there and waiting and then trying to get you to a carpet shop.
Fortunately, I caught it and we agreed on a reasonable price. Thanks everyone for sharing their scam stories! The more people know about this stuff, the less it will work! It included a stop at a temple where a friendly foreigner told us it was a great time to buy gems in BKK. Taxi scam; some tried to overcharge, but we just went down the street til we found a driver who was being honest.
We were approached by someone trying to tell us our fortune. Got scammed by a taxi who took us the long way — just had to suck that one up. When you say no, they disappear without a trace…creepy. And a little street smarts goes a long way too. Travel scams is one of the greatest problem in India also, I must say. Matt your tips are simply excellent to avoid such scams. I have avoided so many of these. I also fell victim to being extremely over charged for a meal in Amsterdam.
You live and you learn! The Bracelet Scam was tried on my girlfriend last time we were in Tokyo. The guy was dressed as a Buddhist monk. Oh Matt, you really are a fountain of all travel knowledge — totally love your blog along with nearly the whole world!
We were told to always agree a price beforehand. Also, the Henna most of the women use is not the real stuff and can cause reactions. We learned our lesson very quickly! When I was in Cozumel just an afternoon stop on a Western Caribbean cruise , I toured many of the local merchants, trying to find silver coins from the famous Casa de Moneda Mexican mint. I minored in Spanish in college, so I knew the correct words to say, but none of the merchants had any silver coins in their displays. Finally, one merchant offered to help me, by introducing me to his friend on the street.
The street merchant had a few coins in little secret pockets on his clothing, which he showed one by one. There was one that interested me, and it had the Casa de Moneda privy mark on the coin.
Be careful about being passed from vendor to vendor, and look carefully at what you are buying. Do not overestimate your ability to speak the native language, either. Little kids usually would come up to our tables at cafes and leave little roses made out of banana leaves and drop it on the table…and then come back 5 minutes later asking for money! We would be eating or sitting at a table and someone would come up and distract us by kicking a soccer ball past us so we would look away.
And while we were looking away they would try to swipe wallets or items off the table. Luckily we caught them and from then on kept our wallets in our pockets which we should have been doing from the start. I fell for this one too! Except the little flower the little boy made was adorable?
I was happy to give him a few coins lol. Never ever leave your phone or a wallet out in the open. Nothing says gringo like flashing your iPhone. As another said, keep your credit cards separated from your money. I keep mine in a zipped pocket in my cargo shorts or Cargo pants or in my bra. And always make sure the taxi meter is on. While in Costa Rica in San Jose last year I was dropped off by a friend at the wrong bus station to go to Cahuita and had to flag down a taxi to get the correct one.
He grudgingly turned it on. And I paid him the correct fare, several colones less than what he wanted to charge. A popular scam at the border near Penas Blanca in Costa Rica and Nicaragua is for someone to offer you a taxi ride.
Anytime someone is being too helpful be firm and say No. Everyone knows what No means in almost all languages. And a very smug and angry look will get the point across. On our last night in town, my husband and I took a cab ride with a very untrustworthy driver.
His meter was definitely rigged to charge us almost double what the same ride cost the night before. When I paid the fee and handed over my bills, however, the driver switched one of them out for a torn bill and said my bill was no good, I had to give him a different one. I absolutely knew the bill he presented to me was not the one I handed him, so I got out of the cab while he continued to yell at me saying he would call the police.
I told him I would be happy to have him call the police, but unsurprisingly, the cab elected to speed away instead. I was grateful our destination was on a busy street outside of the restaurant and that the driver elected to leave instead of cause of scene. The boat driver provided the service you and he agreed to at the price you and he agreed to. A scam is where someone steals from you or deceives you. I see no theft or deceit in what you encountered.
In Turkey I encountered but never fell for! A shoe polisher walks past you, drops something, and keeps walking. He relies on your kindness and basic human decency to pick up the dropped item, call out to him, and return it to its rightful owner.
He will then of course continue to shamelessly harass you until you pay. The guy passed me on the bridge, walking in the opposite direction, and dropped a brush.
I picked it up and returned it. He was adamant for a few moments, but soon gave up. In Vietnam my friend and I were scammed by cyclo drivers. They told us they would give us a small city tour for , VND around 7.
At the end of the tour they took us to a restaurant that was nowhere near our hotel and then took out a completely different price sheet and said we owed them 1. We were so shocked and confused. Definitely gotta remember that if its too god to be true, it is.. On my free time I would walk the cities to take in the sights.
Time and time again, men would either follow me or come up to me wanting to spend time with me. After boxing up and mailing home my original clothes for the trip, the harassment came to a complete halt. In cambodia a young girl with a baby will ask you for milk. Another scam to watch out for is if you need to change your SIM card. I was told that for my phone to work in The Philippines I needed to change my SIM card which may or may not have been true.
When I got to the Water temple Taman Sari in Yogyakarta, a man approached me and just started walking next to me, said he will give me a tour of the temple for free. It was beautiful but really overpriced, and I still felt super uneasy, so I say bye and left. Thankfully nothing happened but I still remember how scared I felt. Anyways, Yogyakarta was great! If you really want to help the kids or the mother with an infant needing food or milk… buy them take-away food that has to be eaten immediately.
It may be their only meal that day! Paris — the ring scam at the Eiffel Tower…. Rome — the well dressed gentleman in a car asking for directions to the Vatican??!! He says he is a saleman for [insert famous designer name] and he would like to give you a sample in gratitude. Of course he wants a donation for gas, etc…… Barcelona, parked outside the post office with suitcases in back and driver friend waiting for me.
At that instant, he hears the back door open and whips around at which time the would be thief saw how big he was and decided otherwise. Always leave the car locked even when you are sitting in it. Still, in none of these events was there any threat of physical harm. I got scammed in a small grocery store in Barcelona, when I was short-changed. I had let down my usual guard, being unaware a grocery store would do such a thing!
Always make sure to ask for the itemized bill in restaurants, they often just bring a piece of paper with a number on it. On two occasions in Rome the waiter amazingly discovered that an extra entree had been included by mistake.
However unlike most countries the taxi driver starts the meter from the moment he leaves to come to you, not when he picks you up. Single female traveling alone. I asked a gentleman for directions. He led me to the track furthest away from the station, and furthest away from any other travelers, and then demanded money for carrying my bag.
I always carry a couple of small bills separately, and offered him 5Euro. He began yelling at me and demanding 50Euro and absolutely would not get out of my face. I just started screaming at the top of my lungs until all of the people 4 tracks away were staring. Yes, probably I was labeled a crazy American, but, the guy left pretty quickly. Also turns out he took me to the wrong track so I had to go back down stairs to street level, and back up to another track across the station. I fell for the bracelet in Angkor Wat.
I started to fall for this, thinking maybe I should give the kid some money when his friend started laughing and the two ran off together. I know most of these posts are for traveling out of country but some US cities have some pretty bad scams as well.
Maybe a non-US traveler will see my post though! Last summer I brought my teenage son to Chicago. He was wearing his everyday clothes plus headphones that clearly showed hes a big sports and music fan. They took one look at him then headed straight for me trying to sell me cds or tickets to a game or whatever. I have to admit the story sounded legit. I didnt even think about school being out, it was in the middle of the summer. I bought his damn cds. Then later that night while we were enjoying dinner in an outside restaurant we were again approached to buy more cds.
I knew I was had at that point. My son however wanted to see, he says its only 5 bucks. If its not real lesson learned. So maybe 2 out of 4 cds actually had music on them. I did however give one of my water bottles to a guy singing and playing guitar. He was actually pretty good! Sitting near a subway door with a bag between feet, on the floor — right before the doors closed, someone on the platform slipped a hooked stick cane? Needless to say, the bag was never seen again.
While trying to buy a tram ticket at a tram stop with a purse, shopping bags, and a hot coffee in one hand ie only one free hand and severely reduced mobility , a group of 3 or 4 children between the ages of crowded around.
Offering to help even while being refused , they continued to press the wrong buttons on the ticket machine. This caused the money to be refunded which allowed them to grab fistfuls of change from the till. In an outdoor cafe, two gentlemen sat at the table directly next to us, even though there were loads of empty tables. My purse was on the back of my chair, but covered by my coat. The men were there for the duration of our meal — never ordered anything, but chatted with the waiters a lot.
I gave him a good stare down and moved my purse onto my lap. He and his mate quickly got up and left.