Nigerians generally consider themselves smart, quick and intelligent.
Very rarely are they swindled, deceived, or conned, especially within
their country. However, some who have traveled overseas have often times
narrated tales on the shady people who took advantage of them as
tourists.

Sure, it is embarrassing for any person from Nigeria to
be tricked out of their money, but the truth is that no matter how
smart, prepared or careful, anyone can fall for certain travel scams.
From getting ridiculously fleeced on cab rides to unknowingly revealing
credit card information, Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 online hotel booking
portal shares some of the travel scams Nigerians have fallen for around
the world.

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The Taxi Scam

There
are shady drivers in all parts of the world! Travelling by budget taxi
is usually the most convenient and affordable option for people abroad,
however, it sets them up for the ‘Taxi Scam’.

The scam can be pulled off in three ways. The cab driver
intentionally heading into gridlocked traffic to drive up the price, or
they tell you the meter is broken so they can charge you a ridiculously
high price; others hack the meter such that it advances faster than
normal. Some cab drivers even insist that the traveller pays them in
larger bills that way they can give them counterfeit change. The good
thing is that this scam can be easily avoided. Ensure you negotiate
rates ahead of time, or ask to confirm that the meter is working before
you get in the car.

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Free, fake wifi hubs

Most people depend on Wifi when abroad to communicate, especially
when they are on short trips and do not have the luxury of registering
with a phone company or enough credit to make or receive roaming calls.
Unfortunately, some scammers abroad use turn the public Wifi access to
opportunities where they can gain access to personal information and
passwords from the people who connect to it. They create fake Wifi hub
or set up unsecured Wifi hotspots in public locations, that way,
tourists are tempted to log on,  giving the thief access to their
passwords, online accounts, and more.

To save yourself from this scam, beware of generic hubs or Free Wifi
in public places. Also, if you must have access in public, ask the
hotel/coffee shop/airport staff to know which Wifi connection is the
official one.

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“Sir, you’ve got gunk on your shirt”

This scam is very popular in some parts of Europe and South America.
Unknown to the traveller, a person puts or throws something, such as
mustard or ketchup…even human or animal feces on a person’s body then
pretends to be a friendly stranger or local who want to assist him with
wiping it off. Usually, the tourist plays nice and lets the stranger
assist him, but as the stranger cleans up the mess, he makes away with
something valuable like your wristwatch or your wallet from your pocket
or purse. It happens so fast that the tourist does not know, especially
as he is unsuspecting. The best way to avoid this scam is to be on alert
and never allow someone to help you clean up any mess on your body.
Find a bathroom and clean the gunk off yourself or wear it with pride…it
could be part of the adventure!

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Fake police officer scam

Nigerians are very careful not to get the in the way of the law or
cause any legal trouble whenever they are abroad, as such, they are very
cooperative when accosted by the law.  Unfortunately, in most countries
abroad, certain con men pull the fake police officer scam on the
regular. The scam is usually pulled off by a group. A person approaches
the Nigerian tourist and offers illicit items, like drugs, and while
they are having the conversation, one or two other people will approach,
appearing to be police officers. They flash fake badges and insist the
unsuspecting traveler hand over their passport and wallet, which they
eventually make away with.

Word of caution: never hand over your wallet or passport to anyone
until they have shown you proper identification and then call the police
to confirm they are who they say they are. Also, you can save yourself
the stress by claiming you do not have your wallet or ID with you and
ask them to follow you to your hotel.

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