Tourism

STUDY: One third of Aussies discouraged to travel for fear of being scammed

Australia’s consumer watchdog is encouraging travellers to get scam-savvy this week, as its annual National Scams Awareness Week officially kicks off.

Compare the Market has gotten into the festive spirit, spreading awareness for dodgy dealings by releasing new research to reveal just how common scams connected to overseas travel can be, as well as some handy tips for travellers.

The independent survey revealed a whopping one in three (36 per cent) of Aussies are nervous to travel out of fear of being fleeced by scams.

More than half (57 per cent) of the nationally-representative panel of 1,500 Aussies surveyed said they had seen counterfeit goods being sold to travellers, and while this may come as no shock to savvy travellers, 56 per cent also said they had seen or heard about tourists being overcharged by taxi operators.

On top of this, almost half had seen fake charities and beggars asking for money, while another 45 per cent said they have seen unsuspecting tourists being pickpocketed on their travels.

Other known cons include schemers putting something into someone’s hand before demanding money (22 per cent) and rental car companies charging exorbitant fees for damage to a vehicle (14 per cent).

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade received over 2,500 theft reports from Aussie travellers in the last three years. The top five countries for scams where tourists reported the most thefts, were Spain at number one, followed by Italy, Mexico, Thailand and Japan.

In conjunction with the research, Compare the Market put together some helpful tips on what to do if you or your clients are scammed overseas:

  • Watch your alcohol consumption. Most travel insurance policies have a blanket alcohol exclusion which may extend to scams. If you’re pickpocketed at a bar or nightclub for example, your insurer could have grounds to void your cover if it found you were too intoxicated to take due care of your belongings.
  • Check your coverage for property hired or loaned to you. If you borrow a camera from a friend and a stranger offers to take a photo for you on your trip before disappearing, you could be left to foot the replacement bill, since some insurers may not cover loss or damage to hired or borrowed equipment. That’s why it’s crucial for anyone who takes out travel insurance to check their PDS cover and any exclusions.
  • Ensure you’re covered for every country you’re visiting, including layovers. If you’re skimmed by a dodgy taxi operator from the airport on a stopover in Hong Kong but your travel insurance only includes coverage for Europe, you may not be covered for that loss or any other event or emergency for that stage of your journey.
  • Don’t forget to extend your cover. If you’re swindled by a merchant who overcharges you, after you decide to take a few extra days to travel around Thailand, but forgot to request a cover extension from your insurer, you could lose that cover for the entirety of your journey, not just the part of the trip you forgot to tell your insurer about.
  • Be wary of financial collapses and fake advertisements. If you book tickets to a theme park for the kids and the establishment goes bust, you may not be reimbursed for the cost of the tickets as most travel insurers don’t offer cover following the bankruptcy of service providers. On top of this, if it turns out the attraction advertisement was a hoax too, your travel insurer will most likely not provide cover either.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Cruise

“I didn’t do it”: Watch as sightseeing ship strikes World War II vessel on Hudson River

by Christian Fleetwood

A passenger vessel travelling the Hudson River has collided with a decommissioned war vessel. Watch the chaos unfold here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Airbnb offers fans the chance to stay at Downton Abbey castle

Do your clients fancy staying in an ultra-luxe castle for the night with 300 rooms? Help them live out all their royal family fantasies with this.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: LAX’s historic rental car facility, Rail Adventures’ Sri Lanka commission + MORE!

If this week’s Road & Rail Wrap was a meal, it’d be a family-sized banquet, as opposed to it usually looking like chicken stuffing and sides.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Malaysia’s newest hotel brand, Fairmont’s underwater art installation + MORE!

Looking to cure your post-hump day blues with something other than a bottle of vodka or a block of Cadbury Top Deck? Feel instantly better with our Hotel Wrap!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline puts its crew on a “low-fat” diet after firing several for being overweight

It’s not clear whether the heavily indebted airline made the decision to save money or to get its crew into shape. Either outcome is not ideal.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean’s biggest challenge “has been the same thing for 50 years”, says vice chairman

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly recently joined Royal Caribbean’s Adam Goldstein for lunch and conversation. Here’s what we managed to regurgitate… from the chat, that is. Not the ham sandwiches.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Jetstar flight to Bali forced to turn back over windscreen crack

An eight-hour flight to Bali turned into a six-hour flight to Melbourne when pilots noticed something wasn’t quite right with the plane’s windscreen.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Agoda unveils fresh look

Coincidentally, Travel Weekly’s editor is also trialling a new look. However, his cornrows are far less “fresh” than Agoda’s swanky new font and dots with eyes.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

REVEALED: The top 10 cities for street food

New research has revealed a hit list for street-food-savvy travellers, and we promise you don’t have to eat a grasshopper at any of them. Unless you want to, of course.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Here’s how Hayman Island by InterContinental will protect the Great Barrier Reef

Hayman Island by InterContinental is taking a stance on sustainability by committing to protect the vulnerable Great Barrier Reef.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hayman Island by InterContinental reveals Great Barrier Reef event spaces

Hayman Island by InterContinental is transforming meetings and events with iconic private island experiences, one-of-a-kind venues and an unprecedented level of service excellence.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Discover adventure and activities on Hayman Island by InterContinental

Hayman Island by InterContinental is inviting guests to enter a world of destination-inspired activities during their stay.

Share

CommentComments