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Top 5 scams and rip-offs for unsuspecting tourists

Being a tourist in a new city is exciting, but it also makes you vulnerable. Before you go on your next trip you need to brush up on ways to stay safe.

You should also know what kind of scams thieves try to run on tourists. Remember: knowledge is power. If you know the con artist's tricks, you're less likely to fall for them.

1. The "friendship" bracelet

Sounds friendly, right? Wrong. Street vendors often use this tactic to convince you to pay premium prices for things you weren't interested in buying in the first place. This is done by approaching you and aggressively asking that you help with a "demonstration," such as showing off a handmade friendship bracelet. They will then proceed to put the product on you and insist that you pay a premium price for it. Not only do you feel obligated to buy the product, but this also sets you up to be pick pocketed by their accomplices.

2. Switcheroo

Switcheroos happen when you pay for a cheap item with a large denomination bill. The server/cashier/cabbie "accidentally" drops the bill in order to pull out a smaller, hidden bill to shortchange the tourist.

When dealing with a currency that is foreign to you it is even easier to be susceptible to this crime. A good way to prevent a switcheroo from happening is to pay for everything in as close to exact change as possible. If you can't, announce the dollar amount of the large bill you are paying with, so they know you're aware of how much change they owe you.

Next page: The more you know the less they can take
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