India is a land of history, Culture & Hospitality, where Tuk-Tuk have their own charm. There are many monuments, gardens, museums, temples to visit. It’s simply amazing & fascinating. In other words you will fall in love with India. However, as it is a developing country and tourists from abroad are perceived as rich people, And if you’re visiting India first time then you have to get prepared to avoid experiencing SCAMS.
Here are the TOP 7 Scams you might experience in India, Which you can avoid.
1. Scams by Tuk-Tuk Drivers or Cab Drivers (Starting from Delhi / Mumbai Airports)
Taking a taxi in India is a very easy, cheap and comfortable way of transportation. It is usually with no complication but many time tourists get cheated while taking a taxi in India. Many travellers are not even aware that they are being cheated. This is one of the most common SCAM that you may face. This scam mostly happens at Delhi airport tourist who attempts to take a pre-paid taxi to their hotel. During the journey, the driver will say that the hotel area are blocked due to curfew, political Issue/festival or he doesn’t know where your hotel is, or that the hotel is full or doesn’t exist and will take you to a fake tourist office /offer to take you to another hotel/ a travel agent who can find you a hotel. The agent in the fake tourist office will try to convince you by dialing fake numbers to various hotels in Delhi to show that all hotels are booked .Then he will try to sell you a package with very unreasonable price (which they say very reasonable).Many people end up falling for this scam as they’re tired from their flight. So what to do to avoid this SCAM? • Ask your hotel to arrange CAB for you, It might be bit expensive but you will save yourself with BIG loss of money and trouble • If you take random taxi/ cab / Tuk-Tuk or pre-paid airport taxi from airport don’t let him take to his suggested so called Indian Government Recognized Tourist Offices. • Get a pre-paid phone/SIM at Airport itself or try to call to your hotel from the Airport only to inform them that you have arrived and confirm your stay arrangements. Or call them by yourself, even if you have to call on International roaming rate. If you use the driver’s phone, dial the number yourself, As most of the time they dial by themselves and make a fake call to their friends or other Fake tourist offices about your hotel stay. • At Airport don’t let anyone help you & being polite without knowing you. It might be genuine help also but still help yourself. • Keep a copy of your Taxi Receipts or vouchers to trace the driver in case he scammed you, this will help police to trace the driver. • Do not hesitate to ask help of police on the way. Sometime they’re also rude in talking to you but you may tell them to help you else you will highlight him in embassy or Senior Police Officers at Police station. • It’s good to be nice and polite but when it comes to show your other side PLS DO NOT HESITATE TO BE STRICT OR SHOUTING HULK. • In India you have to learn to say no also even if anyone is polite & nice to you.
2. SIM Card Scam
If you buy a SIM in India, you need to fill out paperwork, give a copy of your passport & Visa Copy, and a 2×2 photograph with your permanent residential details, place where you’re staying in India. It’s always recommended to buy SIM card from authorized Vodafone Store or Airtel Store you may check online for the nearest store to the place you’re staying on the official website of Vodafone or airtel. Most of the time local SIM Card distributor gives you fake or already issues SIM card on someone’s name. Things to Remember • Check your Phone whether it is unblocked to use Indian SIM card. Else purchase cheap phone to use it. • Understand the proper plan of your SIM card • Activate the SIM Card in Same city where you bought it as it cannot be activated in other city.
3. Railway Ticket Scam
• Some very smart people will try to make you miss your train and then bring you to very expensive travel agencies to book cars, flights or full trip. It happens usually early morning or late night when there is no more real employees of the station and usually in big stations like New Delhi Station.
• This is the list of their techniques: o They wear fake uniform and ask your ticket for a control (only the control guy INSIDE the train can ask for your ticket). o If you have a window seat, it will be written WS and they will tell you that it is a waiting seat. o They will indicate you a wrong platform or tell you that the train is cancelled or late. Always check the boards with your train number o They will tell you to validate your ticket outside the station. There is no need to validate anything, you can even have your tickets on your phone or tablet, and you don’t need to print it. • In New Delhi station, you can book yourtrain tickets at main railway station only. They (Scammers) will tell you that it is closed or has burned and indicate you another office with the same name and sell you expensive tickets. You have to be sure to be at the 1st floor INSIDE the station, paharganj side. • Sometime random person will come to you and will say that your ticket is not valid/ not a foreigner’s ticket so you cannot travel without foreigner tkt and then they will take you to the fake or so called government approved / authorized tourist information place. So what to do in such scenario i) If anyone tries to be a tkt officer on platform and tell you that it’s a fake ticket. Take him to official Railway Police or Got to enquiry counter / Station master cabin with him to clear the things. ii) Always check the ticket confirmation
4. GEM Stone Scam
This scam is widespread in Jaipur and also Agra, where many people come to buy gemstones. It's also now occurring frequently in other popular tourist destinations such as Goa and Rishikesh. The scam involves tourists being approached by a gem dealer, who convinces them to buy some gemstones for him, import them under their duty free allowance, then sell them on to one of his willing partners in the their home country for much more money than they originally paid. Of course the details that you'll be given about the "partner" are fictitious and you'll be stuck with a lot of worthless gems. Definitely avoid anyone who approaches you with an offer like this or any similar scenario. More recently, there have also been reports of scammers posing as fellow travelers, so do be aware of anyone who tries to befriend you anywhere in India. Sometimes you won't be asked to buy the gems, but instead to provide a "financial guarantee" of your credit card number and signature.
5. Why Foreigners / White people don’t talk to Indians Sometimes random person will come to you and ask surprisingly that why foreigners don’t talk to Local Indians. And then you start polite discussion. And then in between they will try to take you for free coffee/tea/ beers/ drinks or meal with them or their family and try to sell you their stuff (Handicraft items/ Gems / Paintings etc. Try to avoid such random peoples. Just smile and move forward.
6. Minimum or discounted city Tour
While this isn’t a scam as such, it can still be quite a bother. Taxi drivers will often offer a reduced fare if visitors agree to stop off at a few expensive handicraft emporiums on the way, so that they can get commissions. No purchases are necessary, only looking. The catch is when the number of emporiums to be visited increases from “a few” to at least 5 or 6, so that the driver can maximize his commissions. The sales people in the emporiums don’t let potential customers get away easily, so such an exercise can end up taking hours. If you want to reach your destination promptly or don’t want to be caught up in what will feel like endless browsing, it’s best to give this offer a miss and pay the full taxi fare.
7. Paid Blessings
Down by the ghats in religious places such as Pushkar and Varanasi, sadhus (Hindu holy men) will commonly approach tourists and ask if they want a blessing. They'll tie a red holy thread on your wrist and then demand a large sum of money. Also, be aware of fake sadhus who approach tourists and ask for donations.