India is the second most populated country in the world and holds the seventh position area wise. With a population of more than a billion, India is a land of diversity. It has a rich heritage and culture that has been inherited from a long past.
However, there is a negative side as well. Many travel-related frauds and scams are prevalent in India.
There is a varied range of organised schemes that target the traveller in various parts of the country too. The scammers take up different strategies to fool travellers and take away their money and harass them.
An individual must research adequately before visiting this unique and colourful Asian subcontinent.
3 essential elements to check before travelling to India to travel smoothly in the country:
• One must surely get travel insurance. Many travellers use World Nomads and also recommended by many.
• Appropriate visa is another important thing which is necessary for all kinds of help from the administration and for hassle-free travel.
• A proper guidebook, a list of helpline number and details of a few local contacts. These can come in extremely handy in urgent situations.
Many people love travelling alone while others feel stressed when they think of travelling alone in India. There are always more than one options to choose from. Backpacking alone or going in groups of fellow countrymen, it is quite easy to find a suitable travel arrangement in a vast country like India.
There are many companies which provide a wide range of facilities for individual travellers and groups. They also offer tips against frauds and scams that are present in India that target travellers, especially foreigners.
Some of the most commonly observed scams and the ways to avoid them:
1. Tour guides that are not official
Tourist places are flooded with tourist guides, and many among them fake their identity. These unofficial guides lure tourist by offering them a low price and later scam the tourists to pay more. They mainly target foreign tourist and charge them any random amount.
One can avoid them by hiring tourist from official sites or places only. The official guides will be genuine, and there will be no chance of fraud.
2. Donation scams at religious places
This scam is quite an old one and happens in several religious places. The scammers present themselves as the officials of the sacred site and ask for heavy donations.
One can avoid these types of fraudulent claims by simply refusing to pay. No religious place can force you to make a donation.
3. Frauds of SIM cards
The rules of getting a SIM card in India involve the process of filling up a particular form along with a photograph and an identity proof. But in many cases, these steps are not followed, and SIM cards sold like this will either be in the name of someone else or simply, will not work at all.
Thus a person in need of a SIM card must visit a proper shop and purchase a SIM by following all the steps required legally.
4. Pickpocket scammers
This is another very old and widespread scam across India which can prove extremely costly to unassuming travellers. This scam is mainly performed in groups and the members of the scam group distract travellers to pickpocket their money, mobile phones and other valuables.
The scammers are quite skilful in these types of acts, and the travels in most cases hardly feel anything.
The travellers must stay alert and attentive to their valuables and belongings.
One can avoid keeping too much cash and check if when an unknown person bumps in unnecessarily.
5. Scammers in the disguise of beggars
Travellers are sure to come across streets lined with beggars. Often incidents are reported where big groups of beggars block the path of travellers and dig into their belongings and luggage. One would not get even the slightest time to react.
Travellers must stay alert and avoid any such streets where they see a group of a gathering of beggars.
6. Frauds of Fast-track admission
Some scammers approach the travellers and promise to provide them with a fast-track entry into the spot for some money. These scammers will vanish as soon as they get the money.
One can avoid getting scammed by following the queue to enter the spot.
7. Scam at hotels
This scam is usually reported at low priced hotels and lodges across many states in India. The traveller has to pay before checking in and is asked to pay again when they leave the hotel. The hotel staff scams the people into paying twice. They mostly target foreign travellers.
The travellers are recommended to keep proof of payment like the receipt with them to avoid such tricky scams.
8. Fake information and tickets at railway stations
The scammers often provide wrong information to tourists and sell them fake train tickets. They inform the travellers that the train seats are full due to some ongoing event or festival and scam them to pay for seats on the train.
One can avoid such situations by keeping access to the phone and having a proper internet connection to cross-check when any such situation arises.
India is a beautiful country and can be a great cultural experience full of flavour, colour and art. Like any other famous tourist destination, there are some frauds and scams of which tourists should be careful.
These scams are most prevalent in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai and some other large cities. However, with a little care and precaution, one can avoid all these scams and have a memorable time.
It is also advisable to gather as much information travelling across India as possible. It is a beautiful country full of surprises, and we hope you have only happy ones.
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