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The average Brit will be swindled out of £6,272 during a lifetime of holidays – thanks to scams, con-men and ignorance, it has been revealed. Researchers found that as many as one in three of us will be ripped off on holiday this summer, with the average tourist losing at least £49 per trip.
The study found Spain to be the worst country for being ripped off, followed by Thailand and India.
Barcelona, Paris and Rome were deemed the most likely cities to have experienced a scam.
A spokesman for Generator Hostels, which commissioned the study, said:
”City cons and tourists traps have happened to the best of us, but knowing them and avoiding them is all about getting the right knowledge from the places you stay.
”It’s great to get caught up in a new culture and experience the world from a new perspective, but sometimes that excitement or lack of local knowledge can make us more open to scams or paying too much for things.
”Travelling is one of the best experiences in life but as with anything, a little good advice goes a long way.”
A whopping 84% of the 2,000 tourists studied were convinced Brits can be deliberately targeted for over-charging or potential scam opportunities.
People were most likely to get caught out by expensive cash withdrawal charges, while having to pay for sunbeds or to use the hotel fridge and late checkout fees were other pitfalls.
Many had experienced taxi drivers taking them on detours or saying their hotel was closed and trying to take them to a new one, while being encouraged to take a photo and then being charged for it was a common scam.
Brushes with fake police, counterfeit goods and pickpocketing also featured among the top holiday pitfalls.
Four in ten have paid up even though they knew they were being ripped off at the time because they felt they had no choice.
Fears of causing a scene or the worry of the other person becoming aggressive led to tourists keeping tight lipped.
The poll found 42% have refused to go back to a certain city after previously being scammed or ripped off there.
Being generally unaware or ignorant was the reason cited for most people’s run-ins with scammers or overcharging, while being excited and generally distracted stopped 45% from seeing it coming.
One in four said it was a lack of good advice that prevented them from avoiding certain holiday pitfalls.
The Generator Hostels spokesman added:
”The chance to experience a new place and go on adventures is one of the most rewarding things we can do with our time and there’s never a bad time to explore all that’s out there.
”It’s always important to do your research ahead of any trip but it’s easy to get overloaded or bogged down in it. There’s nothing more reassuring than great, reliable advice you can trust from your chosen accommodation.”
TOP 10 CITIES WHERE BRITS EXPERIENCED SCAMS
£49 ripped off x 2 trips a year x 64 average life = £6,272
TOP 20 HOLIDAY PITFALLS
1. Cost of withdrawing cash abroad
2. Airport taxis – taking detours / over charging
3. Having to pay for a sunbed
4. Tipping in bars and restaurants
5. Being charged to use hotel WiFi
6. All-inclusive drinks (not quite all included)
7. Locals charging more when they find out you’re from UK
8. Fridges in the hotel charging
9. Buying currency at the airport
10. Taxi drivers saying your chosen hotel is closed and takes you elsewhere
11. Photo ops – (local in costume charges you for the photo you’ve just taken with them in)
12. Bracelet scheme – (local ties bracelet on tight then charges you)
13. Handed item (e.g.: flowers / pigeon feed) then forced to pay for it
14. Gem or carpet deals
15. Fake police
16. Buying counterfeit goods that you thought were genuine
17. Late check-out fees – even if you’re only a minute late
18. The struggling musician – (offers free cd’s then charges when it’s in your hands)
19. Hotel advice scams – (taxi recommends a hotel which doesn’t look legit)
20. Bird poo scam – (it lands on your jacket, a local runs up to clean you and pickpockets you.)