Dealing with financial scams on home turf is one thing; navigating the same kind of suspicious activity while in a foreign land is totally different. For one, it is sometimes difficult to know what are typical transaction procedures in other countries and what should be raising red flags. To help you make better decisions about how to spend your money while traveling, we’ve collected some tips on what to do and what not to do.
At Bastion Balance in Korea, we manage the assets of three generations of clients from nearly 90 different countries. Our global wealth management services protect and grow over $1 billion USD in assets, leading our clients to a future of prosperity. Much of that starts with risk reduction and sound financial decision making. For more information on how to manage your money, contact our offices in Seoul, Korea.
Booking Your Trip
Potential dangers lurk even before you’ve actually left your home area. Some scams are designed to defraud you of your money by capitalizing on your eagerness to book a vacation or travel plan. Here are a few steps you should take to avoid getting taken advantage of.
One: Check the Website
Before you click anything, do proper research into the identity of the travel website. Check the URL closely to ensure that it is legitimate. For example, some scammers may use tactics like adding an extra letter or two into a familiar URL so that it appears to be safe. Additional things to verify include:
- the branding and logos of the company
- the email address associated with the website (look for the company’s domain name)
- reviews for any unfamiliar brand or travel agency
Remember, you can always book your travel plans after you’ve done your research, but if you fall prey to a con, you may not get your money back.
Two: Communicate Through Various Means
It is also a good idea to verify your information, the travel deal you wish to take advantage of, and additional data by contacting the supposed vendor via different forms of media. For example, if you receive an email purporting to be from a specific company offering you a discounted travel rate, call the organization to make sure that it is a legitimate offer. Scams often take advantage of people’s excitement at good news (such as free or reduced rate offers).
At Your Destination
The risks are also present once you reach your intended vacation or travel destination. The Expert Vagabond has listed several popular or common scams performed around the world by deceitful people who would part you from your cash and assets. Some examples include:
- pretending to be law enforcement or military personnel, and demanding your personal information (i.e. passports)
- posing as a beggar so that they can learn where you store your money
- phoning you and pretending to be hotel employees, then asking you to verify credit card information
- claiming that the taxi meter is broken, then charging you outrageous prices
These are merely some of the many instances of financial danger that you can fall into while in an unfamiliar area. In reality, there are as many different types of scams as there are people deceitful enough to perpetrate them. This may seem hopeless, but there are some steps you can take to protect yourself.
How to Avoid These Issues
Traveling is a mind-expanding activity that we would never want to discourage anyone from taking part in. But if you do decide to travel to unfamiliar territory, keep these tips in mind.
- NEVER give away personal information, whether that is passport details, credit card information, or account passwords.
- ALWAYS confirm the identity of the person you are talking to. If they claim to be the police, tell them you need to see a badge and you need to call the local police headquarters to verify.
- NEVER give cash to beggars. If you are feeling generous and want to help, purchase goods such as food and drink for them instead. This can help ensure that you don’t fall prey to miscreants posing as the underprivileged.
- ALWAYS keep your wallet and passport in a safe place. If you need to carry them, keep them in pockets that are in front of you rather than in your back pockets. That way, you can keep an eye on them and won’t be pickpocketed easily.
Contact Bastion Balance in Korea for tips on other kinds of financial risks, as well as information about managing your wealth.