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  • Summer Travels Not So Safe Anymore

Taking a week off work, off kids, off life – it can be relaxing and rejuvenating. The Summer Vacation is the paragon of enjoyment, the thing that most people spend their entire year looking forward to. But what can get us here can just as well get us there. In fact, being scammed on vacation is more likely than being scammed at home, depending on where you go and what you do.

Don’t End Up an Unwitting Drug Mule

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If that title took you by surprise, then good: because it may not be the first thing you think about. But yes, you could accidentally become someone’s drug mule while on vacation.

The scam works as follows: you’re given a call or email announcing that you’ve won a travel package. Usually this offer includes a gift certificate and some free luggage. While “winning” a contest you never entered is enough of a warning sign, people can be drawn in by the allure of free stuff.

That’s what happened to an Australian couple last October. They found, much to their horror and confusion when they were detained and over 7 kilograms of methamphetamines were found hidden in the luggage they won.

Don’t accept gifts from sources you don’t trust, always handle your own bags, and never accept bags from strangers. The grand prize could be much worse than you imagine.

Watch Out For Pedicab Scams

Rickshaws are a growing tourist attraction, giving vacationers a closer connection to the city. We even have a budding rickshaw industry in Toronto during the summer. But depending on where you go, traveling in style could come with a price tag you weren’t aware of.

Rickshaws, also known as pedicabs, are not regulated as tightly as taxi companies or bus services, especially abroad. These operators work on a trust system – you have to trust that they’re being honest with you.

And sometimes that trust is betrayed, with some drivers charging as much as $440 for a 12 minute ride, and that’s in the United States. Abroad, conversion confusion, haggling, and language differences mean that you may be hopping into the cab not knowing that your vacation fund is about to be charged right out of you.

If you choose to take a rickshaw or pedicab, discuss the price before you go. Typically, honest drivers charge about $2 to $3 per block, counting from the right hand side. Make sure this is clear before you accept any rides.

Be Careful Who You Tell About Your Trip

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Who knows you’re going on vacation, and how do they know? That’s what police are cautioning vacationers to think about before sharing their vacation plans publicly with the web.

Burglars can use social media too, and posting your trip plans where anyone can see it can open your home up as a shining beacon for burglars once they know for sure that no one will be home.

If you’re making vacation plans this summer, make sure to tell your loved ones your plans. But don’t share it with the world. As a public forum, the internet just broadcasts your information unsolicited to everyone who knows how to tune in. Keep your plans discreet, and avoid mentioning specific dates that you’ll be away from home.

And when it comes to your vacation, always stay vigilant about your personal information and your money. Being safe is just one step in keeping your dream vacation a dream, rather than allowing it to become a nightmare.

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