Many people have become easy targets for travel scams and they don’t even know. When you have little knowledge of something or you don’t even know what to look for, you are likely to be taken for granted and you’ll end up paying for something that will never happen. Likewise in travel, when you don’t know anything about how to obtain visa or even get cheap flight ticket, you may end up getting conned. Many Nigerians have been ripped off by some disreputable travel agencies or agents in the process of travel planning – visa and immigration assistance, cheap holiday packages and flight tickets. They always provide travel deals that look very attractive but are too good to be true.
Likewise, some tourists visiting Nigeria have been ripped off by scam artists who pried their hard earned money right out of their hands. Travel scams are rampant, so when you are travelling anywhere, you need to be careful and lookout for them. Travelstarters have compiled the popular travel scams to avoid in Nigeria;
1. USA Lottery Visa offer
Photo Source: Businessdayghana.com
It has been years since the American lottery ended for Nigerians but every year, a lot of scam artists come out claiming that the lottery has been made available for Nigerians again. Many Nigerians are eager to travel to America – the land of opportunity; however, this offer is a scam. People who do not know that Nigeria has been banned from taking part in DV Lottery continue to apply for this offer by paying some amount of money to the agents to make sure that the application is properly processed.
2. Study abroad scam
Many Nigerian students want to travel and study abroad in countries such as Russia, Malaysia, London, and the United States of America amongst others. The application process for study abroad programs is almost demanding especially when it comes to paying the tuition fees which are always in dollars or pounds. Some scam artists, claiming to be travel agents are found hanging around embassies and sometimes, operating phony offices that offer students a quick visa processing and cheap tuition fee. Many students have fallen victim to these study abroad scams.
3. International conference travel offers
Fraudsters bring you enticing offer to travel abroad for an International Conference to encourage people to act quickly before thinking about it or asking someone else about it. The victims are told that the embassy will not deny your visa because you were invited for a conference in any part of the world where you may have an interest of travelling to. You are given an invitation letter and you are requested to pay a certain amount of money for your travel documents to be processed. Most times, when you pay this money, the business quickly ends as they return with a thousand and one reasons why you were denied a visa.
4. Advanced payment for future travel
Nigerians who want to travel with easy are advised to enrol in a group or a club. In this club, they are asked to pay for an upfront fee that would help them in travelling in future. At the end of the day, they may not qualify for any of the program that has been provided for those who joined in the club or group. It is advisable that you do a research before enrolling in such program.
5. Phony travel insurance
Most travellers do not understand what a licensed and unlicensed insurance travel policy means. Scam artists take this as an advantage by selling a ‘protection plan’ that would be used to reimburse travellers if they ever cancel their trips.
6. Currency exchange scam
Many times, scam artists pose as currency exchange traders to con people by selling fake currency for them or selling more than the actual rate. When travelling out or visiting Nigeria, it is advisable to know the current exchange rate for the country you are visiting, or visit your bank to exchange your money.
Did we miss any of the popular travel scams you have heard of? Comment and let us hear your story.