Experts reveal the travel scams to look out for in 2023 including fake Covid tests and phoney taxis

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Here’s some top tips on how to avoid the most widespread scams targeting tourists abroad this 2023.

January is known as one of the busiest month for people in West Yorkshire to book holidays, with holiday-lovers looking for their next escape from normality and the dales.

In response, experts at have provided a list of the top tourist scams targeting unsuspecting, vulnerable travellers.


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Here's how to avoid some of the most widespread scams targeting tourists abroad. Photo: GettyHere's how to avoid some of the most widespread scams targeting tourists abroad. Photo: Getty
Here's how to avoid some of the most widespread scams targeting tourists abroad. Photo: Getty

When taking trips abroad, it’s vital to consider travel. Unregulated airport taxis could take advantage of the fact that you aren't local and may be uneducated on typical fares. As a result, you could be charged extremely high rates or taken to the incorrect destination which pay the taxi a finder's fee, rather than the hotel, restaurant or particular business you requested.

To avoid this, travelers should always research reliable, licensed taxi firms rather than getting into the first one they see.

Fake PCR

Following the coronavirus outbreak, some countries still require travelers to report a valid, negative COVID test before entering. There have been reports that scammers have been caught conning holidaymakers with fake PCR tests and 'fit to fly' certificates.

It is vital to always ensure that any PCR test you take is from a reputable source. If you’re traveling from the UK, you can purchase PCR tests from most pharmacies and report the results through the NHS app.

Public Wifi

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Most hosts will offer holidaymakers the services of their shared public WiFi. Whilst this is convenient, it's key to remember that public WiFi may not be as secure as your private network at home.

When browsing the internet, make sure you don’t use sites and apps that involve inputting personal information, like contact details or bank card details. Alternatively you can download a VPN, which will allow you to block any unwarranted third party companies from accessing your data.


Pickpocketing is the oldest scam in the book, but now more than ever, scammers are becoming increasingly creative.

Scammers may interact with you directly, to allow time for a third party to steal from under your nose whilst you’re distracted. When in crowded, public spaces, it’s always vital to keep your personal belongings close by. It’s best practice to leave valuables at home, but if you must bring them with you, store them in a money belt or bum bag to prevent theft.


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When booking excursions or additional activities during your trip, always book through an official company.

Some illegitimate companies may lack the health and safety precautions necessary to keep you safe abroad. The safest option is to book any extra activities or excursions directly through the official travel agency that you booked your trip with.


It’s important to note that no landmark will have official photographers. Companies that claim to do so are likely to insist that only their photos are permitted, but this is just a ploy to force you into paying them for something that is otherwise free.

To avoid this, always consult staff working in or nearby landmarks as they will likely have great general knowledge of the area and be able to advise you on any photography regulations.