This summer, many Irish people will be flying in for their first holiday abroad in more than two years.
Spain is among the most popular destinations, with thousands of people set to flock in the coming months.
However, a warning has been issued about a “taxi scam” that has been ensnaring some tourists.
READ MORE: Four questions Irish tourists should ask before vacationing in Spain, Portugal and more after the trouble
An expert has explained how some taxi drivers cleverly take passengers on a longer route to get a higher fare.
Nicky Kelvin, Head of Points Guy UK, formerly Express.co.uk: “A key scam to watch out for is when you take a taxi or other car service to an unknown destination.
“Drivers can often take a much longer route to get to their destination in order to maximize the cost of their fare.”
He added that while it’s always best to use an official taxi company to avoid these types of scams, they can be less common in some European cities.
Tourists should also make sure the meter is working to avoid being overcharged.
Other scams that are making the rounds in Spain include counterfeit bills and pickpockets.
Explaining the fake ticket scam, Nicky said, “When visiting another country and touring the sights, it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to ticket scams.
“Locals will try to sell tickets to attractions, buses, trains and other tourist attractions and quite often they will claim that the tickets are discounted or offer them as a way to skip the line, however these tickets may be fake or may expire . when you actually try to use them.
“As technology has improved over the years, so have fake tickets and they can look almost identical to the real thing.
“The best way to avoid these scammers is to plan ahead and purchase tickets from an official box office or official website.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs’ official advice for Irish tourists to Spain says: “Most of Spain has a moderate crime rate. However, given the very high number of tourists visiting Spain, additional security measures are implemented in public areas at peak times, such as during the summer and at Christmas.
“You must bear in mind that in areas such as airports, bus stations, train stations, tourist areas and large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, there is a much higher risk of theft and robbery.”
It has advised Irish tourists to take the following precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together; leave extra money and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport with you unless absolutely necessary, and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid flashing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check that nobody has followed you after doing your business
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and keep them in public places like internet cafes, train and bus stations.
- Avoid dark, unlit streets and stairwells, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close as possible to the entrance of your hotel or apartment
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