A Look at Some Very Popular Tourist Scams in India
One of the most common scams and biggest racket involving visitors to India is the Begging Scam. This involves entire families in working in conjunction with organized crime in the country.
Poverty in India is real and unfortunately, there are people and organizations taking advantage of this and making huge amounts of money off of this. So big in fact, that it was last reported that over forty five million dollars annually is collected throughout the country! Begging scams vary widely and visitors must take care not to be pressured or allow their feelings to be the victims of these scams.
Beware of Begging Scams
Here a few common examples of typical Begging scams:
Children approaching you with fake bandages wrapped on various parts of their bodies to make you feel sorry for them.Mother and infant approaching you for money to feed her starving child. They will walk you to a market to purchase expensive milk. Later the mother and shopkeeper will split the proceeds.
One other widely huge scam in India is the Medical Racket scam. At last count, there are believed to be over 45,000 fake doctors in India. This is close to actual amount of real practicing physicians in the country and these fake doctors are taking part in a huge scam, particularly feeding off of visitors to India.
As well, these fake doctors are also associated with the criminal underworld in the country. You will come across countless small medical clinics most everywhere, particularly in the larger cities. Most of these fraudulent doctors will charge an average of $32 a visit. This is twice what the average worker employed in the city would make in a week!
They will also prescribe medicine for you that is not real and in many cases just a mixture of Ayurvedic type medicine used in the country.
Safety of Ayurvedic Medicine
A prime example of this mixture is used on visitors and typically what a tourist to India will need to attend a clinic for is for Travelers Diarrhea. In Mexico this is commonly referred to as “Montezuma’s Revenge” and in India it is known as “Delhi Belly.” A fake doctor will charge you for the visit, pretend to give you an examination and then make you purchase a concoction of Ayurvedic medicine, which could make you even worse!
Check out this short video on officials in India making arrests at the clinics of these fake doctors.
Medical Certificate Scam
Unfortunately, many people are dishonest and will try anything to make a buck. In India along with these fake doctors will issue fake medical certificates for individuals who are trying to scam their insurance companies. For around 3300 rupees or approximately $55 us dollars, you can get one of these scam doctors to issue you an authentic looking medical certificate, allowing you to make a false claim on your insurance.
For example, many use these to extend their stay, having them confirm that you are unfit to travel. The insurance company will then pay for meals, lodging and flights home, depending on the type of policy held. Many insurance companies will have policies involving cash payments as well.
These types of medical certificates can be for many different types of fraudulent means, depending on how much you are will to pay!
A Few Tips for Travelers
If you simply must give in and want to offer some money, then experts recommend a maximum of 10 to 20 rupees only. Try to give to the elderly or crippled on the street. Do not give money to ladies with infants and only to younger people who perform for you on the street. Those scammers after your money are very persistent and in many cases will not leave you alone until you hand over some cash. So if you must, then do so as you are leaving the area, or you could find yourself swarmed by other beggars and scammers!
These types of scam artists can be found all over the world, particularly in poorer countries when poverty exists. If traveling to these parts of the world, always be aware of this practice and try not to let your emotions get the better of you. I always prefer to donate to well respected world re-known charitable organizations such as Kiva, one of my favorites.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article I have prepared on Most Common Travel Scams in India. Are you aware of a travel scam readers should know about?
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