Scams you might encounter in India

Everyone has this impression that everybody you meet in India is probably trying to scam you or rip you off. There are people that are always trying to earn an extra buck. But, you should be fine as long as you just keep your wits about you. If you do become paranoid and obsessive about it, you’ll ruin the trip for yourself!
We’ve drawn up a list of a few common scams you could encounter. So you can prepare yourself and focus on enjoying yourself instead.crowded streets in Old Delhi, India Plan your trip

A free or highly discounted Taxi/Rickshaw to visit Shops/Emporiums

I would not call this a scam if they’re being honest about it. Taxi and Auto rickshaw drivers will tell you that they will drive you around at no cost as long as you enter some shops with them. This is a good bargain if you have time to kill and meet a nice cool rickshaw guy. But if you’re stretched for time I recommend you just ask for a good price and stick to sight seeing. Don’t feel bad for not paying the drivers as they make money on each place they take you to, and that can add up to quite a bit.


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Taxi driver pretending not to know your hotel

Sometimes when you get off at the Airport, and take a taxi to your pre-booked hotel, the taxi driver might say that the hotel is full or take it a step further and out rightly claim that it simply doesn’t exist. He will then proceed to drive you around in circles for a long time until you cave and agree to go to his choice of hotel. No matter how tired you are DO NOT fall for this. Make sure you insist on being taken to the hotel that you planned to stay in. The simplest way to avoid this is to get the hotel to arrange a pick up, it’s just 4-5$ extra for peace of mind.

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Paid Blessings at Pushkar

This is one thing that kind of gets to me, since Pushkar is a religious place. You would expect peace and quiet, but when you walk around the lazy town or go near the lake, you will find lots of smiling priests who will ask you if you want to take blessings. They will do small rituals and prayers and make you repeat some words. Once it’s all over, they’ll begin to demand large amounts of money for the ceremony. The best way to avoid this is to tell them upfront that you will only cough up 50-100INR. Then let them decide if they still want to go through with it.

Pushkar Lake

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New Delhi Train Station Scam

This one is very common and most people using Indian trains for the first time succumb to it easily. If you have a confirmed and booked ticket, and you go to the New Delhi Railway Station, an official looking person will come up to you and tell you that your train has been cancelled, and you would have to take a car or a new train to your destination. They then say that they will help you get a new ticket and of course over-charge you. Just head to your train and don’t fall for this. Tell these guys politely that you will take a chance waiting at the platform.

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Private Tourist Office Scams

If you do enter a private tourist office or travel agent near the station/bus station, first check the cost and availability of flights, trains and buses online. Sometimes these agents will lie to get you to use their services for an entire tour and then rip you off. Just recently in Manali in Himachal Pradesh an agent told me that all the buses were booked and he could get me tickets for the last few seats. I knew he was lying and got a ticket from the government office instead. But if I was in a hurry I would definitely have fallen for it.

Just to conclude, yes scams happen across the world, I recently got ripped off in Europe as well, but if you keep your wits about you and trust your instincts you will be fine. Don’t become excessively paranoid and hope you enjoy your trip. If you need a second opinion, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Tourist office Scams in Delhi

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