Staying street smart while travelling in India

#1 Oct 10th, 2013, 08:34
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Staying street smart while travelling in India

Most global destinations have mechanisms in place to part a tourist from their money, but besides the pickpockets, touts, beggars and overpriced handloom shops, there are a few scams in India that really are quite unique. If you're a seasoned traveller, or if you remain alert, you will most likely avoid these mishaps. But we're hoping, after reading this article, that you will be able to spot these tricks a mile away, and you will just need to hide your smile when someone tries one out on you. But if you do happen to come across one, remember it is all just part of the adventure; some may even say that its actually half the fun of travelling in India!  ... read more »

#2 Oct 10th, 2013, 08:58
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#2
Hi all ... if you have other suggestions that travellers to India should keep an eye out for, please add them to this discussion!
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#3 Oct 10th, 2013, 10:47
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This isn't a major scam but a small one. When your auto/taxi is waiting a signal, there will be a lottery selling guy who comes to you - he sells books of lotteries (containing 10 lottery tickets etc) each costing 50Rs or so - i.e. a book of lotteries costing Rs500. He doesn't pester you much - and when you say you don't want lotteries he doesn't harass you but turns and starts walking away from you. But while doing this, he drops a book of lotteries into your auto/taxi. He doesn't even notice that he has dropped it and walks away - you call him and tell him he has dropped it. He says it's your destiny that it has fallen on you and then pesters the hell out of you to buy it.

My advice is not to call him at all when he drops it. He will surely come running when the lights turn green - at that time, just return it to him.
Last edited by bombayboy; Oct 10th, 2013 at 16:39..
#4 Oct 10th, 2013, 15:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bombayboy View Post This isn't a major scam but a small one. When your auto/taxi is waiting a signal, there will be a lottery selling guy who comes to you - he sells books of lotteries (containing 10 lottery tickets etc) each costing 50Rs or so. He doesn't pester you much - and when you say you don't want lotteries he doesn't harass you but turns and starts walking away from you. But while doing this, he drops a book of lotteries into your auto/taxi. He doesn't even notice that he has dropped it and walks away - you call him and tell him he has dropped it. He says it's your destiny that it has fallen on you and then pesters the hell out of you to buy it.

My advice is not to call him at all when he drops it. He will surely come running when the lights turn green - at that time, just return it to him.
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#5 Oct 10th, 2013, 16:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bombayboy View Post When your auto/taxi is waiting a signal ... he drops a book of lotteries into your auto/taxi.
Foreigners are advised to keep the windows up, and the doors locked.
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#6 Oct 10th, 2013, 16:08
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Originally Posted by DrRudi View Post Foreigners are advised to keep the windows up, and the doors locked.
In a rickshaw?
#7 Oct 10th, 2013, 16:09
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Good trick
#8 Oct 10th, 2013, 16:42
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Originally Posted by DrRudi View Post Foreigners are advised to keep the windows up, and the doors locked.
Asking the person to keep the windows up and the doors locked in an auto rickshaw also sounds like a good distraction to carry out some scam.
#9 Oct 10th, 2013, 17:06
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On short rides in Mumbai meters always seemed fair to me. However, on longer rides, the meter ALWAYS got out of control, always, this was extremely noticable. My advice, just take the train for longer rides as a foreigner since you will allways get scammed. We got into some arguments with drivers, who offcourse never admit to it. What we mostly did is just get out, or pay whatever we felt was right, but it's kinda annoying.
#10 Oct 10th, 2013, 17:20
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Always best to agree the price with taxi & rickshaw drivers before setting off really, but you do need to be very good at haggling & not be afraid to offer a quarter of what they quote you & stick to it,you've got to learn to "play the game" fast & say things with confidence,such as "I've been to India many times" "I come every year" etc. Sounds easy enough but not so easy for jetlagged first timers. KK
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#11 Oct 10th, 2013, 17:31
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Originally Posted by kullukid View Post Always best to agree the price with taxi & rickshaw drivers before setting off really
In Bombay, taxis and rickshaws almost always go by the meter, so this shouldn't be a problem - but of course they may look to cheat a foreigner. If so, look for a traffic policeman nearby. The police is almost surely give a verbal lashing to the auto/taxi driver and ask him to start his meter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TriXal0ne View Post On short rides in Mumbai meters always seemed fair to me. However, on longer rides, the meter ALWAYS got out of control, always, this was extremely noticable.

What exactly is a longer ride? I do upto 20kms by auto routinely & do not face an issue. Meter tampering is much rarer in Greater Bombay than almost any other part of India.
#12 Oct 10th, 2013, 18:00
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For me the longes cab ride I took was from Colaba to Bandra station. It could have just be our bad luck, but we always saw meters rising at incredible speed after a while. However, Mumbai is the only place in India I used the meter. Any other place I just took riksjaws and agreed on price before getting in. This way I always had a fair price to my standarts
#13 Oct 10th, 2013, 19:15
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A similar scam is when your taxi driver tells you that your hotel has burnt or closed down, and they can show you a much better place owned by their brother.
If the driver claims the hotel has burnt down you should say that you are a representative of the fire-insurers and you want to check the claim made by the hotel.
#14 Oct 10th, 2013, 19:40
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#14
Some drivers are not to bright either, when I arrived at Agra station immediately a driver speeded towards me telling me my friend couldn't make it and he was send to take me.. I'm sorry, I didn't knew I had a friend waiting?
Last edited by TriXal0ne; Oct 10th, 2013 at 21:04..
#15 Oct 11th, 2013, 11:34
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Be aware of the gold chain or jewellery scam. There are places where you will find some ornaments dropped on the road. If you try and pick them up, someone will do the same, and then say "let us split the ornaments". then they will say "i don't want the ornaments, they seem to be gold, so you give me x amount of cash and keep the ornaments". The ornaments will be heavy as gold ornaments generally are. If you give them money, you will make true the adage "a fool and his/her money are soon parted".

If you see something, just don't pick it up.
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