In Turkey the currency is the New Turkish Lira. But with the OLD Turkish Lira the exchange rate was something like 250,000 Lira to the Dollar (I really don't remember, but it was high).
My partner and I left our hotel to see some sites, during the course of the day we took 3 or 4 taxi rides. I had a wad of Turkish currency from exchanging 200 dollars. 500,000, 1,000,000 and 5,000,000 notes.
Every taxi ride we took, the fare would show on the meter and it would be something like 1,200,000 lira. Each time, I realized in retrospect, I tried to pay with a 5,000,000 lira note. Each time the driver would take my note and put it in his lap to "make change".
EACH TIME, after a few seconds, the driver would then hold up a 500,000 Lira note and said to me, "Sir, you did not give me enough". Let me tell you, not really paying attention because I'm talking or looking at the sites, each time I just said "sorry and handed him ANOTHER 5,000,000 Lira note for which he very graciously said "Thank you" and made change.
Now you may have noticed, it is hard to count all those zeroes, and easy to make a mistake. I do believe I fell for the same scam at least three different times that day, because when I got back to the hotel to count my money, after these cab rides that I estimated should have cost me about 6 to 8 dollars apiece, I had spent over 100 dollars with no souvenirs to show for it.
It was only then that I said to myself.... hey, wait a minute, EVERY taxi driver said the same thing to me. I looked at the two notes and sure enough, they looked practically identical, at least to me.
Now that was a good scam. So simple, so effective.
Interestesting topic you posted. Just yesterday I bought the book Scam Proof your Life by Sid Kirchheimer. It list many ways to yourself from rip offs, including travel, health,money,job, idenity theft and more.
(not selling this book, just relaying info.)
One of the most common here in Florida is the door to door service ie, roofing, yard work, drive way repair.
On the cruise chapter ;best time to take a cruise is after the crew has scrubed the ship from anon board illness. Yeah right
Also, check your billing each day to make sure they posted your account correctly. cheaper rates in the Caribbean are in the summer months when hurricane season is at the peak. Not me!
I was scamed by a furniture store in beleiving they had interest free payments for a year. When the store sold my account to another bank they started billing me at 20% interest on the unpaid. I took it to court and got it droped, and the new bank repaid all the interest collected. Hurray. It pays to stay alert to things
I won't come close to winning a t-shirt nor should I but one major thing to watch in China is a bait and switch.
The Chinese street merchants are notorious for showing you one item and then giving you "another". This was done to us about three times in China. We got burned once.
The first time we were going to buy some silk robes and I tried one on and it fit perfectly. I said I'll take it. The woman folded it up and put it in a bag and then set it down behind a small counter. Luckily I am tall and saw there were two bags behind the counter. I paid her and sure enough she grabbed the "other" bag and tried to give it to me. I told her no the other bag was mine. She started to throw a fit. In the bag she handed me was a thin robe that was two sizes too small. I grabbed my bag and walked off with her yelling at me in Chinese. Luckily our Chinese guide was with us so we knew she was just mad and not threatening to kill us. He had also told us to be wary of these people's tricks.
An hour later Betty was in a stall of another vendor and I stood outside. I saw her try on another robe and then the partner of that vendor did the same thing and put a bag behind the counter. I walked in and grabbed Betty and said: "It's time to go."
I did get burned though. I bought a cashmere Polo sweater. It was a whopping $10 but when we got back to the ship I opened up the bag to put it on and though it was the right size it wasn't the same sweater. It was a reject with a streaked dye job. I now have a lovely feeling cashmere sweater with streaks. Oh well.
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Mine only cost us $5.00 and it won't win, but it certainly made me feel stupid!
On our last cruise we stopped at Ocho Rios. A cab driver offered to take us shopping to a store in a safe area with great deals. We settled on $5.00 and as soon as we got in he wanted to take us on a tour for more $$. We said no, so he drove around for about 5 minutes. We ended up at the entrance to a very nice shopping area called Island Village!
We were very surprised after looking around and buying a few things in different stores to walk around a corner and see our ship about 3 minutes (walking distance) away !
He got us good! Maybe we should go back to attending the shopping presentations
"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."
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I had a feeling most of these would involve cab drivers. Since this thread did not take off like I hoped it would, I think I may start a new one. If I don't get more stories then Fern, you WILL win by default.
This happened quite a while ago. When traveling in Europe, I took lots of time writing letters and postcards and you had to give them to the conceirge for stamping. Well, you guessed it - they pocketed the money and threw out the correspondence. Happened in quite a few hotels.
I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012