What are the Common Tourist Scams in Goa?
Damaged scooters and rentals, deaf kids, and beggar scams are some of the most common and frequent frauds one can encounter while visiting Goa. Are you planning a solo trip to Goa but hesitating because of the fear of safety and scams? Well, do not worry, because I have got you covered. First, Goa is a very beautiful state, and you should not cancel your solo trip just because of some scams you think you MAY encounter. Secondly, apart from little scams, you should not worry much about your safety as Goa ranks among some of the top places in the safety index. So, here are some scams that you must be aware of to experience a fun and fraud-free journey.
1. Gem smuggling scam
In popular tourist destinations like Goa, it can be easy for you to come across some smugglers. In this scam, you may be approached by professional-looking men or some stranger who quickly becomes your ‘friend.’ They may persuade you to get involved in some very appealing money-making schemes. They may give you some gems and ask you to ship them to your country, which will cost you nothing. However, just after you accept, you will be approached by another man who will be disguised as a ‘custom officer.’ This man may ask you to pay a hefty fine for breaking the law, and you will be wholly persuaded to do so by your ‘friend.’ This way, you can end up losing a good amount of money. So, keep away from such shady people.
2. Damaged scooters and rental cars
The best way to explore Goa is on a bike or scooter. Besides, renting bikes in Goa to explore the beautiful place is very easy. However, you may come across some cunning swindlers who will rent you a damaged bike and later claim the damages from you by accusing you of the vandalism. So to avoid this, you should always (I can never emphasise too much on the always) check the bike and make a video of it before getting into the deal. You should make the video with the dealer to eliminate any accusations they may cause. This will save you from scamming some of these cunning shop owners.
3. Rigged beach games
Everybody knows that there are a lot of scams in India going on in the name of doubling the money in a few minutes. One such scam can be spotted on many beaches of Goa. You will find a local guy playing cards with foreigners in this scam. You will see the foreigners winning most of the time and getting their money doubled in a few minutes. However, along with the local guy, the foreigners winning money is also included in the scam.
At the start of the game, the scammer will let you win one or two times as most probably you will not put the high amount. As soon as you get trapped in their web and start putting higher amounts, the scammer will begin using his cheating tricks in the game, and you will not be going to win any other games. And at the end of the game, all your cash will be exhausted, and you will run out of money.
4. Beggar scams
Beggar scams are some of the most common scams in India and Goa. Unfortunately, begging is a full-fledged industry that has grown drastically in India. It is estimated that the yearly revenue of this whole industry is more than 150 crores rupees. Some such scams which you may come across in Goa are:
Deaf kid begging scam
In this scandal, you will be reached by a cute-looking girl or boy holding a placard that says I’m a deaf and orphan kid. The kid then asks you for money for the treatment or the hearing instrument, which you will also see written on the placard. However, if you say “police” in front of that kid, the kid will start running far from you before even seeing if there’s any policeman. This shows that the kid can hear clearly and they are not deaf.
Moreover, they are mostly not even orphans. You may say that what’s the problem if we give them some money? They will have some fast food or something. But no, it’s not true. Most kids are forced to do such scams by their parents or unethical organisations who use this money to buy drugs and alcohol. Your money will go to the wrong people. So you should ignore them and move on.
Fake beggar scams
This scam is done mainly by adults, and I’m telling you, it needs a lot of dedication. Why I’m saying so? Because you will see beggars on the beachside asking for money by showing their missing legs, which they say were chopped off in an accident. However, the dedication in this scam is to sit from morning to night while burying their legs on the ground. It is like an illusion that the beggar has no legs. And they earn a lot of money by begging instead of doing other work!
Now that you have become aware of almost all the scams you can face as a tourist in Goa, you must exercise precaution. You can have a very carefree trip if you keep yourself away from some fraudulent and shady people. However, the trouble of scams should not be why you cancel your adventurous trip to the party capital of India. This is because cancelling the trip will result in losing great opportunities to meet new people, make new friends, and create some of the best memories of your life. So, do not succumb to the fear and miss this incredible journey of your life. Practising precautions will be enough for you to have fun during the trip. Happy journey!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.