scam-alert-600Generally speaking, travelling is a fun and safe experience and the hazards of travelling in Ireland are very low. Irish people tend to be warm and welcoming towards travellers and there is usually someone around who will help you out if you get lost or need some information. However, there are certain scams that visitors should watch out for, especially if those people look like they have just arrived in the country.

One of the most common scams is the fake gem scam. Travelers may be approached by someone in their hostel or on the street who offers to see them some gemstones at a very low price that they can then sell when they get back to their own country. These gems are almost certain to be colored glass and unless you know a lot about gems it is best to stay away. Similarly, avoid gambling and other types of get rich quick schemes, as you can be sure that there will be a trick involved somewhere.

Some scam artists operate in Ireland under the disguise of police officers. They accuse travelers of crimes that they did not commit in order to extort money out of them. If you are absolutely certain that you are innocent, demand to see the ‘police officer’s’ badge and call their bluff by volunteering to go to the police station to clear up the issue. They will certainly back down if you stand your ground.

As a rule of thumb, be wary of anyone who appears to be too friendly, especially if they are trying to sell you someone or offer you a deal that simply appears to be too good to be true. Most scams that people come across during their travels are fairly harmless and are easy to avoid if you know how to spot them. Just make sure you pack your street smarts when you go out and everything will be clear.