Tim Ferriss (Four Hour Workweek) and Kevin Rose (Digg) do a semi-regular video show called Random and most of the recent ones were taped on their long trip to China. I wanted to point out this particular episode because it covers a well known scam in Beijing near Tiananmen Square in Beijing:
Ferriss offers two great tips:
- Before you go on a trip, research the tourist scams in the area so that you don’t fall prey to them. He recommends Virtual Tourist and I recommend just Googling scams and the country or cities you’ll visit. Here’s Virtual Tourist’s page on the Beijing art student scam.
- As a general rule, if you are ever approached by someone who is overly friendly, the first reaction is to be suspicious.
When my wife and I were in the UK, often times we had the same experience as Rose. People would give us directions, tell us which bus to get on, and in general be very helpful. They weren’t trying to sell us discount tickets from their friend or take us somewhere, they were just being helpful.
Educate yourself, be on your toes, and don’t get scammed. 🙂