Don't let your vacation be ruined by a scam
The city of Miami Beach is a fantastic tourist destination, with thousands of visitors coming to spend their hard earned money on a vacation they have been waiting for all year. But with every big city comes dishonest people, looking to cheat you out of your money. Here are some of the things to look out for when you visit Miami to stop your trip being ruined by a scam.
Craigslist: Vacation and apartment rentals
If they ask for a deposit upfront with no guarantee of where the money will be held, don’t hand over any money. Also, pay with a credit card, do not wire the money. Paying with a credit card gives you protection. In the event someone does steal your money as you can claim it back on insurance. Look out for bad grammar in the ad or a phone number that always goes to a voicemail. And remember, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Tricks that the restaurants use
Check your bill carefully to make sure it is correct and no extras have been added on. Some servers have been known to add an extra drink or appetizer in the hope no one will notice the mistake. And the biggest scam of all? Auto gratuity. Always check to see if service is included; most places in South Beach will automatically add the service to your check. They will not always tell you which leads many people to double tip. Also, check the places where service is not included. If you are with a party of 6 or more, they can add it to your check, again leading many to double tip.
Credit card fraud
If you are visiting from Europe, do not be alarmed that Miami does not use the Chip and Pin system, and that servers in restaurants will whisk your card away to pay. This is generally standard practice and nothing to be worried about. However, if you can check your spending online, it helps to keep track of your money.
It is a good idea to let your credit card company know you will be traveling to Miami. Give them an idea what you will be spending each day so they can monitor your account and look for any unusual activity.
Fake “Tourist Information” booths
Also as mentioned above, check your bar tab at the end of the night when you are signing for your drinks. Many clubs will add auto gratuity to your check which can add up to quite a large amount. Remember that if you have been tipping in cash all night, you are entitled to remove it.
While you are enjoying all the glorious sunshine, palm trees and beach life, it is best to remember that Miami remains a big city. It is good to keep in mind that some people out there will look for ways to scam you. Incidents can happen to anyone, so keep the above information in mind and always ask questions if you are not comfortable with the situation.
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