Ready To Travel Again? Beware of These Covid-19 Related Travel Scams (And How To Deal With It)


Tiara •  Aug 23, 2021

What are common travel scams that are happening in the world?

We can name a few, from signing up a petition to street games and fake policemen. Travel scams are something we don't want yet sometimes we must encounter.

With the Singapore travel bubble in September, going overseas is a matter of preparation and extra precautions. Not only preparing the paperwork and your physical health, but Covid-related travel scams are also something you must be aware of.

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What are Covid-19 related scams?

Covid-19 related scams apparently started since the travel bubble begins around the world, domestic and international. The new requirement for travel paperwork creates a gap utilized by criminals, targeting the travelers in transit.

Travelers are getting more vulnerable during the travel bubble if they are not familiar with the Covid-19 travel regulations in the arrival country. In fact, in Indonesia, these scams happened on domestic flights in Medan!

Even though you are traveling in a travel bubble, here are some Covid-19 related scams that you must beware of.

Fake Covid-19 test result document

Not only breaking the law, but this practice is also dangerous for all the travelers aboard. Unfortunately, this is happening around the world.

For example, since the French authority calls for mandatory proof of vaccination for public activities, a black market urges. These criminals selling fake health passes for only a couple hundred Euros and market them through social media.

Even worse, they urge people not to take the vaccine and buy the fake health pass instead.

Recycled Covid-19 test kits

We kid you not (and ewww)! This scam happened in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. These irresponsible health workers used recycled cotton swabs for Covid-19 tests. They washed and repackaged them to look like new.

This crime operation scheme was said to have affected thousands of passengers flying and transiting in Medan who take the Covid-19 test in their lab.

Hence, make sure you are taking the test in a trustworthy health facility!

Covid-19 test pricing

While it might not necessarily life-threatening, this scam is indeed dangerous for your wallet. Wherever you go, make sure that you have researched where, when, and how much is the official average price for Covid-19 the country you are visiting.

If possible, book the test in advance and avoid using a middle man for the appointment.

Fake vaccines

Fake vaccines in Uganda and India are just a small example of Covid-19 related scams that happening in the world.

There is not news that saying it's also happening in the country that is having a travel bubble with Singapore but always do your research before departure. Especially if you are managed to do vaccination abroad, like in the United States.

Taxi scams

Manipulating meter fares, unlicensed drivers, sneakily taking a long route, These are some ploys that drivers pull on innocent tourists!

This scam is even riskier for travelers because there are fewer options for airport transport during the pandemic, given that public transportation is limited to prevent the spread.

Make sure you have arranged for your pick up at the airport so you don't have to wander through the taxi lines to get going. Or pick the official taxi brand that has a good name in the country.

Tips to help you if you get scammed

We hope you never have to use this part of the article! If something does happen, here’s what you can do.

Remove yourself from the situation: Your safety and well-being above all are most important. If the situation has taken a bad turn, try to find the best way to leave, and remember as many details as possible.

Cancel your cards: If you lost some valuables, you should block your debit and credit cards, as well as your phone provider.

Contact your embassy: If your passport gets stolen, immediately contact your embassy and they should be able to help you out.

File a police report: It is also a good idea to have official documentation, which is relatively a straightforward process. Having one can go a long way in helping to resolve the situation. Similarly, it also allows you to contact your travel insurance. Do bear in mind that the local police may probably not put in much effort for petty crimes.