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Feed the Birds

How the scam works:

One of the greatest pleasures in life is traveling around the world and immersing oneself in a new culture for a few days. However, travelers need to be aware of scammers that would like nothing more than to relieve their foreign visitors of their hard-earned cash. One of the most frequently seen scams is the Feed the Birds scam.

In places such as Bangkok’s Grand Palace, there are always people walking around carrying bags of bird feed and passing them out to tourists, encouraging them to feed the multitudes of birds that frequent the courtyard. The tourists take the bags, thinking them part of the attraction, and have a wonderful time feeding the birds. Once the feed is gone, the vendor then explains to the tourist that they must pay for the feed, often an exorbitant fee.

How to avoid:

When traveling anywhere out of the country it is always wise to educate yourself on the customs and culture of that country. It is also a good idea to research any potential scams related to attractions you want to visit. Upon arriving in the country, if anyone offers you a service (i.e. bird feed, picture taking, tours, etc.) always ask before accepting the goods or services if there will be a charge. Protecting your wallet while traveling will enable you to continue taking exotic vacations and those memories will last a lifetime.

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