Byline: Christopher Elliott
The costliest rip-offs can come from legitimate businesses. Here's what to watch for.
Ever had the sense that the gold ring you bought from a street vendor may be a few karats short of the real thing, or that the cabdriver who claims his meter is broken has overcharged you?
If so, you wouldn't be alone. Those kinds of scams are common, and I've certainly been ripped off too many times. But it isn't these street scams--the come-ons from ordinary criminals--that are the most pressing problem. After all, they're fairly easy to spot with a little practice and common sense. No, it's the completely legal scams perpetrated by real businesses that are worth paying special attention to.
And travel is full of those. Here are the 10 worst offenders.
One minute you're lounging on the beach in Cancon, engrossed in a page turner. The next, a timeshare saleswoman is plying you with free frozen margaritas and inviting you to a brief presentation. You'd be surprised by how many tourists fall for this scam, and they fall hard. It isn't unusual to leave Mexico tens of thousands of dollars lighter, owning a timeshare that's basically unusable. And getting a refund is all but impossible, since these condos are …