4 ways to avoid getting scammed in India

While travelling in India as a tourist, it is important that you know you are not getting scammed; which is a common complaint. So here is a comprehensive guide which will tell you where you can get scammed and how best avoid it.

Avoid God-men

Holy man(sadhu) in Bodh Gaya, India
Holy man(sadhu) in Bodh Gaya, India | Source

India is a holy land, with a rich culture and history. But off late, there have been miscreants, who use this backdrop and designate themselves as ‘god-men’. Often clad in saffron robes, they throng popular tourist spots, trying to lure people who have come to have a spiritual experience. Growing up in this divine country, I find it difficult to dismiss that we don’t have consecrated men, but this concept has been misused long and I would say be wary of anyone who claims to be special. The best way to experience spiritual India would be to visit our numerous temples, which have an opulent history, whose stories are perception altering, brimming with life lessons for anyone willing to learn them.

Get local help

vintage store
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The other lure site are vintage stores. Owing to our great antiquity, India has numerous little vintage stores which claim to sell pieces of unique history, which turn out to be made in the seller’s back-yard. The best way to find authentic antique stores would be to find someone with knowledge in the field to help you. Indians are bought up with stories of the past as bedtime stories and so they have a natural inclination towards these things, so finding a native to help you should not be too hard.

Don’t buy in the first shop you see

Then there is the art of buying local apparel and jewellery. These are sold at exorbitant rates to tourists and often-times, as the tourist are unaware of where to buy, they end up with clothing of poor material, which experience wear and tear too soon. This is because most of the sellers are dirt poor, leading a hand to mouth existence, trying to make a killing where they can [their ingenuity must be marketed before it dies out, but that’s another story]. However, there are people who have recognized this need in the market and specialize at selling Indian clothes to tourists, who will give you a fair deal. This requires a little extra walking around. It is advisable not to buy in the first shop you see, but instead look everywhere before you decide.

Reserve taxis and hotels online

Autoride Bangalore
Source

These are the usual ways in which scamming happens, apart from some specific issues like raised fares in taxi and auto-rickshaws [taxis can be booked online now. As for ricksaws, always ask them to turn on the meter when you enter], hotel scams [again, check online, the major hotels have websites, ensuring you don’t end up in a dingy lodge].

That’s all there is! Have a great stay!

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