HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED IN MOROCCO
Probably one of your worries about travelling to Morocco is “how to avoid being scammed in Morocco”.
To start with, you dont need to stress about these scams. Even if you got cheated what you risk is not crucial. Being scammed in general could mean losing 100 or 200. We are gonna tell you some of the most common scams in Morocco. Information will make you more aware to skip the situation if you got into one of them.
MOST COMMON SCAMS IN MOROCCO
1- Taxi driver scams
The first of the list can´t be other but the taxi driver scam. Wherever you travel taxis are the next best place to get scammed. There are different taxi scams: changing the agreed Price, taking a detour, over inflating the real price…
To avoid this scam you should figure out how far it s the place you are heading to. Also you should ask to the locals or search on the internet in case of popular turistic routes the price you should pay. It is not easy to skip this scam but the lost will not be big in any case.
2. The “so-called” local guides
This scam can be encountered everywhere in Morocco but you will find them specially in the medinas of big cities.
Usually a young and/or very thin guy will come to you offering help. They could offer you bringing you to your hotel, a shop or restaurant. Once you get at the location the scammer will ask you for a tip in exchange for his service.
So when some of these guys offering you help just say a polite “No, thanks” you can also say it in arabic “Choukran” so that you make them understand you are not so lost and they will leave. If you really need help you will avoid problems asking to the police or people working in their bussiness.
3-Fake tour guides
This is similar to the scam described before. The scammer pretends to be an official tourist guide belonging to the tourism board of the city and offers to bring you on a tour.
This “guide” might bring you to any shop in which he would get some comisión in case you purchase something. He could also bring you to the restaurant of some friendo r familiar in which he will also get some comission.
Another version is when a fake tour guide tells you that the only way you can visit some turistic spot is by coming with him.
To avoid this scams, don´t hear to anyone telling you to be a tour guide. If you need some tour agent to visit any place, search for trustworthy your operators online. Check they have some reviews and book with them.
4- Over-priced for a camel or horse ride
This scam is more common in places like Merzouga or Marrakech or in towns on the coast where camel tours are very popular. People there will offer you a ride on their animal and either bring you farther than agreed and then overcharge you or simply charge you an inflated price from the very beginning.
Another variant of the scam is when the camel owner brings you very far and asks you double the payment just in order to return you to the village you started from.
So to avoid this scam the best is to refuse to ride a horse or camel. If you are willing to do it as it is a great experience search for trustworthy company.
5- Fake items sold at the market (leather, argan oil, carpets, saffron, fossils…)
Popular moroccain items sold at the markets will usually be fake and overpriced. They can tell you whichever story to as ka ridiculous Price.
To avoid this scam you should take the time to learn what the ítem you are looking for looks. You can trust the people working in your hotel for that. They will provide you help on this matter.
6- Berbers showing you the stars (for girls)
If you are a woman travelling in Morocco and you (alone or with friends) book a night in a desert camp you could get involved in another kind of scam, another kind of scam. One or several of the guys working in the camp sor as camel guides could invite you to hike a dune and show you the stars.
The reality is that they have no idea about stars or constellations and their only purpouse is to try to get anything else from you. So if this happens to you, refuse this offer or go under your responsability.
7- Henna women
This scam is specially common in the main square of Marrakech (Jma el Fna) but you can also see it in Essaouira, Tangier and other places. The scam comes like this: you are standing or taking a walk when suddenly you feel something warm on your hand. When you take a look you realice a Moroccan lady spilled some ink with her syringe on your hand. She offers to fix her mistake making to you a full henna hand tattoo.
Once she finishes her job she will ask you for one hundred to two hundred Dirham and probably she will get very angry and follow you if you refuse to pay.
Take into account also tHat in the cases when it is you who comes to get a henna tatoo the final Price will not have anything to see with the inicial Price. Probably in the begining they will ask you for 100dh and at the end they will say it was 100dh/inch.
If a woman spills some ink on your hand, you should immediately take it off and leave. If you were interested on a henna tattoo ask to the staff in your hotel.
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