Common tourist scams in India – be prepared
India is a beautiful country: Rich in culture, has great food and friendly locals but in the same time it’s a rough country with common tourist scams in India.
With this blog post we want to provide you all the necessary information to be prepared for the most common tourist scams in India.
Higher grocery price charge
When you plan to buy a bottle of water or other packed groceries the sellers sometimes trying to charge more than the regular price.
Luckily on every packed item there is the MRP (maximum retail price) printed on it.
Refer to that price and never pay more than that.
If you want to buy fruits, these are the regular prices:
Apples: 80 Rupees per Kilogram
Oranges: 80 Rupees per Kilogram
Bananas: 6 Rupees per piece
Fake bottled water
As mentioned bottled water has the MRP printed on the label.
Some places are selling water cheaper than that.
You may ask “why?”.
Because they mix the bottled water with tap water to have a higher profit and as you may know tap water is not safe to drink and tourists will most likely end with stomach problems.
Some of these fake bottles are so good and look really genuine, you can’t distinguish it from the look of the lid.
Unfortunately we made this mistake and bought fake water. Luckily we realized our mistake pretty fast.
Conclusion: Never buy bottled water which is advertised cheaper than the MRP.
Higher TukTuk fare
TukTuk drivers in big cities have to use the meter by law.
But strangely they are always broken when a tourist wants to have a ride. 😉
Don’t worry, this is the general official price per kilometer:
1st kilometer: 15 Rupees
every further kilometer: 10 Rupees
They will never go down to this price but with this info you have a base to negotiate
If the the meter is working, check that it isn’t running faster than it should.
Important: Always negotiate the price before you enter the vehicle!
To be on the safe side we suggest you to book your ride with Apps like Uber or OlaCabs.
The hostel/hotel is closed scam
Some (but a small percentage) of TukTuks or Taxis at the airports or train stations will tell you your reserved hostel/hotel is closed and will even try to convince you that they call the place but in reality it’s just a friend of the driver who will confirm that it’s closed.
But of course the driver knows a place where you can get a room. <- Where they get a high commission for you!
Do’t accept this behavior and insist that he brings you to your hotel. If this doesn’t work, thread to call the police.
This scam sometimes has a different form and the driver will tell you the whole area is closed because of contamination. Don’t believe it!
The religious ceremony road block scam
There are TukTuk/Taxi driver who have a deal with a group of people who will act like having a religious ceremony in the middle of the street and claim that it will take several hours.
But for a donation they will stop it and let you trough.
Don’t pay and thread with calling the police if the driver doesn’t want to drive around or trough the ceremony.
Buying higher priced train/bus tickets
Never buy train/bus tickets at any agency and try to avoid to buy them from your hotel (but you still can trust some of them) because they will charge much higher prices.
Where to buy train tickets:
- at the trainstation
- online on Indian Railway or Make My Trip
Where to buy bus tickets:
- at the bus terminal
- online on Redbus or Make My Trip
Even tough there are common tourist scams in India, don’t let them stop you to explore this beautiful country.
Would you like to have more tips for India?
If yes, have a look at our other India guides.