This week a member recounts how they fell victim to a cunning scam while exchanging money in a popular overseas tourist destination. They estimate that 40% of their cash was lost in the bizarre experience.
Deciding to take advantage of a good exchange rate, this member visited a small currency exchange office located “down a small alley”. Although a sharp eye was kept on the money while it was counted, the agent kept the cash in two separate piles the entire time. Our members suspect that not all of this cash made it into the single pile that was eventually handed to the unwitting customer.
While this is a fairly common scam, it’s not the only one to watch out for when exchanging cash overseas. Another trick involves a dodgy calculator that rounds amounts down. Our members recommend always being the last person to double-check the amount of cash received. They also advise to be weary of agents that work in pairs, as one may be trying to distract the customer while the other removes cash from the pile.
Many members choose instead to withdraw their cash from local ATMs when travelling overseas. This alleviates the risk of being ripped off by sneaky agents. It can also work out cheaper overall if the card does not attract foreign exchange or ATM fees, such as the Citibank Plus Transaction card.
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