Border crossing scams are the most prevalent type of travel scams that exist. Many scammers like to hang around the borders and offer their services to you. They will tell you that they will get the visa for you and charge twice the normal rate. Sometimes the driver of your taxi or bus will also try to convince you that you need their help, and they will charge you for their services. There will also be people who will tell you that there are no ATM’s in their country and will try to change money for you at highly increased rates.
The border officials themselves will often try to tell you something is wrong with your passport and ask you for a bribe. Make sure before traveling that you have plenty of blank pages in your passport, as some countries require you to have a blank page to place their stamp.
Do research ahead of time about the border crossing rules in the country that you are traveling to and how much the charges will be. If you arrive informed, then you will know if someone is trying to scam you. Don’t give any money to anyone who is not wearing a uniform. If you feel like someone in uniform is trying to bribe you, then ask another person in uniform what the regulations are. Always ask for a receipt for any money that you pay. If you feel like you have no choice but to pay a bribe to an official, just give them a small amount and tell them that it is all the money that you have.
Border crossing scams are particularly known to happen at the Thailand-Cambodia, Belize-Mexico, Peru-Chile and the Ghano-Togo borders.
If you travel across the borders informed, your border crossing should go smoothly. Happy travels!