There are many glorious places to visit in Peru, so it’s hard to imagine travel scams happening in a place so incredible, but they do. Border crossing scams seem are the main ones that are played on unsuspecting tourists. On the border between Peru and Bolivia, border officials have told tourists that they need to check their luggage. What they are really checking for is money. If they find any, they will tell the tourist that the currency is counterfeit and must be confiscated. They will then, of course, pocket the money for themselves. The best way to avoid this situation is to carry very little money across the border and to keep it in a money belt. Counterfeit money is very common in Peru, so be very careful. Never offer to give someone change on the street (swapping a big bill for smaller denominations.) Usually, the money is counterfeit.
Another scam happens from the taxi drivers going from Peru to Chile. They will try to tell you that you owe the equivalent of $20 for a tourist card to cross the border. This isn’t true, so don’t pay it. The only people who you should pay a fee to would be the officials at the border, not your taxi driver. Also, make sure that you only take officially licensed taxis in Peru. Always set your price with the taxi driver before getting into the cab, as they don’t use meters in Peru.
Many local Peruvians are known to invite you to go to lunch or dinner with them, but then they expect you to pay. Just be aware of this if you do accept an invitation.
Another common scam in Peru that is hard to believe that people actually fall for is one in which someone will come to you and say they have a winning lottery ticket. They will make up an excuse about why they can’t claim it themselves and offer to sell it to you for a lower price than the winnings are. Of course, this is a scam.
If you have any other Peru scams that you know about, please let me know in the comments section below.