The Philippines is an absolutely beautiful country, it's filled with natural wonders, adventure and cultural discovery.
But as with most travel destinations, it’s not without risk of danger and the occasional crime. As long as you pay attention to your surroundings, avoid dangerous areas and take appropriate safety precautions, you’ll decrease the likelihood of becoming a victim and be able to enjoy this beautiful country safely.
Scam 1. A Familiar FaceOne of the more popular cons involves someone approaching a tourist and claiming to recognize them, often under the guise that they work at the hotel they’re staying at. Coincidentally when they “bump into” them, it’ll just happen to be their day off. They’ll offer to show the foreigner around and give them a free tour. Don’t fall for it - unless, of course, you’d like to be robbed. These scams can happen anywhere tourists frequent, but Manila is a hot-spot so be on the look-out.
Scam 2. Taxi DriversSome taxi drivers are dishonest, so be sure to insist that the meter be used to avoid being gouged on the fare. It’s illegal for taxi drivers to solicit at airports, so if you are approached by one there it’s not a legal one. You should also avoid hailing taxis that already have passengers as it increases the potential for crime.
Scam 3. Horse TradingYou may see a lot of horse drawn buggies in the Manila area. They may seem charming, but do so with caution. If you decide to take a ride make sure you first negotiate an agreed on price and be firm. Some visitors have reported the driver stopping halfway into the trip and getting out, turning the job over to their “boss”. At the end of the ride, the new driver then demands up to 10 times the original fare amount.