Watch Out For These Costly Scams!
Watch your back and those of your friends too when in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is known as Sin City. It could also be branded as Scam City. The scams range from simple card cons, like the 3-card monte, to bigger scams that can be truly costly. The best offense is always a good defense. We will help you be prepared to spot a scam before it snares you.
The first thing we will mention does not technically qualify as a scam, but rather a bad return on your money. We speak of the slot machines at McCarran Airport. It is a strong temptation to slip some money into one of these bandits while waiting for your luggage or waiting for your flight back home.
Worldcasinoindex.com says that these are the worst paying machines in all of Nevada. They contend that the Airport machines pay out about 85%. The same type machines would typically pay out 90% or more in the other Vegas casinos, some can go as high as 100%. The Nevada State minimum slot payout is 75% so these at the Airport are near the bottom of the barrel.
A common scam concerns taking a cab from the airport. Almost anywhere you would go in Vegas will be north of the Airport. But, if you are not aware of the geography a cabbie may take you through the tunnel, southbound, and then later go north. This will cost you an extra $10-15 or more. When you get in the cab tell the cabbie to take Swenson and not the tunnel. He will think you know what you are doing.
Avoid street hustlers and card slappers. The card slappers try to entice you to hire an escort, a woman, to come to your hotel room to “entertain” you. You don’t always know what or who you are going to get. You may just get robbed or catch a bad disease. These ladies are not controlled by the health laws as are the girls in the legal brothels. We recommend steering clear of the escort services.
Also, you will see all types of street hustlers. Some will want you to play a card game for money. Usually, you will lose because the games are rigged. And be wary of any offers to buy show tickets or anything else from individuals walking the Strip or downtown. There are legitimate vendors for discounted show tickets, like Tix-4-Tonight.
Another basic rule is that, with few exceptions, nothing is free. So, if somebody offers something for free, it will usually cost you.
One clever scam happens when you are checked into your hotel. The phone rings and a man or woman says they are from the front desk. The person on the phone informs you that something went wrong with your credit card and they need you to give them the number again. Of course, the caller is probably far away. If this happens to you, ask the caller’s name and tell them you will call them back. Then call the front desk and see if the person is there. They won’t be.
In addition to these scams, there are the usual pick pockets and various types of thieves to watch out for. The cardinal rule is that if something sounds to good to be true, it is.