What happens in Las Vegas may stay in Las Vegas, but if you fall prey to these common scams, you may be leaving behind more money than what you left at the blackjack tables in the casinos.
1. Bathroom Purse Thieves
Be careful where you stash your purse while in the bathrooms taking a quick toilet break. One of the oldest scams involves someone reaching over the door and grabbing your bag off the hook on the back of the door while you, literally, are having your pants down.
2. Free VIP Passes
All over The Strip are club promoters handing out free VIP passes to clubs. These passes are supposed to let you skip the line and get in free, but they likely will just get you put in a different line where you will still have to pay a cover charge.
3. Non Casino Gaming
Gaming in casinos is heavily regulated, but “private games,” are not. The odds may still be stacked in the casino’s favor, but at least you still stand a chance of winning.
4. Expensive Strangers
Watch out for handsome strangers claiming to have won big at the tables and offering to take you out to join in their celebration. After an expensive dinner, your date may say he is going to the restroom, but really just leave you with the check.
Las Vegas welcomes everyone, including scam artists.
5. Watch Your Machine
When playing slots, keep an eye on your machine as the credits climb higher. There are teams of thieves that will grab your money by having one distract you while the other presses “cash out” and takes your ticket.
6. Taxi Long-hauling
Taxis drivers can also be scam artists, in fact it’s even considered the biggest of Las Vegas scams. Long hauling is when a driver will take you on a circuitous route in order to bump up the fare. It helps to study the map a bit more, not just to familiarize your itinerary but to prevent long-hauling. Other tricks include $3 surcharge when paying by credit card. While not entirely illegal, it’s a bit too steep for a ride worth less than $15.
7. Stolen Luggage
This could be another cabbie trick: To steal your luggage while unloading it. Odds a typical driver may do this is low — unloading usually takes place in hotels or airport where security is nearby — but it happens. That is why you keep your eyes on your bags at all times.
8. No Change
Never believe “no change” when you are trying to pay with a large bill. Taxi drivers, bar tenders and waitresses all have plenty of small bills and are just hoping for a bigger tip. Unless you’re up for some extravagant ‘tipping’ escapade. So prepare your bills if you’re not willing to part larger sums of money for tips.
9. Buy Your Water in a Store
Las Vegas gets literally hot, but watch out for people selling bottles of water from coolers on the street. That water might likely come out of a gas station tap. Big yuck.
10. Free Tickets
If offered free tickets, remember, they probably require you to spend the day at a timeshare seminar. While you can just train yourself to say no at all times during the seminar, and still get the freebies, it’s a significant chunk of your time lost. There are no freebies available in Las Vegas.
Spending time in Vegas can be an exciting adventure, but only if you are careful. When staying at Sin City, you get to keep good memories by using common sense. Otherwise, you’ll have a better reason to respect the expression ‘what happens in Vegas..’ to save you from further embarrassment.