Orlando tourists scams and safety tips, a must read for Orlando vacationers. | Other Orlando

  • Orlando Scams

    taxi.png The return taxi/car hire scam. This scam never goes away because it's so easy to fall victim to. When you hire a taxi or car hire to take you to your resort the driver may offer you a round trip deal meaning you have to pay him now for the return trip back to the airport but in doing so he is going to give you a deal. He will give you a slip with a number to call to arrange for your return trip which is a legit phone number, it's just not his number and the people on the other end of that number have no record of you purchasing a return trip. They usually give the phone number for Mears. To avoid this scam do not buy a return trip from any driver. Arrange airport transportation before landing or traveling via hired transportation.  

    pizza_slice.png Pizza delivery scam. This scam is aimed at getting your credit card number. The scammers will slide an advertisement for pizza delivery (or just about any type of delivery) under your hotel room door. When you call to order you are handing over your credit card details. Some of the scammers will actually deliver a pizza as to not alert you to the problem. To avoid this simply don't call then number of the advertisement. Google a pizza place or ask the front desk.  

    ticket.pngUsed tickets and fake tickets. Never, ever, buy a used ticket. Yes, it sometimes works, most times it does not and it's illegal. Why take the chance? Consider this scenario: You buy your used tickets, drive all the way to the park, pay for parking, then make the long walk to the park entrance, wait through security, get to the turnstile and then get turned around and back to the shop you go. Now you get to argue with the seller (if they are even open, some close at noon to avoid this problem), then the seller will refuse a refund and instead offers another set of used tickets. To avoid this scam, use reputable ticket vendor that does not sell used tickets. We suggest MapleLeafTickets.com who not only offers the best prices online but also at their store located on 192 in Kissimmee which is open 9am-6pm.  

    water_plus.png Dehydration. I like to consider myself a smart person but I pushed myself to far recently and if not for my daughter studying to become a doctor I would have probably been hospitalized. You need lots of water throughout the day, not soda or coffee, you need water. To avoid this simply freeze some waters to take with you or take some of those water bottles that filter water through the cap.  

    the_one_ring.png Valuables left in the room. House keeping in general has many hard working honest employees but they are paid very little considering what they do. To avoid this, remove temptation and lock up those valuables. Side note, not all hotel safes are safe though. Maybe avoid bringing the crown jewels. Don't forget to tip your house cleaning staff daily. I usually ask for extra H20 products on a note under the cash! 

    hp_girl.pngLost kids, stranger danger, explain who to go to. My middle child used to be the kid that would simply wonder off like a ninja. She would wiggle lose and disappear into a crowd so fast that we used to have to hold her hand everywhere we went. I refused to use one of those children leashes (nothing against them) so I made it point to explain to all my children what to do if they get separated. I explained how to know what a cast member looks like or security officer looks like. We also made sure they knew our phone number. Actually, my oldest child was taught the radio frequency we used on our walkies it was so long ago! 

    dollars.png Pick Pockets / Cell Phone Theft  - spoil alert, thieves target people on vacation. To avoid this: place a rubber band around your wallet (this is will make removing it much harder), keep cell phones in your front pocket and never leave valuables in strollers. Stroller theft is much more common than you think. There are also new tracking tags coming on to the market that enable you track track lost/stolen assets. There are also lots of apps designed to track your phone but be sure that it is a hidden install. Most thieves will turn the phone off right away but eventually they will turn it back on.  

    hotel.png Resort Charges / Resort Fees - nasty little secret charges that you don't find out about until you are checking in. Disney Resorts do no do this but many hotels in the Orlando area do and it's legal. You can not get out of paying them. These charges are disguised as "facility fees" or "mandatory amenities fee". To avoid this surprise (you can not avoid the fee itself) look for the details on the resort under the hotel policy section which we show for all our hotels in our Orlando Packages. Not all resorts have these hidden fees but many do, as much as $25 per night. Most of the resorts we offer in our Disney World Packages have the fee included in the price. 

    pin.png Fake pin trades! - reddit user QuadCannon points out that there are a lot of fake pins being traded not just online but in the parks. Pin trading is a fun activity but you should take the time to look the pin over because you could be trading a $10 pin for a $0.50 pin! QuadCannon advises to avoid this scam: "... the biggest dead giveaway is if the mickey ears imprints on the back are misshapen. The other is if the edges are rough in places. Real pins have perfectly formed imprints and perfectly smooth edges. Also, the enamel on fake pins chips fairly easily, but some "chaser" pins, which are rare and only found on cast member lanyards have no enamel. Chipped and broken enamel= bad, no enamel=good. 

    telephone_green.png Fake toll worker collections - this is a new scam and here is how it works. You drive up to an automated collection toll booth where you normally through your coins into the bucket that then gives you the green light only when you get to the tool gate there is someone standing there in what appears to be a tool workers uniform saying that the machine is broke and you will have to pay the fee to him. To avoid this scam simply ignoring anyone not inside of an actual booth or get a sunpass.  

    telephone_green.pngFake front desk - this is a new scam as well and many are falling victim to this. You are all checked into your hotel room when the phone rings claiming to be the front desk who then says "sorry, our computers went down and we need to enter your credit card again, may we have that?" or the caller says "sorry, but there has been a problem with your credit card, we need another credit card on file?". This scam is usually run by prison inmates (yep, actual prisoners) that then use Jpay to load $300 (give or take $100) into their commissary account which the prison will then turn into checks to be sent outside of the prison. I personally never knew that prisoners could request their commissary money be sent out in the form of a check. This is is an easy one to avoid, never give your credit card out over the phone to your hotel. Hotels would never call you and ask for the number, they may ask you to return to the front desk but they will not ask for your credit card or personal details over the phone.