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Don't carry your wallet in your back pocket. It's easy to steal.
Don't carry more money than you need for that day.
If someone comes up to you carrying a newspaper or magazine pointing for you to read it, DON'T! He is a pickpocket. Just shout at him to go away.
If a man comes towards you carrying takeaway boxes, be ready to dodge him if he tries to bump into you. He will drop his food and ask for money to buy more. He got the food he was carrying from a trash can!
If a man greets you and says if you remember them, say no and walk on. He will say he was your taxi driver or hotel security guard and will find a reason for you to give him money.
Don't give money to beggars no matter how pitiful they Look. If you give to one, many others will want money too. In any case, many work in syndicates and then buy drugs.
You may be approached by a well dressed women with a child and ask for money so she can get home. She just wants money and in reality lives nearby.
Never give money to children - you may be accused of being a pedophile and have the "family" demanding money not to call the police.
Never buy anything from street sellers. The Viagra and Cialis are
counterfeit. It may be just coloured aspirin or it may be hazardous to
your health. The belts, wallets , watches etc are cheaper in markets. The silver dollars are made of nickel.
Money Changers are plentiful especially in Metro Manila. Rates given at airports will be lower than in the city. Rates given by banks, hotels and supermarkets will also be lower. If you are approached anywhere by a tout offering you a higher rate than anyone else, he will rob you. He will usually have a scruffy piece of paper or card with the rates written on it. The most common way is by palming some of the notes as they count them out. Look for a moneychanger who has the rate written up. Let them count out the money and then you count out the money afterwards.
Don't rely on Lonely Planet guides. They are way out of date. You can buy reasonably priced local guided in National Book Store which you will find in every mall.
If someone offers to take you to a "great bar with lots of beautiful girls, don't go. If he doesn't rob you, then he will surely rip you off.
Before you enter a girly bar, ask how much is the entrance fee? How much is a San Mig beer? How much is a ladies drink? If you go in before you ask the prices, you could be charged P8000 for a one hour visit.
Don't accept an offer from a girl on the street to give you a massage. She is probably not a girl!
Don't drink shorts in bars unless you have plenty of money. Stick with beer. You will be charged more for one shot than you will pay for a whole bottle in 711.
Never accept sweets or candy from someone you do not know.
Never accept a drink you did not see opened in front of you. Never leave your drink unattended.
Never accept invitations to parties or meet someone from your own country if you do not know them.
Never accept lifts from people you do not know.
Never use a taxi without a meter. If the driver want you to pay a flat rate instead of the meter, get out and find another taxi and report him by text to the authorities - the LTFRB 0921 448 7777. They will text you back. You then need to call the telephone number they give you to make sure the complaint will be folowed through.
A new problem is skimming or copying of ATM and Credit Cards.
It is difficult to identify the source because banks hide behind confidentiality laws which also hinder police investigation.
However, it is not difficult to defeat. It has been proven that it is unlikely to happen in Malls or any other place where your card is presented at the point of sale and so it is never out of your sight.
The most likely place for it to be done is in restaurants where you hand your card over and it is taken out of your sight to produce the vouchers.
To defeat the skimmers, just pay in cash if you cannot watch the online transaction.
You can also ask your bank not to pay any transactions not needing a signature.The card slot on modern ATM machines is almost flush with the machine. If the mouth for the entry for your card is not flush with the machine, it is possible it has a card skimmer attached. Other clues for the presence of a card skimmer are unnecessary mirrors and or brochure holders. These may have cameras attached to pick up your PIN.
If you see any of these, do not insert your card.
Finally, if you buy anything from a shop with a credit or debit card, they will ask you to sign 2 copies of the bank transaction slip. Don't worry - it is standard practice here.
Just stay alert and have a good time.