Traveling to morocco is unique experience you will never forget it, the tasty food, the deferent culture, the friendly and hospital people, the charming sights…all pleasant memories that will stick with you for the rest of your life, or even change it! However, falling in some fraud situation can ruin your lovely trip!
Let’s agree that the more you know about something the more unlikely you will get scammed about it, cause any fraud situation in the world happens because the scammer use your unawareness to fool you, so if you educate yourself about morocco you will be just fine 🙂 , or if you get a trusty guide/ driver/friend.
In this article, we will introduce the top seven scams for you, and prepare you to avoid being scammed, and how to save your money from scammers.
Before getting started, let us make a deal!
If you ever been to Morocco and felt in one of the following scams, share your story in the comments, don’t get a shamed.
The value of the Moroccan currency:
first of all, you need to know the value of the “dirham” the cash unit used in Morocco, it’s equivalent to about 0.1 dollars:
1$=9 Mad (dirhams) 1£ = 11 Mad
(For the accurate values or translate your local currency you can check google)
The more you deal with the Moroccan currency the better you will avoid fraud. Let’s say for example you want to get a coffee, before you go to a coffee shop ask someone in the street about the price, the Moroccans are very kindly and they will be more than happy to help you, he wouldn’t fool you, because you will chose just a random guy, let’s say he told you that the coffee price is 7-10 dirhams (this the usual cost in most coffees, but there is some more luxury places that will charge you more) you will go to the shop with pre knowledge and if the seller try to charge you more you will expose him, and he will be embarrassed, so you will get the coffee with the real price, or you can get it elsewhere.
Now we can start talking about scams you might fall in, but don’t forget our deal to tell your story 🙂
1: the nice guy scam:
This one is very popular for tourists to fall in, the reason of that, some Moroccan people don’t have very high salary so they try to get some extra cash from tourists who need some help, and the police cannot arrest them for this scam.
You are looking for something, maybe a shop, market, taxi, or even a nice view for a photo, suddenly, a nice smiling guy will appear and offers to help you, after that he will ask you for some cash, and of course you will feel guilty if you rejected him!, so that you will give him some cash, and congratulations you have been scammed 🙂
It is very simple to avoid this one, keep away from smiling people who are trying to help, and only seek help from legit ones such as police officers or shop owners.
2: the henna women scam:
This scam is probably the most funny scam any tourist might fall in, especially in Jemna El-Fna, Marrakech’s main square.
You are heading to buy something or have a nice meal, and then a lady forces her henna link on you by “accident”
When you realize what has happened the lady will start apologizing for what she has done, and she offers to complete the henna for you, so it does not look bad!
So far, you will feel good, nothing has happened, yet.
You might even think that you are lucky that happened so you get a henna tattoo, but when she finishes and starts to demand you with the price of the henna tattoo, you will feel scammed 🙂
Worst thing, she does not care how the tattoo looks like, the most important for her is to get everything done and get paid.
You should always be careful, and if that happened don’t ask her to fix it and complete the tattoo, you can clean it later.
Now, if you do drugs (which you should not be taking in the first place), try not to buy or search for that in Morocco, because police gives a high intense for drug dealers and buyers, some police officers night sell drugs for you while they are under cover, so they catch you, and most likely you will end up in jail.
The funny part is that you were scammed by the one who should protect you from scammers, you see now why drugs are bad thing.
4: the place is closed scam:
This scam is easy to catch, as long as you got all informations about it.
It starts in friendly nice way, where the scammer tries to build a strong bond of trust between you and him, and gets to know you better.
After that when the both of you heading to some place, he will tell you the place/lane is closed, so that you will have to go through other path, you will not face any problems to go with him on other lane, don’t forget there is a trust bond between you and him 🙂
Suddenly you will end up, in some place just like a maze and all roots looks the same, small roots, no way out unless you buy something.
To stay safe from such scam, you need to be careful to trust anyone, it is good to build new relations, but it is not good to meet new scammers!
5: scammers taxi drivers:
Like any other place in the world, taxi drivers are the most aggressive scammers you should be aware of, especially the ones you meet in the airport.
Now at day you should not pay more than (70) dirham give or take, and (150) dirham during night.
Taxi drivers will always try to push you, and ask for more money claiming that the distance is too far, or this is the charge they get usually.
Sometimes, they might even take you somewhere else from your intended destination, which is to a shop where they can earn commissions. Why? Because commission in Morocco is big business, where shop owners can earn up to or even more than 50% of items you buy at these shops.
Always be careful, do not be fooled by this fraud, and try to choose wisely.
6: Cheating Restaurants:
There are so many ways to get scammed by restaurants, and this scam can coast you a lot of money.
One way that, when you enter the restaurant they give you the food menu, which is cheap and looks nice.
When it is time to pay the bill, another menu will be given to you, with high prices, and sometimes your pill might contain some types of food you did not even ask for!
This is the best part, in some restaurants, they tell you that water and bread are free of charges and they are freely presented to you, but in real fact you are paying for that 🙂
The good thing, the police knows about this sneaky scam, and any time you feel like your bill is more than you ordered, simply go to the nearest police officer, and ask for help.
Besides, it never hurts to always check your final bill. There are even restaurants, which add extra items, which you have never ordered, into the final bill.
7: fake police man:
Weird name for a scam 🙂
This scam is very simple, you are walking, suddenly some stranger pass by you and puts something in your hand, maybe his clock, wallet anything might be valuable.
Then, he will start shouting that you have roped him, in the meanwhile, a fake police man will come to you, and ask you to return what you “have stolen”, and also he will ask you to pay some money for that guy otherwise you will go to jail!
This situation will make you get confused, and you choose the easiest way to get out of it, you pay the money and get scammed 🙂
if you got stuck in one of these situations, always remember these tips, always run for the police officer, don’t ask strangers for help, don’t go anywhere with someone you newly knew, keep calm at all situations, and be wise in choosing people.
The most important tip you should know about scammers
The wider the smile, the sharper the knife, stay away from smiley people 🙂
The fraud experience is a bad experience that no one should ever come across it. Sense the government fight it, and the Moroccan people hate that kind of actions, we should all share the information, and spread the word, so that more and more people will be aware…
Now, we had an agreement at the start of this article,
If you were scammed before in morocco, share it with us in the comments bellow.