Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tip of the Day: Never Convert Foreign Currency on the "Black Market"

For the benefit of our readers, I strongly urge travelers against converting foreign currency on the "Black Market" or through unlicensed vendors for the following reasons:

1. Local law enforcement agents, ordered to crack down on foreigners who regularly use the "Black Market," may entrap them, which may include arrest and/or the payment of fines, in order to deny them a more advantageous conversion other than the "official" rate;

2. Many criminals impersonate "money-changers" for the express purpose of robbing them, leaving them no option to report a "crime"; and

3. Most foreign travelers do not understand foreign currency very well, particularly if they have not visited the country in the past. As a result, many "money-changers" may use out-of-circulation currency to dupe foreigners from sought after "hard" currency, which virtually guarantees that no report will be made to police when illegal "money-changers" are used.