Around the World in 80 Scams: App of the Week 22 February

Around the World in 80 Scams AppThe lighter evenings and warmer weather is slowly starting to drag the UK out of winter and is turning many people’s attentions to summer and where to go on holiday. I thought it made sense therefore, to feature a travel app as this week’s App of the Week.


Around the World in 80 Scams is a rough guide with a difference. Rather than focus on unmissable sights, the best places to dine or beaches to explore, this app looks at the things you should avoid while abroad. The app was written by lifelong traveller Peter John, who, after being scammed time and again while abroad, thought it would be worthwhile compiling them all into one handy guide.


“This app is about dishonest people trying to get at your money when you travel” he begins to explain in the introduction. He is also at pains to point out that this app is not designed to put people off travelling, but provide us with more confidence when we do travel. The app therefore is a great companion for your more traditional tourist guide, providing you with must-read information prior jetting off.


Around the World in 80 Scams App, front page


App Structure
The app is split into ten main sections, each covering a different type of scam; from hotels and other accommodation to begging and street hustling scams. There is also a section providing advice on how to avoid being scammed while abroad.


The app is extremely easy to use and navigate around and is devoid of the myriad icon-fronted buttons that many apps like to confuse us with. Simply select the type of scam that you’d like to read up on and you’re presented with a list of the different scams that are listed in that section. Touch to read more and you’re taken through to a full explanation of the scam.


What would have made this even better is being able to view the scams by country; however as many of these scams exist in the same form across the globe, it’s prudent to read through them all.


Shopping Scams abroad


The Art School Scam
When I was visiting China a few years ago, I was sucked in by similar scam so I was quite keen to see what was written about it. The app explains how simple the scam is; outlining how young and attractive touts, posing as ‘art students’, approach tourists to lure them back to their ‘art school’. Here, they are pressured to buy what they’re told is high value art, when in fact it’s largely worthless.


Peter John sums it up well when he says, “…the cost to the victim is generally trivial, but it can still be annoying to be taken for a fool.”


The way he describes his experience rang many bells with me; outlining their introduction to him in Tiananmen Square through to the tour of the school before the high-pressure sell. This validated the app’s quality for me and also the author’s credentials.


Art School Scam


I found this a really useful and at times funny and thought provoking app – and a bargain at £1.99. In fact, I realised that I consumed it in the same way I would a book – going from section-to-section like I would chapter-to-chapter. That I know I will read through this app before I go on my next holiday, as well as on the plane, is as strong a recommendation as I can think of. I’ve also noted that I’m picking it up and browsing through it at random two or three minute intervals, which confirms its longevity.


The only disappointment for me is that it’s not available as an Android download, and it’s for this reason alone that it misses out on a perfect five out of five.


Mobilesplease App Rating: 4 out of 5


Around the World in 80 Scams scores 4 out of 5


Download Information
Download Around the World in 80 Scams for iOS Apple.

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