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5 Ways to Avoid Being Scammed by ‘Travel Abroad Scammers’

Visas of 71 students from Ghana who were attending a model United Nations Conference in New York were revoked. This is because the United States Embassy said it believed the organizers of the conference were not genuine. This has raised concerns about the vulnerability of Ghanaian students who want to travel abroad for genuine reasons, including internships and conferences.

With numerous messages of various opportunities including international conferences circulating on social media, especially on Whatsapp groups, it is important to be cautious about the possibility of getting duped or becoming victim to online scams.

So, how do you protect yourself from online scams, especially if you want to participate in international conferences and other opportunities abroad? These are five ways you can prevent yourself from falling for such scams.


  1. Apply from trusted sites

If you are applying for an opportunity online, make sure you are doing so from a verified website. When you are applying for international conferences and engagements, you must be certain that the website or communication channel is legitimate. Therefore, avoid suspicious websites.  If you are being asked for your social security number, passwords or other private information, you need to be cautious. Do online searches and verify such sites before going on with your applications.  


  1. Double Check the organizers

It is important to double-check the authenticity of the organizers of the conference, internship or whichever engagement you are embarking on abroad. This is because, the organizers may not be genuine, which leaves you at a bigger risk of losing your money, time and reputation to a fake travel opportunity. For whatever reason you want to travel abroad, double-check the organizers and be sure they are genuine.


  1. You will never be asked to pay money upfront

In most cases, organizers of United Nations conferences, especially for young people will not ask you to pay any money to attend such conferences. Most UN conferences convey their correspondence through official United Nations websites and emails. If an opportunity from a known organization comes through a third party, be careful. Never pay upfront for suspicious and unrealistic promises.


  1. Check from people who have been there before

To be on a safer side, check from people who have been through the process before. If you are applying to attend a conference, internship or any engagement abroad, check form other people who have applied for it before. Be careful if nobody knows about the organizers of the conference or the conference itself.  If you want to be sure that you are not being tricked into something dubious, follow up on people who have applied for such opportunities before. You can also type the name of the company on your internet browser and search for reviews, complaints, and comments on the company responsible.


  1. You can verify from the county the company is supposedly operating from

If the company (organizer) claims to be American, double check their legitimacy. You can even ask for help or further information from the country’s embassy in your country. If you are not sure about the information, do not proceed.



Do not fall for a scam. If you are unsure about the authenticity of an opportunity to travel, do not pursue it. In essence, apply from trusted sites, double-check the organizers, do not pay money upfront, check from people who have traveled to participate in such opportunities and verify from the country if it is possible. You can do these including other measures to avoid falling for scams which promise you an opportunity to travel abroad.

August 15, 2018

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