How it works:
- Situation 1:
- There are fly by night agents who disappear after collecting payment for non-existent tours. One such scammer was Jonathan Richman who was able to do this from 2011-2015!
- The main trick used is to advertise good deals to hook you in but after payment is collected, bookings are made not with your payment but with stolen credit cards. You think that your transaction has went through, but it will be flagged and will be cancelled without a refund.
- Situation 2:
- Other situations to watch out for include unregistered and unaccredited guides and unlicensed drivers (quality of tour and safety considerations), as well as fake theatre and event tickets.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed (e.g. are guides registered with and accredited by the Institute of Tour Guides (ITG); are drivers if any properly licensed)? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Reputable operators: some reputable local names to consider include Fun London Tours (unique tours including the Changing of the Guard Tour and the Secret London Tour).
- Online platforms: GetYourGuide (leading day tour platform globally) also has some tours (e.g. Harry Potter London walking tour, Stonehenge, Bath & West Country tour, Windsor Castle, etc).