We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Scam around Cherry Hill

Coventry
Level Contributor
119 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Scam around Cherry Hill

Have just returned from a week in Barbados and had a wonderful week, apart from one slight issue that may be of concern to some tourists. This was around the Cherry Hill area where we got stopped. THe very friendly guy asked us if we knew about "little Tenerife" and the "blow holes" and gave us directions on how to get there. I had heard how friendly the people are in Barbados and thanked him very much for letting us know. He then asked if we could give him a lift as it was on his way home. He got in the back of the car and I did feel slightly concerned but not unduly. He was full of information and took us to the two sights, we took lots of photos etc and about an hour and half later dropped him back to where he had stopped us. I was going to give him some money but he then asked us for money to feed him and his family - he said us normally charges USD50 - I was then quite worried as to what would happen if I didn't pay him, so ended up giving him USD40!! This sounds like a different scam to the road bandits demanding money which I have subsequently read about on this forum, but seems to be in the same area. Perhaps they have just changed the way they work??

Anyway, just thought I should warn people - Heather

Holetown, Barbados
Level Contributor
10,208 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

Not wishing to be rude, but are you in the habit of giving a complete stranger a lift in the UK ???? Somehow I doubt it !

Coventry
Level Contributor
119 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

You are not being rude, and no I wouldn't give a lift to someone in the UK. I was on holiday in a small caribbean island where I was told on countless occasions that the Bhajan people were so friendly, this guy was giving us what I thought was some great advice on what to see - as it happened he posed no threat and was extremely friendly throughout. However, I do realise it was naive on our behalf and stupid! So get your point, but I decided to post this - even though realising it was a stupid thing to do - so that I could inform other travellers about this. THe right thing to do I think?

Bickington, United...
Level Contributor
257 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

Thanks for sharing.

At the end of the day you will have learned a valuable lesson for $40 and possibly stopped others making the same mistake.

Its hard to distinguish between who is being helpful and who is trying to make a quick buck when on holiday. Because you are relaxed and your guard is down.In most cases people are being helpful, but clearly not in all cases.

At least you are fine and enjoyed Barbados.

Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
3,062 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

You were brave for sharing this and I'm sure you'll get a little grief about it. Personally I would never stop for anyone that wasn't in a police uniform driving a police vehicle. If someone was bleeding I would probably drive to the nearest public place and call for help. You have to be careful no matter where you are. Sounds like the same group they are just changing up their tactics.

Barbados
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
4,570 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

ok.. I'm not a tourist (anymore).. and I have picked up people on the side of the road (one ended up being my housekeeping and baby sitter for about 3 years after that). but.. my question is this. The guy asked if you could give him a lift home.. I'm guessing that at some point you would have asked him where he lived and if you were not getting close to the point where he needed to be dropped.

Now.. as for reporting it.. the best thing would be to get this information to the police.. or to the BTA, so that someone is aware that this is now happening. posting it here is a good thing, just by the numbers of people who visit this site.

one thing to ask.. did he flag you down?? or were you stopped and he walked up. You say you were stopped. where he took you was Pico Tenerife.. which is a nice spot, I think I have pictures of it under my profile and possibly took you to Animal Flower Cave, or at least up around the north coast. but I'm also wondering what would have happened if, after giving you info, and asking for the ride.. if you had said no.. what would he have done.

The other unfortunate part about all this is that the tour guide industry in Barbados is unregulated (unlike other countries, like Israel, who require that their guides be licensed ). this guy could have taken you anywhere and told you anything. oh well. or worse. but we will not go there.

London
Level Contributor
185 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

quoting,

"He was full of information and took us to the two sights, we took lots of photos etc and about an hour and half later dropped him back to where he had stopped us."

Sounds like he earned the $40.

Coventry
Level Contributor
119 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

Thanks Pupidog and Sunniebgi - yes indeed a lesson and as MrsCombs says, I know I'll get grief but would rather others were aware. Sunniebgi - he did flag us down obviously knowing we were tourist from the H plates. I soon realised that he didn't really want a lift and I was happy to give him money - although I didn't expect that he would set the price and I was worried if I didn't pay what would then happen. When we dropped him back at the starting point we saw the same thing happening to another couple driving down to little Tenerife.

In answer to Lundun - yes he could well have earned his US40 and I'm not posting this because of his time/information/money etc - I am posting this because I am sharing information - if people are aware what is happening (and we were caught unawares with our guard down) they may be able to make their own decision.

warwickshire uk
Level Contributor
144 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

Hi feathercoventry thanks 4 the info , i am 12 mls down the road from you and going out on 13/04 if ever we r in bim and you r in leam spa being a fellow bajan i will buy u a drink , Here is hoping you enjoyed our little island

Coventry
Level Contributor
119 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

Hi Seaviewpossy - small world - I am 10 miles from you and used to work in Leamington in Warwick Street for 10 years. We did have a great time in Barbados, it was our Honeymoon. Thought the food was outstanding and had fish everyday, mostly flying and Mahi Mahi. Hired a car for 2 days and loved the East Coast and West Coast for different reasons - easy to get around, even with my female map reading skills! Hope to go again - friend of mine go every year and this year they are going twice so they can see the 20/20 cricket, lucky things. Regards - Heather

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,045 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Scam around Cherry Hill

Thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate that is was probably embarrassing to post and that you did so in the hope of helping others. I am glad that this experience ended non-violently and that you were only relieved of $40.

I often post about safety issues and caution tourists to take responsibility for their own safety. While it's tempting to be very free and easy while visiting a tropical paradise like Barbados, one should keep their wits about them. A good rule of thumb is to be as equally cautious as you are at home and note that as a tourist, you don't have the cultural and social familiarity that you have at home. Bajans are friendly, yes. But the island is an international hub of activity which was been hard-hit by the world recession. In the scramble for survival there will be schemes like these that take advantage of innocent persons.

Thanks again!

BB