The country of smiles is not as happy as it seems. In fact, it is a place full of scammers with all kinds of tricks up their sleeves.
Probably because of the large number of tourists that visit them every year, many Thais have resolved to dedicate their lives to transferring wealth from foreigners to Thai hands.
Prefer to read? Well, here are 11 of the most common scams in Thailand that you ought to know!
The Grand Palace is Closed/This Place is Closed
This scam is simple. It makes use of the fact that tourists cannot read signboards in Thai and they convince the tourists that a place is closed for the day, when in fact that place is probably closed for lunch.
Then they proceed to bring you to another place of “interest” that they recommend where you’ll probably spend a lot, and part of it ends up in their pockets. Trust your internet sources. Places of interests will have their operating hours online.
Jet ski scam
They simply accuse you of damaging the jet skis after you’ve used them. To protect yourself from this, the first thing you should do is never give your passport as collateral when renting the jet ski. Next, examine the jet ski. Document/remember any scratches, dents or potential damaged parts. If they demand payment from you, call the local tourist police.
The Gem scam
The owner will tell you that gems in Thailand are abundant and so you can get them for cheap, wholesale prices. You can make a killing by reselling them back home. They might even throw in some “government sponsored sale” which is absolute nonsense. Never believe in anything that is too good to be true. Check the authenticity of a shop online before buying anything costly.
(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found in Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:
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Tuk tuk scam
Probably the most dangerous people in Thailand are the tuk tuk drivers. Their scams can be as simple as charging exorbitant fees for bringing you to your destination, or even bringing you to somewhere where you’ll be coerced into spending a lot of money. Just avoid the tuk tuks.
Sometimes taxi drivers can drive you to somewhere else with a similar sounding name to cheat you of your cash. Always check your final destination. Use the GPS in your phone too.
Gang at Hua Lamphong Train Station Scam
Someone will tell you that the train is full, and obviously he will have other forms of transport for you. Never believe anyone other than the person at the counter. (Although that person might still scam you as well)
Bird food scam
A person forces a bag of seeds into your hands. The person makes you feed the pigeons. The person demands cash for the seeds. Just stay alert, stand your ground as the person is going to be aggressive.
Fake Baht Scam
They swap your money with counterfeit then accuses you of paying fake money. Never let big tenders from leaving your sight.
Always check that the hotel you’re staying at is the one you intend to stay at. Some hotels play on the fact that foreigners can’t tell subtle differences in the names.
Sombondee Seafood Market Scam
Very similar to the hotel scam mentioned earlier, the Sombondee Seafood Market is a play on the Somboon Seafood Chain which is very popular in Thailand for good food at affordable prices, except that the Sombondee Seafood Market serves crap at inflated prices. Widely perpetrated by errant tuk tuk and cab drivers in Bangkok.
Patpong Sex Show Scam
Just try to stay away from shady places. Like everything else in the world, change is the only constant. The scammers are continually evolving, and while these tips are posted, you can be sure that the scammers have long had solutions to them. It will be an everlasting battle, and the only thing we can do is to stay informed, and stay vigilant. All the best!
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