THAILAND: BE CAREFUL WITH THESE TRAVEL SCAMS

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Credit to William R. Morledge

Pattaya, just like any other tourist resort around the world, has its share of confidence tricksters, snake oil salesmen and scam artists. Wherever there’s a tourist dollar to be spent, there are unscrupulous individuals ready, willing and entirely able to relieve you of it. Most are relatively harmless – maybe a taxi driver will charge you a few baht more than he usually would because he can see you’re a tourist – but some can seriously ruin your day or worse.

Credit to Pattaya Shore
Credit to Pattaya Shore

Bill Padding on Beers. You’re enjoying a few cold ones at a beer bar. As is common in Thailand, the bill for each drink is stuffed in a little tub (or “bin”). As the night goes on, your bin fills up until it’s time to pay. You take a look through the mass of bills and notice that there are more drinks receipted than you actually consumed. Over the course of the night, the bar staff have been stuffing in extra bills while you weren’t looking, hoping that you’d just pay it so they could scoop the excess. A further bill-payment scam comes if you hand over a 1,000 baht note and get the change from a 500 baht note. If you take issue with this, the bar staff will swear that you gave them 500 baht and, with no evidence to prove otherwise, you will be forced to resign yourself to the loss.  Source: bangkok.com

High Pressure Sales Tactics. In a tourist area you meet people everyday, who will try to sell you something. If you walk along Beach Road during the day, the charming girls who work for the travel company “Just-go” will ask you “where are you from” and try to persuade you to attend a presentation on great travel deals. There are all kinds of incentives to get you to go. But you can just say thanks, but no thanks. (By the way, most of these girls are college graduates, they are smart and cute, and a great source of conversation, if you can steer them away from their sales pitch!). You will occasionally be stopped by a guy who pulls up on a motorcycle and asks for your help. He is probably trying to sell a similar travel scheme. If I get stopped in this way, I say, “if you are selling something, I am not interested”. This works almost every time. The guy realises he is wasting his time and drives off. Source: pattaya123.com

Credit to William R. Morledge
Credit to William R. Morledge

Patpong Sex Show Scam. The famous scam that a lot of newbies to Thailand run into as they think experiencing a ping pong show in Bangkok’s oldest red light district, Patpong, is a must do. The scam consists of Thai guys approaching you at the night market in front of the go go bars offering free ping pongs shows and even better: drinks for just 100 baht each. This often turns into a nightmare when it’s time to check the bill and it’s rather a couple of thousand baht than a couple of hundred. You then have no choice but to pay what they ask for as it can turn violent if you start make an argument. Source: thailandredcat.com

Credit to My Home Abroad
Credit to My Home Abroad

1000 Baht becomes 500. Another Pattaya scam is not receiving the correct change. You must at all times count how much you receive back. However sometimes you may give a 1000 Baht note and only receive change from 500 Baht. The service staff will then say that you only gave them 500 Baht. This one is a hard one to defend as what proof do you have that it was a 1000 Baht that you gave. It is your word against the bar’s. If this happens to you ask to speak to the manager. With a bit of luck it may be a farang manager and you may have more success. Something that you can do to make the chances of this occurring less is when you pay is to hold up the 1000 Baht note and get her to acknowledge that it is 1000 Baht and not 500 Baht. An even easier way is to carry smaller notes when you are out drinking. Source: pattayanewbie.com

Credit to Travel Scams
Credit to Travel Scams

The Grand Palace is Closed. This scam is so common, because it is so easy to pull off on unwitting tourists. It can be perpetrated by random strangers around the vicinity of the Grand Palace/tourist areas, tuk tuk drivers and even taxi drivers! One variation is that taxi drivers or tuk tuk drivers will tell you that the grand palace is closed today for some special/Buddhist ceremony while you are still on the cab/tuk tuk. They will then advise you an alternative location such as the Sitting Buddha/Lucky Buddha/Marble Temple and claim that it’s only open once a year today (sounds too good to be true eh?)! Listen to them and you will end up at some jewellery or tailor shops where you might be coerced into buying overpriced crap. Some of them might lock you in the shop until you start buying. Another variation is where you get approached by strangers near the temple. They can simply say that the temple is closed (e.g. could be for lunch), or lead you to an entrance which only Thais can enter. When the duty officer stops you, the strangers will help to translate and bluff you that the palace is closed now for some special ceremony and to come back only at 3pm. In the meantime, they will advise some alternative locations which you can visit that sound really good. Should you agree, they will help you flag a tuk tuk (in cahoots with them) which will eventually bring you to some gem stores or tailor shops. By the way, the temple operates from 8.30am to 3.30pm. By the time you make it back, the temple would be close to closing or closed by then. Some of these strangers can look (wearing formal shirt with “tourist police” tags) and sound really convincing, so do not even engage if someone approaches you on the streets. Note that these scammers even operate in the temple! So do not assume that you are safe even when in it. Finally, the Grand Place is just an example and any place can be conveniently used in its place. Thus, it is safer to always check out the operating hours of the places you are visiting in Thailand. Source: travelscams.org

Credity to Jean Bosco Sibomana
Credity to Jean Bosco Sibomana

Long Time Become Short. Now we get to a Pattaya scam involving ladies you have paid bar for. The scenario is that you have spoken to her in the bar and you have arranged for her to come with you long time. You get back to the room and do your business. Sometime later she says that she has to leave for whatever reason. Usually this is to check on her child, get her child ready for school or check on a sick friend. Sometimes she may receive a call and then say that she has to leave for some reason. You cannot hold her against her will so she has to go. This is a very annoying situation and there is not a lot you can do about it. It is more common with the gogo girls than the beer bar girls. There is one thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of this occurring. When you are discussing taking her away from the bar one of your questions could be what time she will leave the next day. If she says the usual ‘up to you’ be specific when you would like her to leave. Make sure that she understands what you mean. Of course if the lady does want to leave early she will want her money. Remember that she has made the decision only to stay with you short time rather than the arranged long time. You should only pay her for short time. If you have agreed on a fee with her before you paid par give her half and send her on her way. She will not be happy but som nom na (in Thai that means serves her right). Source: pattayanewbie.com