The resplendent city of Bangkok has a low crime rate, however its lucrative tourism industry makes it the perfect breeding ground for scammers preying on red-eyed tourists. The Bangkok tourist scams use the oldest tricks in the book and should be blatantly obvious to the savvy traveler but alas they must be effective because they’re still around now. All of these scams can be avoided just by saying ‘no’ and walking away, pretty simple stuff, just be assertive and use common sense. If something seems too good to be true it probably is.
By far the most elaborate long con going in Bangkok, not to mention the most famous scam in the city begins with a stranger approaching you outside the Grand Palace. “The Grand Palace is closed today,” they’ll tell you politely with regret, clutching an umbrella. Why are they holding an umbrella? Because they’ve been standing around in the sun all day looking for marks. Of course, this scam occurs out of sight from the actual palace gate because they don’t want you to notice the hordes of tourists walking in the open gates.
But it’s your lucky day! Your special new friend has offered you an exclusive tour around the city in his tuk-tuk for just 20 baht! Such misfortune it is for the Grand Palace to be shut for the entire day for an extraordinary imperial occasion. Many tourists naively accept this as a wondrous stroke of luck whilst touring around the city on their vacation.
As you are extremely frustrated to have come the distance to find the Grand Palace shut, you will feel eased this delicate man happens to be at your disposal. He is offering a fun ride to another sanctuary which will most likely be exceptionally decent, expanding your level of trust. In this sanctuary you will “inadvertently” meet another “decent” man who will welcome you and inquire as to whether you caught wind of this incredible government advancement (called Thai Gem Expo or comparable names), which permits sightseers to purchase obligation free jewels and stones requiring little to no effort. Presently here is the manner by which the trap works for him.
1) He will stop at an “Approved” TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) office just on the off chance that you might want to take advantage for those astonishing travel bargains that are simply finishing today. What luck! Obviously, the organization is not the slightest bit associated with the TAT, and the arrangement doesn’t end today… it’s not even an arrangement since you likely will pay more than in whatever other office.
2) He will stop at the aforementioned gem shop where somebody will demonstrate to you some lovely stones, possibly genuine ones. But since the offer is without obligation, the diamonds you are purchasing will must be dispatched straightforwardly to your personal residence. The stones will truly arrive, however the business sector estimation of what you will get will be strangely low.
From this minute forward, the agreeable grinning gentleman will get to be gradually pushier, attempting by any way to make you purchase tickets or bundles until you do, then abruptly will vanish while you are going to the following sanctuary.
Step by step instructions to remember it: While it is exceptionally typical for individuals to help you when you do need assistance, it is extremely suspicious when somebody offers you help when you when they needn’t bother with it. An agreeable obscure Thai gentleman communicating in English excessively well, particularly close to a visitor zone is normally a master. He frequently carries a guide and an umbrella since it’s hot for him to be out there throughout the day.
The tuk-tuk driver/guide/scammer is part of a complex network of tuk-tuk drivers and scam shop owners that spans the whole city. The drivers get commission for bringing in the marks, although we can’t be sure if this is a flat rate or a cut of the overall takings. Either way it must be lucrative due to the fact that every tuk-tuk driver in Bangkok is part of the game. Despite how obvious the scam is, people are still more than willing to take the bait and think that the stars have aligned for them and that they’re special snowflakes. Suckers!