Thailand is one of the safest countries in the world (except on the road), the population is welcoming and robberies, assaults are extremely rare.
However, in high tourist areas, there are frequent scams that you need to know to protect yourself from them.
Don’t forget to contact the tourist police
In cases of serious scams that require calling the police, never call the local police, unless you have no choice (outside the tourist area).
It is better to call the tourist police (such as 1155) which has been created to defend the interests of foreigners:
Jewelry scams in Bangkok
During my first trip to Thailand (in 92/93), I had the opportunity to discover the jewelry scam, which causes so many victims every year.
Fortunately, at that time, the scheme was badly tied up, and I didn’t get caught.
This scam consists of making you buy jewelry (Sapphire, Ruby…) which have defects and are not worth much, but they sell them to you at a reasonable price by making you believe that you can sell them twice as much when you return to France.
The scenario is often the same: I wanted to visit a temple, and a guy told me it was closed, he then invited me to visit other places and put me in the hands of a tuk-tuk who took me to visit a stonemason’s shop.
After that a quick visit to the workshop, I was offered to buy a stone and guaranteed that I could then resell it, much more expensive when I returned to France.
At the time, I was young and stupid, and it was my first trip to Asia, but to convince me to buy, they showed me photocopies of foreign passports, some of which were French and the spelling of names was bizarre, like enry Latourrre, Pier Duppon, Matieu Richar, that’s what tipped me off, and I suddenly left.
Today the scheme is much more advanced; they even use westerner crooks to convince you that the system is effective and that you can sell the jewelry when you return.
If you have been screwed and are still there, you can contact the tourist police: their number is: 11 55
Some people were fooled but were later reimbursed after calling the tourist police.
Scams in Thailand: the taxi meter
The taxi-meter (taxi by the meter) is always cheaper than the rate pre-established by the driver.
When you get into a taxi in Bangkok, you must always make sure that it uses the meter correctly.
Several times I came across a taxi that offered to drive me anywhere I wanted for a pre-set amount rather than use the meter.
Like he offers me to go to such a place for 200 baht when with the meter it costs 50 baht!
It is often drivers who come to catch you when you get off the bus.
One day I told one of these drivers in Thai: “Why would I pay you more when the meter is much cheaper,” and he replied: “But because I speak English.”
This is the only difference if you want to be sure you can make yourself understood by your driver in English, then this may be interesting, as many taxi drivers do not speak English.
Scams in Thailand: narcotic
I have never heard of tourists being arrested because someone with bad intentions put narcotics in their bags and then, were arrested, as they tell us in the main guides.
But it is worth following the advice to check your belongings before going to the airport or a border and protect the closures of your bags.
However, I was often approached by police officers who wanted to sell me narcotics, and I saw Thai acquaintances stop at a traffic police truck to buy Yaa baa (methamphetamine).
But just because narcotics are sold to you by a police officer doesn’t mean you’re safe!
Thai prisons are not known for their comforts, and a small quantity of cannabis can cause a lot of problems!
It’s not worth it, so it’s better to abstain!
Scams in Thailand: drugs in glass
I have heard many stories of travelers or expats who have been drugged, often in gogo bars.
Similarly, I have heard stories of girls who have been drugged by men who want to have sex with them.
There are different drugs used, such as GHB, known as the “rapists’ drug” and another drug (whose name I don’t know) that makes a woman unable to control her sexual urges.
It’s not jokes, I even have a friend who tried it on his wife with her consent, and she was crazy about desire but the next day said it wasn’t that bad (about the relationship that followed).
So I was told the story of a beautiful girl who didn’t understand how she came to sleep with a French pensioner after an evening that wasn’t very drunk…
Or, on the GHB, a friend who remembers drinking a beer and woke up without a penny with no memory of his evening, it’s very common!
In any case, always watch your drink when you drink with strangers and finish it if you have to go to the bathroom.
And if you feel weird, if you’re a woman and you have a very sudden desire to have sex with suspicious people, change places quickly!
It may also be a good idea to always have activated carbon capsules in your bag.
It is an anti-poison and anti-drug, used in liquid form by the US police when dealing with people under the influence of drugs, and activated charcoal can also save you from food poisoning or snake bites!
Scam, the desperate tourist trick
Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common for expatriates to use their compatriots’ “instinct for solidarity” to make money.
The technique is simple, the stories are multiple, he has had all his belongings and his passport stolen, his family has been unjustly arrested by the police, so they need money to get out of it.
The sad thing is that these crooks are making us distrustful of everyone and even of those who are really in trouble!
If you happen to come across this kind of case and want to be generous, don’t give more than 200 baht, which is enough to eat, phone, or send emails.
Also ask the person if you can take a picture of them, to alert the forums about their case, if they refuse the picture, it may mean that they are a professional crook or someone who wants to remain anonymous…
The Indian who tells you, “you are a lucky man.”
I once came across an Indian who called me up and said that but I didn’t stay and talk to him, then I met a Thai woman who had been duped into money by him and was very angry.
They talk about it on the English forums like this one, the persuasive man, will offer you to read you the future for free and in the end will rip you off by a few hundred baht, see more if you are a good pigeon.
So go on your way if you see one!
Thailand Scam: higher prices for tourists
I love Thailand and the Thai people, but that’s one of the things that annoys me.
In parks and museums, there is a price for Thai people and a price for foreigners; it is understandable because a tourist usually has a travel budget.
But in some shops, sellers tend to charge foreigners more than Thai, and when you’ve been living in Thailand for years, it can be tiring.
As there is a lot of history of Thai women who have put themselves in a relationship with Westerners, girls convinced when they see them spending money in the country, that they had fallen on a millionaire and who after the wedding and the departure towards the land of their darling, discover with horror, that he was rich in Thailand but that he lives poor in his country!
Sometimes I use particular arguments to stop being the customer who pays more when I see Thai people who are richer than me paying the normal price.
As in a small shop, I just explained, without accusing anyone, that in France in honest shops Thai people paid the same price as French people but that there were, as in all countries, places where crooks made foreigners pay more, but that in general, in Thailand, traders were honest because it was a Buddhist duty.
Just after saying that, the woman told her husband that I was right, and he never made me pay the high price again.
One of the most common scams, which ruins many foreigners in Thailand every year, is the love scam.
Bar girls are too often considered victims, which is also true for some, but you have to see how many guys come to have fun and fall into a well-prepared trap.
In some bars, girls learn the psychology of farang, all the weaknesses of Westerners and how to drive them crazy in love, and the victims are numerous, who start sending money every month for a girl who often has several lovers “sponsors.”
In Isan, in the northeast of the country, I had met a Thai woman who was with her young English boyfriend, they told me that she had a foreign husband and several other lovers who sent her money every month and that she explained to them that she had gone to see her family in the countryside!
If you fall in love, I advise you to learn Thai to better understand it, to know the Do’s and Don’ts in Thailand, to avoid disputes related to cultural misunderstandings and what would also be useful, to keep your head on your shoulders, and who can avoid doing a lot of crap, is to learn meditation.
When you pay a bill and get the change back, make sure you count it right, there are too many mistakes.
This may be due to a dishonest person or the fact that many Thai people are bad at math, unable to do small operations (except chino-thai people who often have a calculator in their brain).
So, several times I have paid, for example, a 12 baht item with a 20 baht bill and saw the cashier take out the calculator.
Beware of counterfeiting!
It’s not a scam; you know in general that clothing from major brands sold in markets and even in some department stores are counterfeit.
If like me you are not interested in the big brands, make sure you don’t have any on you when you come back.
You can buy a sports jacket without knowing that it is a copy of a known brand and then get picked up by customs when you return!
Scams when renting scooters or other vehicles
I add this above the article on jet ski rental.
Every time you rent a vehicle, make general and larger photos on scratches and other existing problems.
In general, there will be no problem, but you may come across crooks who will try to get you paid for issues that already existed, and it is better to take precautions.
Similarly, if you break something, it is generally better to have it repaired by yourself at a garage, it is usually cheaper because an ordinary garage will not charge you the “tourist” price.
Jet ski rental scam
I have never rented a jet ski, but I have often heard about this scam, so I share the statements of an Australian who has been living in Thailand for years:
Mr. Smith said tourists should stay away from jet-ski renters. “I would like to be able to write this sentence in every tourist passport when they enter the Kingdom,” he said.
“Jetski renters are often crooks.
Places like Pattaya and Phuket are regularly seeing jet ski companies scamming tourists.
It doesn’t seem to matter if the police are brought in or not.
In jet-ski scams, tourists rent a jet ski and take it for a ride, and when they return it, the owner claims that it has been damaged, charging huge sums – sometimes more than $1,000 – even if the tourist has done nothing.
“Thais are aware of this scam and stay away,” Smith said. “I strongly suggest that tourists who are reading this do the same.”
Scams as they pass from Thailand to Cambodia: The false consulate
I have never heard of this scam, but it is good to know, it is explained in the following article quoted above.
This scam targets some tourists who cross the Thai-Cambodian border by taxi or tuk-tuk.
Travelers often pass by a large sign indicating “Consulate of Cambodia,” and the driver can stop in front of a large house with enthusiastic employees offering visas for a high price.
These visas are fake and of no use to you, so don’t even bother getting out of the vehicle!
Real estate scam in Thailand
You have to read this, I have met several people in difficulty because of land purchases, sometimes on colossal credit to satisfy their girlfriends:
“There are many ways to get plucked in Thailand, including by a woman or a real estate agency.
Sometimes the two go hand in hand when it comes to buying a house.
You have to be Thai to buy land.
This is an essential rule that is reiterated in the national anthem.
So how can you buy the villa of your dreams?
1 – You are in love with the girl you have been living with for several days, several weeks, several months… sometimes several years.
You trust him. She’s not like the others… according to you. And then you consider marriage, children…
Nothing is too beautiful to prove your love.
You decide to buy him a house.
She refuses to do so to save her reputation. You insist. She eventually went to the Land Office, which registered the land… in her name.
You will then quickly realize that you have lost everything… your girlfriend and your two bedrooms built on 50 Sqwa….
2 – An agency will show you a house that matches your budget and your expectations.
A wonderful place to have a happy retirement, according to the formula!
How do I buy it?
Very simple: you lease the land for thirty years.
At your age, what are you risking? To lose everything beyond the deadline.
You are reassured by the fact that you have a clause that allows you to renew the lease for the same period of time, without telling you that it has no legal value.
It will be almost impossible for you to resell your “long-term rental contract” if you want to change air after a few years, or if you have to leave Thailand.
You will be told the opposite, with proof and supporting the legislation.
From the wind:
– two Thai courts have concluded that the “guaranteed” lease is “null” in law. – A contract declared void is considered as never having existed. If other courts uphold the opinion of these two courts, not only will the term of renewal of the “secured” leases be invalid, but also the current conditions of the contract.
3 – You decide to create a company, of which you will be the corporate officer, to buy the land and house of your dreams.
This is the most widely used solution. It is not without risks since you will necessarily be a minority, but they seem limited.
In conclusion, buying a house only makes sense if you want to leave an estate to your wife and children after your death.
In all other cases, at the current euro rate and given the dilapidated housing market, this is a mistake that should be avoided, especially if you want to have a happy retirement.
There are other ways to throw money away, especially in Thailand.
They are often more pleasant, as long as you are healthy.
Source: Daily newspaper of Thailand
Scams in Thailand: victims can now claim compensation!
Good news for travelers and terrible news for crooks:
foreign tourists who have been scammed in Thailand can now file a claim with the Thai government.
The Director-General of the Department of Tourism, Anant Wongbenjarat, announced that foreign tourists could file claims with the Ministry if they have been duped by registered travel agencies that have not provided the services advertised.
The Tourist Business Protection Fund will pay the compensation, NNT reported.
The fund requires tour operators and operators with a valid license to deposit between 10,000 and 200,000 baht depending on the size of their organization and whether they offer visits from abroad, to foreign countries or Thailand.
The fund will then be used to accelerate the payment of compensation to tourists who have been duped by unscrupulous tourist companies.
Once the compensation has been paid to the claimant, the tourism department will then recover the money from the tour operator.
If the company does not comply, it will lose its deposit, and its license may be suspended.
However, a claim for compensation can only be made against a registered tour operator or an operator.
No claim can be made against an unregistered travel company.
For this reason, Mr. Wongbenjarat urged all tourists first to check if their travel agency is registered with the Tourism Department.
Visitors can check whether a travel agency is legitimate by visiting the site: tourism.go.th
Tourists scammed by a tourist agency in Thailand can file a claim in person at the Tourism Department office located at this address:
Department of Tourism (National Stadium) Building 2, 5th Floor, Academic and Tourism Business Protection Fund, Travel and Tour Guide Division, Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Phone: 0-2219-4010-7 Ext. 717 or 0-2214-1385 Email: [email protected]
An excellent idea that will further improve the quality of our travel in Thailand.
Double pricing: a Thai woman mistaken for a Chinese woman scammed in a restaurant
I’m already talking about it a little bit earlier, but here’s an example of dual pricing, fortunately, many honest Thai people don’t do this shameful scam.
“The case has been going on for two days and has inflamed Thai social networks.
A Thai woman with a “Chinese” look was charged 150 baht for fried pork with basil and a fried egg that costs 80 baht for Thais (the high price, even for Thais, is explained by the fact that the “street restaurant” is located in Pratunam).
Pork sautéed with basil and a fried egg costs about 50 baths in a small ordinary restaurant outside the tourist area.
The TV stations interviewed the trader.
She said that when she realized her mistake (mistake a Thai woman for a Chinese woman), she immediately offered to lower the price, but it was too late; the Thai woman had already posted and set fire to social networks.
TNews discovered that the shop – Bangkok Street Seafood in Neon Market, Pratunam – displayed photos that did not show prices but that prices were visible on the menus.
Thus, if you order on the displayed photos, the price is at the head of the customer, but if you order from the menu, the price is respected.
Thais believe that prices should be the same for everyone (in restaurants) and the authorities could be interested in this case.
Dual pricing is easier with the Chinese than with Westerners (especially the French) who are suspicious and ready for their money.
Video on the case:
It is a scam that mainly concerns expatriates or tourists who rent for a long period.
If you rent a house or apartment, for any length of time, ask to check the electricity meter and make a note of the state of consumption. Otherwise, you may pay a lot of money.
In general, just required to see the meter and rate the consumption before renting will mean that they won’t try to rip you off on it, but it’s not for sure either.
If you rent a house and the cost of electricity or water seems incredibly high to you, it’s probably because a smart guy has arranged with someone from the water or electricity company to rip you off.
Ask your neighbors or friends to show you their bills to compare; you may have surprises!
And you? Have you been the victim of a scam in Thailand?
If the answer is yes, you can tell your story in the comments below; it will be useful for other travelers.