A Guide to Beating the Scammers!

Every since www.bangkokscams.com started up, the site has been flooded with reports (3 today!) and a lot of them, since they’ve stirred folk’s anger have been popular with commenteers. More so in fact than www.thai-blogs.com. After receiving so much feed back, we have decided to do something about it and started investigating some of the reports. The first of which last week led to a waitress getting fired from her job on Khao Sarn Rd, she’s moved to another restaurant doing the road, but we’ll be on her shins soon. Using a couple of contacts, we had also decided that for more serious scams, to get the cops in on the action. All reports, of course, have to be verified as true as possible before we’re gonna get involved. The waitress above had, according to colleagues, a history of cheating.

So, just for a bitta practical fun and worthy advice, I’ve decided to write up on some ‘beating the scammers’ hints and also some on ‘scambaiting’ techniques. If you haven’t the faintest to what scambaiting is, it is in fact when you turn the tides and the scammer ends up the victim, serving them right or as they say in Thai ‘Som nam nah’.

There are loadsa variations to how these scams work, but I’ll write the script for the more popular ones

Scambaiting the Scammer 10 Baht Tuk-Tuk driver, Cheating Indian Tailor and Over-Priced ‘Supposed’ Government Jewelry Store.

Now, this is really easy and it can be quite a bitta fun. After your tuk-tuk driver has explained that the Grand Palace is closed due to repair or some other bull story and advises you to visit The Big Buddha or Lucky Buddha Temple for the likes of 10 baht, just say ‘Sounds Great!’ So, after seeing a couple of mediocre temples, your scamming your thieving scruffy tuk-tuk driver will lie to you about getting fuel coupons if you pop into a tailors shop for 10 minutes (he gets commission whether you buy or not but you have to look a bit interested or the tailor will think the tuk-tuk driver is trying to scam him!!). After walking in the shop, the pot-bellied tailored will ask if you would like a coffee, advised him that you would prefer a beer and make it quick. If you’re lucky you’ll get one. Next, when he gives you a set of greasy catalogues to look at, seem interested but explain that you are living on a budget of 250baht a day and anyway you don’t need a suit as you a student back home. Then, just for cheek of it, ask for another beer.

After you get booted out the door, the tuk-tuk driver will be well pished-off that he didn’t get any commission. Next up, he will be saying that to get his ‘fuel coupons’, you will have to pop into a phony ‘government’ jewelry store. On arrival you will be approached by a nice polite womn who will offer you a drink, sure you can get a free beer and perhaps two here. In the meantime, flirt with the girl for fun and keep the tuk-tuk geezer waiting for half an hour while you are having a laugh. Next, while walking around with the sales woman, pretend you’re more interesting in taking her to a discotheque or even a hotel room for a quick bonk than you are of buying gems.

After you leave the shop, your tuk-tuk driver is gonna be completely pished-off! No commission again for bringing in a couple of sex-tourist drunkards. Tell him to get lost and hail over a taxi otherwise you will call the police.

Scambaiting/Beating the Scamming Scummer Airport Taxi Drivers

When walking out of arrivals and some scammer tout comes up to you and offers you an over-priced taxi into town – no meter of course, just say ‘Sounds Great!’ On the way downtown, ask your idiot taxi driver to stop off at a couple of 7-11s (spend 10 minutes each time looking around, wasting his time) and then at a garage for the toilet. All this time, the scammer will be getting pished-off and perhaps put the fair up, if so just reply ‘Sounds Great, no worries Mr Isarn!’. On arrival at the hotel, jump screaming out of the taxi shouting ‘Scammer, refused to turn the meter on!’ The driver is in trouble here, he has nothing over you. If the hotel security guard calls the police in, he could get a heavy fine even arrested. Afraid of this, he will ask how much you wanna pay. Agree to 200 Baht, that will do – if you are in a stinking mood, just refuse to pay altogether. Unfortunately for him, he’s gotta give the tout at the airport who found you a 100 Baht commission.

Beating the Private Jewelry Stores

There are variations to this worst-of-the-worst scam, but I’ll stick to one of the more popular. You have just got out of The Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Erawan Shrine and you are approached by a well-dressed man (may be a woman even). After acting all kind and perhaps taking you for a drink, he then explains to you that he is in the jewelry business and knows where you can buy amazing bargain gems (often to sell for a profit to his brother’s shop in the likes of London). And these scammers are selling big – you invest 50,000 and sell them on to their make-believe partner shop abroad for 70,000!. You end up buying crap quality gems that would cost the fraction of the cost back home. If you are dumb enough to buy/invest in them, go to the tourist cops straight away with your receipt, there’s a chance you’ll get your money back. Sorry, but like one guy who posted on BangkokScams, there is no way you’re gonna get a refund if you find out back home. The Thai Embassy can do nowt on your behalf. If the tourist cops are slow or uninterested go to the Tourist Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Head Office on Phetchaburi Road and explain the scam to them. The TAT loathes these jewelry scammers and they’ll be on the phone to the tourist cops telling them to get their backsides into gear. For a complete list of these scamming scheming swindling shops see www.2bangkok.com

Beating the Scamming Restaurants (this advice was given to Bangkokscams by the police)

If your scamming smelly tuk-tuk driver advises a delicious seafood restaurant, just say ‘Sounds Great!’ You will be given a menu with no prices on it. Order loadsa food and enjoy. In the meantime spot where the Thai language menus are kept. When you have finished eating, you will be given a bill for an extortionate amount of money. Refuse to pay before you see a menu with the prices on (perhaps see if the Thai language menu has prices on it). In the event the boss threatens to call in the police, say you don’t care and tell them you know the law. The law states that all menus in Thailand must have the prices written in them (owner has theoretically broken the law). If there is no price in them, that means the food doesn’t cost anything! The owner has nothing over you, if the cops come, explain that your Police Colonel friend had explained the law to you while he was holidaying in England a couple of months ago. The cops will believe your connection as otherwise they wouldn’t believe you know about such law. Finally, the cops will probably ask you to pay the equivalent (may be cheaper even) of the usual price elsewhere.

Go-go Bar Scam

You are walking along Patpong Road and some pathetic looking tout invites you to an a go-go bar upstairs performing ping-pong, darts and horny snake shows. You are told a beer is a 100 baht, but when you get the bill it is for 1,500 (tout downstairs forgot to tell you there was a huge cover charge). The scammers in there are violently dangerous, don’t get into a fight (a Japanese guy was murdered a few years ago in one of those bars). Tell them politely that you need a receipt to get your money back from the company (entertainment expenses). Act dumb and play it nice, like it’s not your money they are ripping off. Outside, go straight to the tourist cops, there is a good chance you will get your money back.

Anyway, if you do want to see such a sinful show (or any a go-go bar that is) only go into one that is managed by King’s Group Co. Ltd. All there bars have a huge plaque outside saying so. King’s Group upstairs a go-gos are the only non-scams on Patpong. Their downstairs a go-go are also by far and away the best.

Card Game Scam

You are at Chatuchak Weekend Market and approached by a middle aged women (perhaps man). After befriending you she invites you to play cards (she knows how to cheat). At first you win loads but after that you lose it all. Sorry buddy, the cops can do nothing – gambling is illegal and you’ll end up getting fined a 1,000 baht. Anyway, serves you right for trying cheat in the first place.

(For men only) Beating the Scamming Scheming Ladies of the Night who Claim they are ‘Proper’ Thai Ladies (this advice was given to Bangkokscams by the police)

You are in Khao Sarn Road or Ratchadaphisek and some girl comes to chat you up. She claims she is a hair-dresser or office worker etc…. (This makes her even worse than a bar-girl as she’s not admitting she’s working the game) If she asks you to a hotel and you fancy her, state which hotel you want to go to. Ensure beforehand that the hotel requires you to check in with ID. Inform the scammer that you didn’t bring your passport and tell her to check-in with her ID Card. That means she has invited ‘you’ to her room and she is entitled to no financial compensation (that’s what they call it in Thailand to get around the law and prostitution). She can do absolutely nothing.

23 responses to “A Guide to Beating the Scammers!

  1. “Sounds great!” LOL Right! I should’ve asked for the beer instead of water….

  2. I think if you caught one of those seafood guys or taxi touts on the wrong day, a more accurate title for this post might be: Ways to Catch a Beating in Thailand by Being a Cheeky Farang.

    With sites like this getting increasingly popular and tourists becoming increasingly well-informed, in a generation or so there is bound to be a huge cut in the available market of gullible people for touts to prey on. They’ll be forced to go straight… or perhaps get into the fake amulet racket.

    Nice job on turning the tables.

  3. Problem with these schemes are they are extremely malicious. These scammers are already pissed off if you don’t fall for their scams, but how will you know these things work?

    Like someone said above if it doesn’t work you manage to piss them off enough, that’ll be a beating for you. Thais can turn into Hulks.

  4. You’re doing your readers no favours. This is just an advice list on how to get a severe beating, or worse.

  5. Steve, I would love to see the tables turned-but am not up for it myself-can’t run fast enough if pursued by a pished-off scammer and associates! Reckon the best thing is to say no at stage one!
    Great legal info, though, for those that unwittingly end up in the clutches of the scammers.

  6. Your advice for the 10bht tuk tuk ride is exactly what I done (didn’t think of asking for the beer…damn!). The tuk tuk driver was not happy, but no beating or aggro, I just had to pay the 10bht, and then catch a taxi back to hotel. It was a great, fun first day in Bkk. Keep up the good work always love reading your blogs

  7. Try it an see how long you’d stay in one piece. If there is one rule in Thaliand it’s “don’t mess with other person’s rice bowl”.

    Besides, some of these things are seriously dishonest — especially the last one. So, you’ll get the girl, have her provide the honest service and then fail to pay her? How is this worse than outright robbery?

  8. What are you talking abut Crocodile, did you even read the blog? Are you trying to state that the scammers are honest providing an honest service? and to stick up for yourself is seriously dishonest? By what you wrote it seems that it is ok to cheat people if it is to “Fill your own bowl”. Who are you Robin Hood? You are also patronizing of Thai women, good Thai women do go out on one-night stands with their hand out the next morning like beggars.Go back to your bar-girls man.

  9. This is a very dangerous game… especially if played by inexperienced tourists, thinking to have a day of fun with the Thai scammers.
    You failed to include a warning that if the scammer suspects some falang is taking him for a ride he might regard it as a los of face. Once this happens they can go berserk in a matter of seconds. You might end up with a severe attack from the back with his favorite iron bar…

  10. LOL…… Hilarious.

    Got any hints on dealing with Thai scammer wives?

  11. Jojo Argentina

    I don’t think you’re in all that much danger unless the tuk-tuk driver is with a group of his buddies. I could take one of those squat buggers with one arm tied behind my back and the other helping me guzzle a beer chang — I’d use the latter to bonk him on the head with. The only exercise they get comes from dodging the soup-cart lady on the sidewalk.

    I did hear tale though of a certain farang who pulled a similar scam to the one you describe at the tailors meeting an undesirable fate. Word has it that the Indian tailor he pulled that baloney on was so upset that he took out a ginsu knife and sliced off his head in one stunning upward thrust… I think that was it.. That or he gave him a curry that was a week past its expiry date.

    Jo Jo drinks and sometimes forgets details.

  12. JoJo Argentina

    I forgot to say thanks Steve for that tip about getting gratis shags on Khao San Road. I didn’t think there was such a thing as a free bonk in Thailand. I figured even Thai husbands had to slip the missus a purple in order to get any boot-knocking done. This is one case in which I’m happy to be wrong! VA-VA VOOM! Tonight an informed Jo-Jo Argentina is hitting Khao Sarn! Somebody’s going to be horizontal before the night’s out!

  13. Any backpackers gone missing since this one went up?

  14. I would like to see this JoJo Argentina guy. Would you give me an address man. It must have been fun.

  15. Anyway, Argentines are brave, how did they lose Falklands to the Brits under command of a woman prime minister.

  16. Don’t underestimate the viciousness of a Thai, male or female, pissed off by a farang.

  17. JustanObserver

    I think this is more tongue in cheek than anything else. Really, I’m sure even the author realizes that lots of these payback strategies are more time consuming and potentially trouble causing than they are worth.

  18. I would try to scam the scammer in Thailand. People get shot here for very small things. If you’re a tourist and not living here I would for sure not do it. There’s too much you don’t know about Thailand to estimate your risk.

  19. I came across this on the Net. It appears to be fairly recent. I sure hope it’s a coincidence!

    A Thai couple has been arrested and charged with malicious assault after a foreign tourist was found battered outside of his hotel room in Bangkok’s Banghlamphu district in what police are calling a sex-for-sale transaction gone wrong.

    Police did not release the name of the guesthouse at which the incident occurred, or the identity of the tourist, who has asked to remain anonymous. They did say that he is of European descent and is currently retired in Thailand.

    A cleaning woman discovered the tourist as he was trying to clean his wounds in the hotel’s swimming pool and dress them using pieces of fabric torn from his shirt.

    The cleaning woman reported the goings-on at the pool to management, who then phoned authorities.

    Pol Sgt Wichai Klongpraya said that the man told Banglamphu police that he had met Pornsakul Prayasat, 25, at Gulliver’s, a popular discotheque in the area, and that she expressed an interest in returning to his hotel room.

    “He [the tourist] said she was sexually excited and wanted to hurry back to his room to make love,” said Sgt Wichai. “He told her that he didn’t have a room yet, but knew a nice hotel nearby and insisted they go there.”

    Once the couple had sex, the tourist alleges that Wangsanna became irate and demanded payment. He refused, saying that she told him she worked in the nearby mall and that he did not solicit prostitutes. The tourist then threatened to phone police.

    The tourist later told police that it was at that point that Wangsanna’s boyfriend, 21-year-old Ekktet Choisombat burst into the room and began making violent demands for money. When the tourist refused, the pair began attacking him with what the tourist described as “karate moves”.

    Sgt. Wichai said Wangsanna had earlier left a copy of her identification card with the hotel desk, and they were thus able to trace her whereabouts to an apartment complex in the Sanam Luang area. Ekktet was with her at the time of her arrest and was also taken into custody.

    The tourist is now being treated at Sirijaj Hospital for minor injuries and a broken sternum. He is expected to be released on Thursday, though the attending physician said his recuperation may take months.

  20. Some great tips Steve.
    Always worth remembering though that the only people who fall for scammers like the jewellery tout are greedy and looking for something for nothing, deserving what they get.

    These scammers must have nothing but contempt for the rich farang who still want more

  21. from all around the world tourist , why dont you go else where except bangkok. beter place ,no cheating. peacefull.save and sound, like cha am ,hua-hin. if u lucky u will meet the thailand king also in near cha am , in hua hin(the king palace.) clear beach .gauranted no theft, no stolen. only excelent.

  22. I’ll leave my own idea about how to deal with scammers: In my case I am always on the ‘don’t want side’ !! That mean I am not interested to take their offer what ever it is.

    first u talk with ur body turned in a different direction than the scammers. Only ur head will be turned to the scammer as u adress him/she.

    You are determined to walk right through/pass them, don’t head for a stop.

    You say only 1 word – it’s thank you.
    That’s it, walk on then, if the scammer talks again just say thank you so much.

    In the case the scammer seems not to be a person whom master just this word, u can ‘wai’ him/she and say khop khun khap.

    Remember this way is one of the most often common ways of a foreigner it’s ironic that’s what it is I am making my self ironic and with a little mile on the lip.

    Had I many small laughs in this ay, yes thai people don’t understand ironic. The scammer get’s scammed by a western methode in behaviour.

  23. I think it’s rather unfair anyhow for the taxi driver to be earning only 200B (or worse, none!) just because some caucasians decide to pull a quick one back on those poor folks. Yes, they may be overcharging on the cab fare, but it is ridiculously cheap in the first place, why are you supposed civilised caucasians so bothered about paying like, 3-5USD more? They’re just trying to earn a living too.