More Thailand ‘Scams’…..

Look, but don’t touch – these Thailand ‘pretty girls’ could be on a scammer)

Once known as the Land of Smiles, pitiable Thailand is now turning into the world’s most infamous Land of Scams – and this year in particular we have been inundated again and again and again with lurid stories of sad foreigners been stung for wads of cash.

((Let me start with a disclaimer before writing this blog and that is – yes, there are plenty of real scams going on in Thailand (and as an administrator over at I know it) but there are also a lot of daft scam claims going around))

A telling tendency has come to light; someone reports an awful new scam, then other folk suddenly jump on the wagon and tell ‘their’ sordid related scam story – which often isn’t a scam at all. Bring on the story of the airport taxi scam and shiver-me-timbers someone’s posting on the Internet forums how they were completely scammed by some scruffy hotel security guard who called them a taxi to the airport at 5 in the morning costing a whopping 400 Baht! Wow… serious scam – better call in the tourist police and have the scammer arrested – as we all know a taxi from downtown to Suvarnaphumi is only about 350 Baht!

The we have the off-shoots of the King Power Duty Free scam – instead of happening at the airport however, similar scammers are now operating all over the capital. Pop into a major department store and keep yer beady eye out on that shop assistant, otherwise she’ll be planting eye-liner in your back pocket before threatening you with a year in prison if you don’t cough up a 50,000baht fine. What the heck!

Yes, what is obviously happening is that a lot of folk are not telling the truth in relation to the so-called ‘scam’. “Get a 1,000 baht fine for tossing yer cigarette butt on the ground outside Siam Paragon” report, and suddenly posters on the Net claim that a friend of a friend was scammed 10,000 baht by bogus police in front of Siam Square for the same thing. Or one related story that went international lately – originally the foreigner was fined around 1,500 Baht for ditching his ciggie butt on the ground in Bangkok, but by the time it had reached 15 newspapers and 100 Internet forums, the cost of the fine had gone up to 15,000 Euros.

(The story of a cigarette butt dropping fine, once spread on the Internet and some Western media, soon changes into a major Thailand scam)

My favourite ‘scam’ story recently as posted on a very well-known travel forum almost had me in stitches and sorry darling (the poster that is) either you or your husband is trying to pull someone’s leg – sorry, I’m not believing it in a million years. Went something like:
“Thai police ruined my holiday!! I was on holiday in Patong in Phuket with my husband. It was late in the evening and my husband said he fancied a walk alone outside. My husband came home at 6:30 in the morning with two policemen who demanded 20,000baht in bribes or my husband would be imprisoned indefinitely. My husband said he was walking along the road and a couple of big-boobed ladboys whispered in his ear asking if he wanted a good ol’ raunchy sandwich session. Then at that instant the police came and arrested my husband and decided to ‘fine’ him for 20,000 Baht, or and, years in prison for absolutely no reason! According to the husband, while at the station all night, the cops refused to tell him the charge against him!”

So, what I’ve decided to do today is bring together a few of the best possible scam scenarios in Thailand, totally unbelievable – but should you like one of them post it on a popular Internet travel forum and you’ll be laughing at some of the replies, especially when folk suddenly claim exactly the same thing happened to a friend of a friend! Ha….

1) Slap the Bum Scam

This horrific new scam is reportedly targeting more than 100 male foreign tourists every month at a popular seafood restaurant in Pratunam. It goes like this:
The victim takes a seat in the restaurant and is greeted by a really hot looking waitress dressed up in a bunny outfit, mini-skirt, stockings, suspenders and high heels. For the next half hour or so Miss Bunny constantly walks past his table winking her eye, licking her lips giving him a right ‘come on’. Just when the victim is starting to feel a bit randy, the waitress intentionally drops her pen on the floor near the table and bends over to pick it up – Benny Hill style, the victim can not resist and slaps her bum. Immediately the waitress bursts into tears and 3 undercover cops appear – taken to the station on charges of molesting a young virgin, the victim is required to pay her 100,000 Baht in damages.

(Watch out….. even good-ol’ Ronny could be on a scammer!)

2) The Mc’Donalds Big Burger-lifting Scam

According to this drunk Irish backpacker along Khao Sarn Road last week, this latest scam has already hit, besides him, at least four more backpackers. It goes like this:
The victim, in need of a burger and fries after having been out on the pish along Khao Sarn all night, pops into Mc’Donalds and orders a Big Mac set for takeaway. After getting his take-away, he leaves the restaurant with his order in the bag. Once outside, he is approached by two police who ask to search him. While going through his Mc Donalds take-away, they find that the victim has an extra cheeseburger which is not mentioned on the receipt. On immediate investigation, it is uncovered that the backpacker had intentionally walked out of the restaurant without paying for the cheeseburger. In lieu of shoplifting a burger charge worthy of 18 months behind bars, the victim is allowed to pay a ‘fine’ of 2,000 US dollars.

3) Insulting the Country Scam

This dodgy scam which has just recently arrived in the bars of South Pattaya has already stung dozens of innocent foreign alcoholics. It goes like this:
The pitiable drinker (usually an Englishman) in need of a beer for breakfast, strolls down South Pattaya at 9:30 in the morning looking for the nearest bar-stool and finds one almost immediately. Next, he pulls his barstool up to the bar (an open-air outside one) and goes on to drink 17 small bottles of Singh for starters and tell his new lady bargirl friend about all the scams he had been reading on his favourite website, thaivisa/forums. At midday, the national anthem starts to play on the street’s loud tanoy system – the waitresses who are already standing up ask the drunkard to stand up out of respect – of course he can’t be asked, and besides he’s already too pished. The police are readily summoned and the victim is immediately arrested for insulting the Thai people’s motherland. In lieu of 10 years in prison, the victim is allowed instead to donate 50,000 Baht to the police station’s whiskey fund.

4) No Bra or Underpants Scam

This scam has seen a sudden escalation in the number of victims in Thailand’s hippy hangouts. It goes like this:
i) the victim, a young hippy female backpacker (usually from Scandinavia), decides not to wear a bra under her t-shirt when she goes shopping at Jatujak Weekend Market with her boyfriend (usually a Frenchman) who himself doesn’t bother wearing any underpants underneath his fisherman pants. After being caught in a rain-storm, and arriving at Jatujak, the couple are immediately apprehended by two policemen who explain that such exposure of private parts in public is a inexplicable threat to national security. After the police closely examine the evidence, hers not his, they decide that instead of arresting them, a fine of 5,000 Baht each is sufficient enough to drop all charges.

18 responses to “More Thailand ‘Scams’…..

  1. Sandwiching with big boobed ladyboys is a favourite pastime of mine while I am here in Thailand the Land of the Land of the Smiles….

    Getting fined for it is an out-and-out out-rage!

  2. Firstly…some of the ‘problems’ which leads to the arrrest are acts of very irresponsible person/persons. In other must also be responsible for our own actions….definitely drinking 17+ bottles of beers at any one time can lead to so many other problems not only to the one told here. He is lucky that he is STILL alive!! Not forgetting the “NOT” wearing bra and underwear story too…Secondly…when you are a ‘visitor’ to another country…Where has all the ‘RESPECT’ for that particular country gone to ? I guess we have ourselves to be blamed…not able to be sober at a correct place and time! Not wearing what is appropriate and what’s NOT appropriate. Pointing the fingers at others afterwards will also make one ridicilous!! Thus making opportunities for opportunists to strike !! Beleive me…go to any other parts of the world.. it will be just the same if not WORST and definitely NOT only in Thailand! Kop Khun mak krub! Happy Holidays!!

  3. I can’t believe WilliamYap took those scams seriously…. There’s a disclaimer in bold at the top saying “daft scam claims”. Wisen up readers.

  4. Been going to Thailand for a long time and have never had a single problem. Twice I have been stopped and asked for ID and after presenting either a copy or my passport I was thanked and went on my way. Seems to me that if you stay drunk for your entire trip or only hang around where ladyboys tend to congregate then you get what you pay for…. and you have no reason to complain.

  5. Nice ones!
    You should apply for an editor job at “Not-The-Nation”…

  6. Williamyap: RTFM 😉

  7. Hey Steve….good to see you writing again after a long break, reading BBC, USA today and local news, nothing beat your blog & sorry richard but Steve your the best on the web any where!!, I enjoy reading your past blog & wondering how’s your daughter & being a dad, she should be almost 5!…..absolutely love your story on how she was born & gave a better insight on your perosonality & I be honest your an inspiring person!….keep up the great blog & if your ever visit/work in Aus…..I’ll def get you a few beers & some great seafood Aussie BBQ & I’ll make a great namjim seafood krup : )

  8. Where else but in one of Mr Steve’s blogs would we see mention of a “good ol’ raunchy sandwich session.”

    Grand stuff squire, and forewarned is forearmed re: the slap the bum scam!

  9. Stephen Cleary

    Thanks all for the comments – even William’s!

  10. All four of those scams happened to a mate of mine last week Steve. Maybe you should take them a bit more seriously eh!

  11. LOL nice one! I’ll love to check out the bunny seafood restaurant! LOL

  12. In my experience the starting price in the negotiation over the cigarette butt scam is 2000thb. At the police booth while standing on a veritable mountain of discarded cigarettes the “fine” can be negotiated down to 500thb or possibly more. Just don’t tender 1000thb & expect change.

  13. oooooooh you poor frustated farangs. Complain, complain, complain… Look in a go go bar… 80 year old totally drunk farangs smooching on 18 year olds…

  14. Fact Thailand is noted to be the second most corrupt country in Asia and Thais think after generations of scams against foreigners is a life style and are lurking for your airport arrival,that’s the truth but so sad Many Thais don’t think its a sin to scam westerner,it has become a employment for generations of the same families to accept this hood style of being a Buddhist thieves as the police accept their kick backs to turn their heads. Thai Image in the last few years is near un reversible damaged and tainted as pathetic. Many western Thai friends of mine say theirs not even a reason to return to visit their own country and their anymore embarrassed of their own peoples dirty ways of life style.

  15. it is pretty bad how the name of the land of scams to over the title of the land of smiles. Thailand has become a laughing stock of the world as Thaksin is still laughing in their faces with his billions and as Abhisit has just became another pimple on some generals buttocks

  16. Comment ref: Narisa :
    its does seem their pathetic or really hard up,no wonder Thailand is running them off one by one.

  17. F Thailand
    I warn all too avoid at all cost go else where ,where your safe .Thailand’s glitter and smiles are of a Congo Mentality anymore
    I personally would like to say F the PM as he bows to his boss the Tank.Thaksin destroyed all the good that was left in Thailand,so the spammers will file bankrupt and the few travelers left will be mass targeted for every thing they have.Thai greed destroyed themselves.The westerners left have to be really lost or hard up to tolerate this land of filthy scams .Steve I have zero respect for you also,you must be a magnet to this lifestyle to stay as long as you have.You that hard up?

  18. hello, someone can help me?, i need to know how can i get a thai visa for tourism quickly