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Scams In Thailand

If you’ve lived in Thailand long enough 99.9% chance that you have been scammed. You may not even realize or know that you’ve been scammed either. Because Thai people are great at fooling you, even making you believe it was your fault you got scammed, people here can be devious. You might even think that it’s only Thai’s are scamming you too but don’t be fooled. There are plenty of foreigners involved in Scams in Thailand.

Some of the greatest scams in Thailand are those that have involved foreigners while the Thai’s tend to lend themselves to petty scams or marriage scams.

Thai owned scams

Fake or blatantly criminal Tour operators

This is the most expensive scam, and why you shouldn’t book anything at a tour operator, especially high ticket items. I’ve heard hundreds of people have booked an airline ticket through an agency, only to get to the terminal to find that they have no ticket, they have to pay for a flight because they have no time left to go back to the agent hence they get away with it. Another tour scam is to open a front shop wait to get enough customers then in their busiest time book everything a week in andvance and just leave, this happens a lot.

Tuk Tuk Scams

There are many variations of the Tuk Tuk scam the most well known is the free ride scam where a Tuk Tuk driver will say he’ll take you anywhere but end up manipulating you into going into Tailer shops so he can get a commission you won’t see anything interesting but you’ll be stuck in the back of a Tuk Tuk for a few hours. Another scam Tuk Tuk drivers like to pull along with Taxi drivers is to take you somewhere completely different to where you want to go in order to gauge you when they actually do take you where you want to go often blaming you for telling them something different.

Dual Price Scam

Two price system or dual pricing is not exactly a scam but it feels like racism. Charging foreigners up to 10 times the amount of the normal ticket feels like your being cheated. Often the signs are clearly racial even clubs get in on the act letting some foreigners (Asians) in free and white or black people have to pay.

Karaoke Scams

These scams can happen at any type of karaoke or gentlemen’s clubs in Thailand there are many variations but the most profitable is to bring in drinks you didn’t order or have girls take a sip of one drink then have the server order another immediately.

Marriage Scam

The oldest scam in the book and the amount of guys seeking romance in Thailand it’s easy to see how it continues to be a problem. The marriage scam I don’t think is really intentional but who knows what goes through these women’s heads. Again this scam can happen many times but the easiest scam is to have the guy leave a large Sin Sod as deposit for the girls hand in marriage before she flees and he never sees the money again.

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Foreigner Owned Scam

Dating Site Scams

This scam is my favorite scam because i know several people who have done it before and it really worked. A foreigner uses his girlfriends photos online and posses as a distressed young Thai girl needing an older man to take care of her, a few emails later and the scammer convinces the guy that she is going to go meet him in Chiang mai Bangkok or wherever the person they are scamming is located. The only problem is she has no money for the bus so can he wire her a few thousand? Need a phone call for proof no problem, the scammer gets his girlfriend to call to close the deal, the guy is now convinced and sends the money to her bank account. Sound familiar? And it works really good as their is an abundant supply of guys in Thailand looking for cheap thrills and the thought of sending a young school girl bus money to go meet then for a weekend is something that appeals. The girl will never show up though and you’ll be left wondering what happened. What’s funny about the guys who get scammed is when the girl calls after they have sent the money and tells them that her friend wants to come too can you send money for her too they almost always send more.

Boiler Rooms

These are big operations and I suspect there are more than 500 groups working in Thailand mostly because of there theft by phone laws make it easier to conduct. Not all the people they target are in Thailand either, many live overseas and are being conned out of big money. Call enough people and you’ll find some idiot who is willing to hand over 100 g’s for a chance of a lifetime opportunity.

Timeshare scams

Another big scam going around that Foreigners are becoming apart of is the Timeshare Scam in Thailand. Where they are bleeding millions of unsuspecting tourists.

Romance Scams

So the Thai’s have the marriage scam well we have the marriage scam in fact so many guys are scamming now that there’s a group of Thai ladies out there actively involved in a Thai Anti Scam movement. Basically the guy develops a relationship with a woman online who he is preparing to come and marry the lady. On arrival at the airport the unsuspecting victim get’s a phone call from a Thai lady who sternly informs the lady that the guy needs help paying for custom duties to enter the country. She wires 30-50,000 baht after some convincing then they are never heard from again. The Thai Anti scam movement even have a phone app that blocks the con artists from calling.

How to not get scammed in Thailand

If you go to Thailand there is more than 100% chance that someone is going to scam you out of your money, you need to be sharp on your toes and just like back home, treat strangers as strangers. You wouldn’t give a total stranger total trust with you and your money, then nor should you when you travel to Thailand. Don’t get totally drunk you can’t walk either as you will be viewed as a walking target, almost 40% of thai scams are done on those who are drunk and fall easy into a scam. Just keep your wits about yourself.

Have you been scammed in Thailand? How did it happen? Let us know in the comments section.


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About Chris

Chris founded Living Thai and author of the books Learn the The Thai Alphabet and How to make money in Thailand also the Blueprint for Living in Thailand. Chris started this blog with the aim of educating westerners on how to have the best time in Thailand, to make new friends and to vent his frustrations Chris is also fluent in both written and spoken Thai.

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8 Responses to Scams In Thailand

  1. Kenneth Farque October 19, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    “If you go to Thailand there is more than 100% chance that someone is going to scam you out of your money”

    More than 100% chance? You don’t understand probability do you?

    • Chris October 21, 2013 at 2:13 am #

      You come to Thailand you get scammed, this is what i’m saying

    • Thomas January 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

      Ken he means being a victim of multiple scams,,,, I have lived in Thailand for the past 7 years,,, and I love this place of natural wonderland,,,, being scammed is just a part of ,,,, well Thailand experience. I heard from my Thai GF,,, and for the most part I agree,,, When God created the world,,, he noticed that one area was just too concentrated with beauty,,,, so to bring about balance,,, he placed the worst behaved people in it.

  2. jackie October 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Chris I need to contact you as I made a purchase for learn thai alphabet in one day I put it on papal acc, after leaving my information the site said have to use other method why did it list papal . I dont understand and then when I went to change order it would not let me what is going on please contact me

    • Chris October 21, 2013 at 2:11 am #

      emailed you back

  3. Jessie November 28, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    Well as much as I’d like to listen to you and believe the things that you say… You don’t even know the difference between you’re and your. “Don’t get totally drunk you can’t walk either as you will be viewed as a walking target, almost 40% of thai scams are done on those who are drunk and fall easy into a scam” Ummm where are you from? Your English and grammar are absolutely horrible.. That sentence is just bad. You sound like a 4th grader.

    • Chris November 28, 2013 at 6:01 am #

      Hi Jessie, unlike other sites who have editors, proof readers, and make their own revisions and shit I write it down once and that’s it, that’s because I’m too busy getting my dick sucked. I could give you access so you can fix it yourself or you could suck my dick. Your choice.

  4. John Metcalfe December 11, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    Myself and 2 friends on our first visit to the resort of Patong on the island of Phuket got ripped off in the first bar we visited on bangle road. We walked in and was shown to a seat and asked what we would like to drinkl cause there was a ping pong show about to start..

    I ordered 3 bottles of Chang beer as it was my round and when the drinks arrived was told that the bill for 3 chang was 1,200 baht which is about £24 ($39)

    When i questioned the price they produced a board with all the beer prices on and chang was 400 baht each bottle. Then a few thai male bouncers who worked for the bar appeared who put pressure on me to pay the inflated rip off price

    We decided to pay up and move on to the next bar and make sure in the next bar the price of the beers before ordering. Apparantely this is a well known scam to rip off first time visitors to Patong

    Take note

    John

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