Apr 22, 2013

Thailand Scams | How to avoid them


Tuk Tuk Scam
How the scam works: This scam is prevalent in Phuket. Other times, they will arrive at a different destination than the passenger requested because they get a commission from the establishment they arrive. Others will take off without making change for the passengers.They will charge you 3 times or even 4 times than the normal fare.
How to avoid:  Avoid them and take a regular taxicab with green plates.

JET SKI ScamThe Jet ski scam is a lucrative monkey business in Phuket and Pattaya. 

How the scam works: Easy as pie, As you walk down to the beach, you get approached by groups of guys who run the jet skis and are pressuring you to hire a jet ski and it looks like a lot of fun, so you take up the offer. You jump on the jet ski and take it for a good spin and when you return it, the jet ski operators take a look at the sides and the bottom of the jet ski and point to some damage. The damage was already there before you took it out and the operators know this, but they are blaming you for this damage. They will even accompany you to a nearby ATM machine to pay them. 

Questions: We inspected the Jet ski before taking it for a spin and there are no visible      damage from side to side.

Answer: Because you didn't inspect the bottom hull of the Jet Ski that is partly submerged in the water at that time.
 Cost : 50,000 to 100,000 baht. 
How to avoid: Avoid it or Don't rent.

Drop by Travel Agency Scam We almost fall for this one during our visit in Phuket last November 2012. Good thing we have our hotel vouchers and Photocopies. 

How the scam works: 

If you decided to take a taxi or minivan from the airport to Patong, Karon or Phuket town. The driver will probably ask you if you have a hotel reservation? If you said No, he will then try to tell you that all hotels in Phuket are full. On the way he will  stop at some travel agency and they will be the one to reserve a hotel for you. They will give you an overprice hotel room rate.

Cost: None but overpriced hotel rate

How to avoid: book your hotel in advance and provide a photocopy of the hotel voucher or reservation. If you haven't made any hotel reservation yet,  don't tell the taxi or van driver that you don't have  any.Pretend....pretend..pretend.


Jewelry or Gem Factory Scam

Phuket has no local gems industry itself, and we even suggest that visitors not buy jewellery here at all.  Even large, reputable-looking stores take tourists for a ride. 

How the scam works:


Some of the large jewellery stores pay tourist guides commissions of 40% - 50% on sales to the tourists they introduce.  Tuk-tuk and taxi drivers also get big commissions.  Some stores pay tuk-tuk drivers a flat fee for every foreigner delivered to the door, sometimes prompting drivers to forcefully deliver visitors to jewellery stores even against their will.

To pay guides and drivers such exorbitant commissions the stores obviously have to mark their products far above true market values.

How to avoid: Find a retailer with whom you are comfortable  without an introduction from a tourist guide. And never, but never be fooled by a friendly guy who befriends you on the streets and tells you about a great jewellery sale currently taking place.

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11 comments:

  1. we had our share of these scams sa bangkok and cambodia pero we were prepared.may napanood nga ako na show sa natgeo featuring these scams.nice post!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah Filipinos are always prepared they can't fool us hehehe

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  2. Thank you for sharing this information. :)

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  3. This is a very helpful article... garapalan naman dyan,, This is a dark side of tourism na dapat ipinagkakalat para madami maka alam at matuto para di mabiktima, plus to alarm the authorities about scammers.

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    1. Yeah meron pa yang Food Menu Scam and I forgot to post it here..=)

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  4. Thanks for the tips. Phuket is a beautiful place but to enjoy it you have to be a smart traveler.

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    1. Yeah Phuket is a beautiful place but it's loosing its grip on tourist safety. Since January to April this year, 10 tourist had died on their beaches due to strong currents and rips. Hopefully the thai government will improve the safety for all foreign tourist visiting Phuket.

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  5. Very nice info. What hotel did you stayed at? Do you have a review for that as well?

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    1. Thanks :-). We stayed at Rattana Mansion at Phuket town and Rattana apartments at Chalong. There are plenty of hotels to choose from that suits your budget.

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    2. Thanks for sharing infos about scams in phuket. We should also be aware of insurance scam in the Philippines.

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  6. Thank you for sharing. http://goo.gl/UYxoHr

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