As a foreigner you are a target. Most Thais can’t tell whether you’ve lived here for 1-month or 20 years. As far as they are concerned we are all cut from the same cloth.The best way to avoid being scammed in areas of high tourist volume is to always ask questions and if it seems too good to be true then it probably is!
Stay away from shady areas
I know it might seem tempting to take a stroll into an infamous red-light district. I think that OK as long as you don’t make a habit of it. The people in those areas are there strictly for work and sometimes guys travel there, Meet a girl, fall in love and give them all their money only to realize it was always just work for her. As the British call it being ‘fleeced’ in the U.S. We call it being “played”. Thai women have been fleecing/playing foreign men for such a long time you’d think it was a business. Don’t fall in love with a working girl. Based off what I’ve seen, there’s about a 90% chance it’s going to end bad for you.
Always ask the price
Always ask the price before doing anything. This can save you a lot of time and money. There have been stories of people being overcharged for food and drinks. You can try to dispute them but it will probably end with a group of Thai’s surrounding you…
If your taking a taxi always ask for the meter. Taxi’s in Bangkok are, for the most part, pretty greedy. They will ask for double the price because they think you can afford it. If your in a rush and don’t mind this then sure go ahead, but if not just politely say no and wait for the next one. Stay stray of parked Taxi’s, these guys are fishing for people to charge flat-rate, overpriced fees.
One of the many times I’ve been scammed
One time on Koh Larn at the beach one of the Burmese waiters tried to charge me double the price for some over cooked french fries and chicken wings. The menu was in Thai and price was 200 baht($6usd). He tried to charge me 400 baht($12usd) for the meal. I was in utter shock that I had to pay that much for a meal that was probably worth 5 bucks. He tried to sell me on the part that it said in Thai the french fries and chicken wings were individual entrees that both cost 200 baht. Lucky for me at the time I had already learned how to read Thai so I asked to see the menu again and saw that he was lying. The Entree was one and it should of only cost 200 baht. I called him out on this in front of other people and gave him 200 baht. At the end of it he could only mumble walking away,”not good my friend”.
Free Taxi and Tuk Tuk Ride?
This is another unique scam where a taxi will tell you that he’ll give you a ride for free if he’s allowed to make one stop. If your eyes light up in joy then you already lost. He will drive you to a tailor suit shop and tell you to go look around for 10 minutes. Once you go inside you will be swarmed by people trying to sell you tailor suits. You’ll probably be thinking,”Hey! I don’t want anything I’m just here for the free ride.” They will try to pressure you into buying something and your taxi/tuk tuk driver will get a commission. Remember nothing is ever free with out cost…
Don’t feed the birds!
I was saw on scam city Bangkok the guy was gestured by a lady to come feed pigeons. She handed him the food and he dished out some food for the pigeons to flock to. After he gave it back she demanded a fee!!! I mean really? You want money from me for that? I personally never heard any stories like this happening to people I know, but it really doesn’t surprise me.
Your Thai Girlfriend is pregnant!?!?!?
A relatively new scam that has come to my knowledge is for your Thai girlfriend to contact you when you go back home that she is pregnant. She will request that you send money to help pay for the baby. What you don’t know is she told the same thing to about 4 or 5 other guys. Well that makes for a nice income on her part. The only way to know for sure is to take her to the doctor and get an ultrasound.
I recommend you guys check out Bangkok Scams. There is a spot on list of the top-10 most common scams going on in tourist areas in Bangkok.
And what ever you decide to do please be wary of the jet ski’s on the beach. You may find yourself paying a lot more money then you thought you would.
On a side note…
I once heard a story of a guy who was invited to eat with his wife’s family only for the mother to present him with a bill at the end of dinner!!! I’m sorry but that’s low man… Be careful out their guys. As always if you have any questions leave a comment or send me an e-mail!