Posted in travel

Tourist Scams

we travelled yearly, probably twice or thrice a year.
and scams are definitely inevitable.
guess I should list down the types of scams by countries, to serve as a sort of reference.

China :
probably everyone should be pretty familiar with scams in china. we did many reading online before the trip but well, some scams or traps really tied to you to your neck and there’s really no way to avoid.
– overcharging.

I believe we were scammed. we walked in gou bu li pau shop in the famous wang fu jing.
ordered a gou bu li pau off the menu, paid RMB 20 as shown on the menu.
waited for more than 30 mins.. all the locals have already collected their paus, even those that came later than us, but we still have yet to get ours. they kept telling us to wait.
when they finally gave us, it was just 1 small pau. like the size of a xiao long bao. seriously? the pau shop beside our hotel serve the same gou bu li
pau, but it’s RMB 20 for 4 pcs
– taxi touts

we were trying to hire cab off the streets, infront of those shopping malls, black cars kept stopping infront of us and urging us to hop in. we just ignored.
at wang fu jing, you will never ever find a metered cab. empty cabs can just drive pass you, without stopping, even with the for hire sign light on.
empty cabs are always quoting rates, another one that was willing to go by meter, has another guy in the passenger seat. we attempted to call a cab, but it never came.
finally queued for cab at a nearby hotel, waited in the queue for 1 hour, even though we were the 3rd in line
– jade scam

this is very very common, but the conman was so convincing that i have alot of colleagues fall for it. this story is gonna be so long haha.

first, we were brought inside a room in the jewellery shop, a lady attended to us and introduced us about jade and crystal i think. After that, she said that she will get another colleague in to further educate us in jade as that was her forte. We waited for really long, and a boyish smart looking man finally came in. He apologize for the wait, and explained that he is actually the son of the boss of the company, he was here for a yearly meeting, and since the lady who was suppose to attend to us is busy, he was requested to step in to help. He kept apologizing for being amature in this business, and was very keen to make more new overseas friends and explaining that his interest wasn’t in jade. But he had no choice to carry on this business.. blah blah blah. Okay so after some very long story about how rich his family is and how raw his skills are, he offered to give everyone of us a piece of jade as a gift. After that, he claims that the jewellery displayed outside are of lousy quality and that those higher grades one are locked up in a special room. He said that since we are special new friends, he will show us the good quality ones. After opening up a locked room, and showing us the special jewellery, he wants to give us all 50% discount for all our purchase, and even instructed the staff to put the discount under his account.. of cos, there were colleagues that purchased them.. the next day back at the hotel, they found something fishy, went to a pawn shop and tried to pawn the gold that they buy.. they were told that the gold that they had bought for RMB 500-1000 were of lower value.

Macau: 

– overcharging 

The few of us queued up to get drinks in a convenience store, all 3 of us were charged different price for the same mineral water. -.-

Bangkok:

– taxi scam 

taxis not wanting to go buy meter, or taxi agreeing to go by meter before you enter, and once you got on the taxi, and he drove off, he told you 200 baht straight in your face and refusing to turn on the meter. Claiming that the location you wanted to go is already close, telling you that he knows the place that you wanted to go but in fact he doesnt know.. Most taxi around pratunam area do not want to go buy meter, the tip we learned was to only board those cab that had just dropped off passengers. Usually these cabs are from the suburbs and they are more honest. Also avoid those that wanna bring you to a tailor shop in order to get your taxi ride at a mere 10 baht. We actually pity the driver that persuaded us to just go in see see and help him.. but after we came out empty handed.. he told us sorry, he wasnt given any taxi coupon by the tailor shop hence he cannot charge us 10 baht for our ride, we have to pay the full price and also wasted 30 mins of our time.

– too friendly locals

locals coming up to you and asking when you wanna go, or wanna bring you to somewhere. just say no. unless you know them.

Taipei:

– Charity Drive

This happen when we first reached Xi Men Ding looking lost haha. The same thing happen on my sis’ trip to taipei xi men ding too. We were just looking around when a young looking guy approached us. He was so nice, friendly, introduced himself, showed us this handheld fan that he and his classmate designed for a school project. And they are trying to sell this fan for charity and also to win points for their school project. He plead with us to help, talking non stop, and we bought a fan for NT 200. We realised something was wrong when he was doing the same thing to other tourist, suddenly a random police started walking towards them.. and the guy just starting running away. You dont run off from a police if you are doing something legal isnt it?

Tokyo:

– Friendly, helpful locals

Usually the locals will just wave that they had no idea what we are talking about whenever we tried to ask for directions. So that night we were at Shibuya, holding a map (bad bad mistake), looking for a particular shop. This middle age man, wearing shirt and pants and holding a briefcase, approached us, speaking in broken english, asked what help we needed, and told us that he knows what shop we are looking for. We agreed to follow him because he dressed so smartly! He brought us walking round and round, and we felt abit fishy already.. he then walked up to the policeman stationed at the train station, showed the policeman the shop we were looking for, brought us to the shop finally (the shop was all along in the train station which me and my friend did not notice -.-) and we were thanking him and waving goodbye when suddenly… he grab hold of our hands. He doesnt want to let us go. And he did this infront of a busy shibuya train station. He kept saying money money. My friend spoke to me in mandarin, to take out our coin purse and show him that we only have coins left. Thank god we separated our money. We open the purse and show him that we left these much.. luckily he accepted the coins and left. Omg. That was such a close shave.

These are so far what i have encounter! Please comment to share your experience too ! 🙂

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