Thailand's most common scams

If you have visited Thailand more than a few times or lived in Thailand long enough it is quite sure that you have been scammed at least once. You may not even know that you have been scammed sometimes! Because people in Thailand 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 is only locals that are scamming you too but do not be fooled. There are plenty of foreigner men and women involved in scams in Thailand.

Some of the best scams in Thailand are those that have involved foreigners while the Thai people tend to lend themselves to petty scams.


Tuk Tuk Scams

Always agree on the destination and price before taking a Tuk Tuk!

Some travel experts advise travellers to avoid Tuk Tuks totally, as they are one of the easiest ways to get ripped off in Thailand.

But for many, their favourite thing about Thailand is whizzing down the crowded streets in a Tuk Tuk and listening music from your phone as many of the Tuk Tuk´s have AUX cable and speakers for music. It’s an experience you should try at least once! Just be careful.

Tuk Tuk rates vary depending on time of day, travelling distance, area of the city and whether you are in a large mainland city like Bangkok or in a smaller city like Chiang Rai. Tuk Tuk rides are usually more expensive the more secluded the area and the later the hour.

To avoid getting scammed, always establish exactly where you are going on a map and the price you are willing to pay before you go in a Tuk Tuk — once you are sitting, you are at the driver's mercy. Tuk Tuk drivers often have deals with shops that sell overpriced tourist items, silk and other commodities, and the Tuk Tuk may take you on a shopping tour instead of to Patpong or The Nana Plaza as you requested.

It’s also important to establish the price of your Tuk Tuk ride beforehand, as drivers tend to quote tourists very high rates. A good rule of thumb is to cut whatever they quote you in at least half and go from there. You will likely always pay over what you should, but it is more about the experience than the destination.

Taxi Scams

Only ride in metered taxis and understand the value of Thai baht before you go!

Taking a Taxi in Thailand can be cheaper, faster and more comfortable than riding in a Tuk Tuk or via bus, BTS skytrain or MRT subway, you can also get expertly hustled by taxi drivers.

The most important thing — always demand that the driver use the meter. If they refuse, find another taxi. Sometimes even if you agree on a max fare before you start your trip, the cab driver will increase it by the time you arrive.

Make sure to educate yourself about Thai baht before you get to Thailand, especially if you are using larger bills. A well known scam for cabs picking up new arrivals from the airport is to shortchange tourists who do not yet know enough about baht to notice they were given incorrect change. If you are confused, ask airport information what a typical fare should be for your jouney. However, most of the airports in Thailand have a taxi ticketing system, which means you get a ticket from a taxi stand or a machine at the airport. This way the taxi drivers can not really scam you. Uber is also a safe option in Thailand when you want to go from a place a to the place b.

Bus Scams

Beware of the fake tour bus scam in Thailand!

This is one of the most annoying scam of all in Thailand just because it has been going on for so long now no one has found out who did it. Some of tour operators in Kao san road must be being the scam that involves selling bus tickets to Chiang Mai or Phuket for less then 400 baht. Everyone thinks it is a deal and they all get picked up right there on kao san road no need to go anywhere! That is until they pack their laptops into their luggage only to be dumped off at a gas station outside of Bangkok. No one knows anything about the bus and the crime goes unnoticed and the tourists will notice their stuff stolen. The little Thai guy that goes through 30 backpackers bags pulls out all sorts of laptops, cameras, money, passports you name it! Do not get stung by this scam and go to the bus station!

Airline Scams

Purchase your ticket online or use only reputable tour operators!

This can be very expensive scam, and why you should not book anything at a unknown tour operator, especially high ticket items. Hundreds of people have booked an airline ticket through an Thai agency, only to get to the terminal to find that they have no airplane 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 common tour scam is to open a front shop wait to get enough customers then in their busiest time book everything a week in advance and just leave, this happens sometimes.

Marriage and Relationships Scams

Marriage Scam

This is maybe the oldest scam in Thailand and the amount of guys seeking romance in Thailand it's easy to see how it continues to be a problem. The marriage scam is not always intentional either, but the money hungry girls who actually go out their way to do this are trash.

The girls who do this over and over again are beer bar girls in their later 20s early 30s and speak English very well. They will have sex with you and do make you feel like a god meanwhile asking you for $70,000 Sin Sod (Thai Dowry). Sometimes they will just go through the whole wedding before splitting but if she gets the money sooner you will not even make it to the wedding.

Sex and Prostitution Scams

The PingPong Sex Show Scam

For many people, the only reason to visit Patpong in Bangkok is to see a Ping pong show.

See Also

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