30 June 2016
Travelling in another country is a fulfilling adventure especially when you're exploring cultures that are very different from your own. But when you become a victim of a tourist scam, it can leave you with a tarnished perspective on the country and its people.
Thailand boasts over 25 million visitors per year and the majority of tourists have a fantastic time enjoying the world renowned Thai hospitality, stunning beaches and grand royal palaces - so if you are thinking of travelling to Thailand and want your experience to be unforgettable for the right reasons, keep an eye out for the scams below.
This is a scam that involves airport shops in Bangkok, Thailand. One major retailer that made BBC headlines in the UK is the King Power duty free shopping company in Suvarnabhumi, the city's main airport. Some unscrupulous members of staff were accusing customers of shoplifting after intentionally not providing receipts, or not charging them for products that the customers thought they had purchased legitimately. The scammers then searched and questioned the customers who ended up paying on the spot fines in order to avoid the fear of a long court case or possible prison sentance.
Try to make sure that you book your hotel before you arrive in Thailand. By doing so, you avoid getting scammed by hotel agents at the airport. These agents may show you great pictures of beautiful hotels which you book at very high prices. However, upon arriving at the hotel, you realise that you are at a cheaper, unattractive hotel that you have paid too much for.
Be vigilant when going to the Grand Palace in Bangkok, or to any other tourist attraction. Conmen can approach you advising that they are closed for the day. They then take advantage of your initial confusion and suggest an alternative tourist attraction where they can take you. You'll soon realise that you have ended up in a shop where gems are on sale! They will add pressure by telling you it’s the last day and so you really have to be quick and the gems will be shipped directly to your home address. You then end up buying low quality gems at very high prices that you rarely ever receive.
If you feel victorious that you've persuaded the cab driver to use the meter, think again! Some taxi drivers in Thailand have found a way to manipulate their meters so they run at a faster rate and charge you more for shorter distances. If you carefully watch the meter, you will realise that they run faster than normal and you can end up paying up to three times more than the usual amount.
Some tuk-tuk drivers have come up with a scam where they tell tourists that they will be charged 20 Baht to go wherever they need to. But instead of taking you to your destination, these drivers may just take you in circles around the city and eventually charge you a lot more than the 20 Baht.
Make your holiday a safe and memorable one by being vigilant at all times and at the very least, be aware of common scams, especially if you're a solo travelling. Check out Globelink's Comprehensive Travel Insurance and our special cover for valuables to keep your belongings safe or call +44 (0)1353 699082 to contact directly GLOBELINK TRAVEL INSURANCE CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM.