Thailand’s top ten scams, how to avoid them

The 'I'm pregnant' scam is a favourite among some Thai women
Create your own banner at!

Thailand is constantly voted as one of the world’s top destinations featuring Buddhist temples, exotic wildlife, and spectacular islands.

Along with a fascinating history and a unique culture that includes delectable Thai food and massage, Thailand features a modern capital city and friendly people who epitomise Thailand’s “land of smiles” reputation.

Read – Aussie media labels Thailand ‘Land of Scams’

Read – The Jack Report: Are Days Numbered For The Thai Tourist Industry?

Create your own banner at!

Read – Top 10 commandments for Thai bar girls

Read – Thai bar girl commandments – Part two

But that is only half od the story. Read on for the ten most common scams you can fall victim to in the Land of Smiles.

#1 The Grand Palace is Closed Scam


This scam can happen near any tourist attractions, where tourists are told that the attractions that they are visiting are closed for various reasons.

You should ignore them and head directly to the attraction to see for yourself or you might end up either in a gem store or a tailor shop.

#2 The Thai Gem Scam


This is the infamous scam, where you would be told that you can sell the gems at a very high price and make a profit in your country, or they might scare you are try to lead you into buying the gems for health reasons.

Check out this guy’s story – How I was scammed? The Infamous Thai Gem Scam.

#3 The Wrong Change Scam


A common scam at provision shops or mini-marts in tourist areas is to give your change as if you have given them a 500 baht note instead of a 1000 baht note.

Many tourists are not familiar with the Thai baht and do not notice that their change is incorrect.

Always check your change and the money that you give to the cashier.

#4 The Jet Ski Scam


Frequently found in Pattaya and Phuket, many found themselves being asked to pay an exuberant amount of money for dents in the jet ski after they return their rented jet ski.

Unknown to tourists is that many before them have paid for the scratches and dents. Make sure that you document all dents or scratches for motorcycles, cars and jet ski.

#5 The PatPong Sex Show Scam


Don’t believe the touts outside who say free sex shows and drink for only 100 baht each. You would end up paying thousands, stay clear if you are alone as they can turn violent if you refuse to pay.

Try to get your hotel to recommend if you want to watch a PatPong sex show.

#6 The Hualamphong Scam


You might be approached by an official looking person, who would say that they will help you to book your train tickets.

The official looking person would take you to their nearby travel agent and pretend to ring the train booking office, and they would tell you that the train is full and the only way to get there would be by bus.

#7 The Long Distance Bus Scam


On long distance bus, many would place their bags at the bottom area of the bus, and or at the back of the bus.

Many people have had things stolen from their bags on overnight bus trips, and some have reported they were drugged and found their money missing when they woke up.

It is best to place your valuables with you instead of in your luggage in the compartment.

#8 The Airport Taxi Scam


Official looking touts would pretend that they are meter taxis and tell you that it is 500-1000 baht to go into town.

The meter taxi outside is less than half of this, while the police have tried to crack down on them but they are back.

Simply ignore anyone who asks if you want a taxi, or tries getting a grab car or uber.

#9 The Blackjack Scam


This usually starts when someone asks you where you are from, they would mention that they have relatives hoping to study or working in your country.

He would ask if you can go and meet them as they have some questions about your country.

At their house, you would end up playing blackjack with them, which they would then ask you to help them to cheat someone out of their money.

In the end, you would be the one scammed out of your money instead.

#10 The Fake Pregnancy Scam


A popular scam these days is your long distance girlfriend writing to you to say she is pregnant with your baby. She would either ask you to help to pay for the abortion or for money to raise the baby.

What she doesn’t tell you is that she has already written to other foreigners telling them the same plight.

The largest gimmick is that there is some medicine in Isaan that swells their belly to make them look like they are pregnant if you decide to fly in to visit them. The best way is to get an ultrasound to know if they are really pregnant.

Be careful when travelling in Thailand, and do not give any chances to the various scams. Bernard the Traveller

Create your own banner at!