How To Avoid These Common Traveler Scams As You Plan A Southeast Asia TripBy Stephen M
South-Eastern Asia has numerous interesting attraction sites, making the region one of the preferred tourism destinations for travelers and tourists. With thousands of tourists trooping in each year, some fraudsters have also taken advantage to swindle unaware people. You may meet several friendly and generous people during your trip, but remember that not all that glitters is gold. Some may pretend to be nice but later take advantage of your vulnerability. Therefore, you should be careful, vigilant, and look out for these common scams to avoid being a victim.
VIP Bus Scams
This bus scam is widespread in Cambodia and Thailand. Every tourist wants some level of comfort when traveling to a tourist site. As such, most opt for a VIP ticket instead of a regular one. But what happens mostly is that, after the teller has sold these VIP tickets, they tell the travelers that the VIP bus has broken down and replace it with a regular one. However, no refund of the price difference is done.
Another one happens when crossing the Thailand-Cambodia border. With this, the bus driver can intentionally slow down for the border to close or the ferry to stop operating if you are to use one. He then tells passengers that there is a guesthouse very close, where they can lodge. It is a plan to get the guesthouse customers.
Encounter with “deprived” kids
Kids are adorable and innocent, with no tendency to commit a crime. However, some criminals leverage these traits to engage kids in all sorts of crimes, including robbery. These kids can approach you with all kinds of stories before you realize your phone or money is gone. Others can approach you as deprived kids and ask for food or. You may want to buy some food or groceries for them. But these kids may later return the items to the shop and take cash.
You can avoid this by being cautious when kids start approaching you. Be careful with your money and valuables!
Street Drug Sales Scam
There might be serious trouble with this kind of scam. While on the street, an unknown person can just approach you and offer you drugs, probably at a cheap price. When you buy it, you may meet a cop some few steps ahead who would request to check your document. The cop would also search you, and once s/he finds the drug, you would have to pay a bribe or face the law.
Avoid this by being careful with the people you deal with especially when it is drug-related.
Phone snatching by people on scooters has been happening everywhere. While receiving a call, someone on a scooter would pass by you, snatch the phone, and speed off. Be careful not to keep your phone put away when out and about.