Saturday, August 29, 2009

Travel Scams

The following account is by Alex whose interesting blog, beautifully illustrated with his superb images,can be found at (A Malaysian Photo Blog and Travelogue)

I hope he doesn't mind I give his account prominence here as I think all travellers should be alerted to the various travel scams. ROGER

"In Thailand, there is a scam infamously known as the Bangkok Gem Scam.

Love, lust, deceit & money. Why leave his wallet and gold ring in the presence of a total stranger. That is silly.

Well, I was charmed by a sweet talker to part away my RM200 late last year. I was actually waiting for an inter-city train at KL Sentral to Kedah. I was reading a book on the departure platform. This 40++ guy approached me and bombarded me with his 'problem'. From the conversation, I was 'convinced' that:

a) He was robbed while sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur
b) He is the new Citibank Regional Manager posted to Malaysia head office. He has in-depth knowledge about Citibank opration including the exact name of the BIG BOSS.
c) He needed RM200 to book a hotel in Penang while waiting for his credit card to be reissued.
d) He was holding a valid ticket to Butterworth.
e) He gave his hand phone number to me and also asked for my banking account number for him to deposit back my money.

Strange enough, the number given to me was valid. I waited for three weeks and called him again asking him to return my money. Later, I threatened to lodge a police report. It was a losing battle. End of day....nobody pick up my call anymore.

I learnt my lesson...the hard way!"


  1. Hi Roger!

    In Kuala Lumpur (especially Puduraya, KL Sentral, Chinatown & Bukit Bintang), you will encounter loads of sweet talker with an assured and ingratiating manner.

    Normally, I ignored them completely and walk away. The story presented to me is fake and full of bullshit.

    But, that guy who cheated me is a PRO! He sounds so convincing. Coincidentally, we travel on the same coach. He was not really persuasive. He talk about his foreign wife, his kids in Singapore International School, regional politics and other stuffs. Looking back, I have to say...IT WAS STRANGE. Seems like talking to a long lost friend.

    He only asked for RM200 again by 4:30am. I still remember seeing his desperate look.

    I guess I was stupid enough to belief his story. Why I parted my RM200? Well a) He gave me his contactable hand phone number b) He does not look like an ordinary crook - intelligent c) He was not persuasive in the first place d) His story and everything else seems genuine to me.

    So, after this episode, I will never ever give money to total it beggars, monks :(

    By the way, thanks for the introduction about my blog :)


  2. The cliche goes, "Never take candy from a stranger." Likewise, "Never give candy to a stranger..."

    In Venice, when you come down from the tourist bus, a beautiful girl flashes herself before you. Before the smile leaves your face an accomplice beside her snatches your bag or whatever and dashes off!

    And never expect eye candy for free!

  3. Thank you Alex and Andy for your stories.

    Alex, if you like music Andy Young has a very popular and interesting blog at Like you, Andy is assiduous in frequent updates of his blog.

  4. The passion to travel and the passion for music. Sama sama!