Lured into Jamaican ghetto and extorted by fake guides

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  • #838 Reply

    Brittany

    On our first day in Jamaica, we decided we wanted to see a little of the island before indulging ourselves in the all-inclusive hotel. We took a stroll into Montego Bay, and within ten minutes a friendly Jamaican came walking beside us, asking all kinds of questions.
    He seemed like a nice guy, genuinely interested in the guests on his island. After another two minutes, another man joined us as well, which we found a bit odd, but not yet disturbing. We passed a little church, and the men started to explain some things about the artifacts and the history of this place. They then told us to follow them to see a few other interesting things.
    We weren’t sure about their intentions and contemplated whether we’d better just explore the city on our own, using our Lonely Planet guide. But they already started walking and somehow we just followed them. We visited a few other sights that were in the travel guide books as well, when we noticed that there were less and less other tourists around, and we were getting further from the city center.
    We told them this was as far as we wanted to go, and we just wanted to return to the city center. But they insisted, telling us that they would show us the real Jamaica, not the Jamaica that all the other tourists get to see. “You won’t see our island from your hotel room”.
    He then took us into a small bar, full of other Jamaicans, where we had a round of drinks. We gladly paid for the drinks, as they had been walking in the blazing sun with us for twenty minutes already.
    Before walking out, they told us they would bring us back to where we met them, but only if we would pay them for the tour. Their price was 4,000 Jamaican Dollars each (US$ 35), which is as much as a whole week’s salary in Jamaica, for a twenty minute tour!
    We told them we were glad to pay them for their time, but this price was just too much for what we got. Then they became very intimidating, telling us we were not safe on our own in this neighborhood, and we needed them to bring us back to a safe area.
    We didn’t want any trouble, and the mood in the bar was starting to become hostile, so we gave them the money they asked for and we were taken back to the initial meeting spot, as promised.
    Welcome to Jamaica, our holiday pleasure was spoiled on the first day on the island.

  • #841 Reply

    Tourist-Scams
    Keymaster

    What a scary story, Brittany. I hope you got to enjoy the rest of your holiday on the Island.
    These fake guides run a very sophisticated play and it’s easy to fall for this scam.
    Read more at http://tourist-scams.com/jamaica/scam-fake-guides/

  • #3732 Reply

    NaiveNiceGuy

    Alright, first of, thank you ‘Brittany’ for writing down the entire story. It saves us a lot of time already!

    I wished i’ve read this before going to Jamaica.

    The name of the 2 guy’s you’re reffering to are Marcus (43yo) and Steve (about the same age). I saw Marcus’ ID whilst chatting up with hime during the walk, so I can verify this.

    Clever as he was, he told us he works as a cleaning guy at our hotel, starting to name us some of the people at the desk and the layout if the hotel. This made us believe him he was an actual worker there.

    We told them plenty of times there was no need to folow us, still Marcus insisted he’d come with us. When we got to the old church, his friend Steve came along. Which we also found suspicious. Anyway, we continiued our walk to uppertown and back downtown (took about an hour). After we sat down for a drink. And me and my GF decided to give them 10usd each because they did gave us a good tour in fact (i’ve seen a lot worse professional ones asking double). When I kindly offered them the money they also became hostile and asked for 30usd each. In the end we gave 20usd each, after which he had the guts to ask 15usd for the drinks (while the woman of the bar was just sitting there and listening to this BS). Kindly told him to F*** off, since we knew the beers where only 400jmd in total.

    In the end they left us where we met. Me still feeling stupid writing this after 2 days… At least he had 1 thing right. He promised that we’d learn the ‘jamaican way’ in his tour…

    Beware visitors of jamaica. Hate to say it, but nobody here is friendly without a cost… Some even try to give you a cab ride to a beach that is 10 meters walking.. Seriously!

  • #3733 Reply

    NaiveNiceGuy

    Oh and just for the record, i asked the hotel workers if they knew anyone named marcus… Nope.. No marcus. Christoffer then warned us about those things happening to other guests as well. So, be advised.

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