Fake diamonds scam

Bangkok-scam-fake-diamondsKhao San Road is a popular destination for backpackers and tourists from all over the world. They come here to party, eat great food, and shop till they drop. But it’s also one of the locations where tourists are a prey for a classic Bangkok scam. A lot has already been written about this rip-off, but as long as there are tourists who haven’t heard of it and fall into the trap, these swindlers are not going to give up.

Tourists are approached by a tuk-tuk driver for a ride in the three-wheeled auto rickshaw that’s omnipresent in Bangkok, and he will offer them a very low rate, sometimes with the excuse that he gets subsidies from the government when he takes tourists for a ride. The driver either promises to take the tourists to a number of temples and attractions, the most famous of which is the “Big Buddha” temple, or when he is asked to take the tourists to a specific attraction, he will tell them that this particular attraction is unfortunately closed that day, but he can take them to other attractions.

Also read: Fake tourist police trying to lure you into buying worthless diamonds

To make his intentions look sincere, the driver will first actually take the tourists to the “Big Buddha” temple. But then he will start a conversation about diamonds or jewelry. Sometimes this first seed is planted by a friendly seeming local who starts a conversation with the tourists at one of the temples (most likely the one they will call the “Lucky Buddha” temple. This temple doesn’t officially exist, and could be different for each tourist or for each scammer), but the story is always similar: first some friendly chatter to build up trust, sometimes even by an official looking tourist police officer (check the Bangkok Tourist Police scam), and then giving away a free tip: “you are lucky, because this week and this week only (or only today)Bangkok-rip_off-fake-diamonds is diamond week in Bangkok, there are a lot of special promotions and it’s the best time for a great deal on precious gems. But only at an official government approved store (they say this to make you trust the store more easily). You could buy some jewellery here and sell it at a major profit when you return home, lots of people have done this before you and made a great deal of money.” Guess what? Lots of people have indeed done this before you and they’ve fallen for the infamous Bangkok Gem Scam as well.

Also read: Ripped off at giant Bangkok Diamond Center

Everything is aimed at getting you to the diamond center, where you will be lured into buying “certified” diamonds, sapphires or other gems, which appear real and of high value at first glance, but will prove worthless when you return home. Again, they promise that they can be sold in Europe or the US (or wherever you are from) for triple the asking price. There may even be other “buyers”, some even of Japanese or European origin, in or around the shop, confirming the story about the great deal that you could do and the profit they made by selling it at home, but beware that these are also in on the scam.

Always remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Bangkok and Thailand Tourist Scams Forum.

Watch this video on the Bangkok fake diamonds scam:

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