Tuk-tuk scam

Bangkok-scam-tuk_tuk-driversA similar scam to the Bangkok fake diamonds scam, except for the diamonds. Tourists are lured into a super cheap ride by a friendly looking tuk-tuk driver, who will tell them the government gives him fuel coupons if he takes foreign tourists for a ride in his tuk-tuk. Of course this is not true, he gets a kickback from every overpriced store and every overpriced restaurant where the tourists spend their money.

So if they’re lucky, the tourists may initially be shown a handful of attractions before the driver starts taking them to all kinds of shops, encouraging the tourists to shop for silk, rugs, tailored suits, gems or even just souvenirs. It starts with a friendly “Just for looking” or “this shop is owned by my brother/uncle/friend” and it’s always “cheap, cheap”, but if the tourists are reluctant to buy anything, the driver can become ever more persuasive for them to spend their money somewhere. The reason is obvious: he rakes in a commission on every sale made to a tourist that he brings in.

Also read: Tuk-tuk driver takes us to wrong restaurant: Somboondee Seafood Market

Bangkok-rip_off-tuk_tuk-driversSo if you are actually interested in shopping in Bangkok, make sure you don’t bring in a tuk-tuk driver, as they are paid a commission from the shops, which means you end up paying far too much for your merchandise. Never ask a tuk-tuk driver or even a taxi driver for recommendations of a restaurant, as they are unlikely to take you to the best place in town. An infamous one in Bangkok is the “Somboondee Seafood Market” next to the Phaya thai BTS station, a restaurant which is known to pay locals and tuk-tuk drivers to recommend it to unsuspecting tourists, and then overcharges them by 3 to 4 times the regular price, for just average quality food (also read the Bangkok Somboondee Seafood Market scam).

If it sounds too cheap to be true, it’s not true. Don’t trust tuk-tuk drivers who offer an all-day tour for as little as 10 Baht. Sure, they’ll take you around all day long, but you won’t see many tourist attractions and will be taken to one souvenir shop or gem store after another, where you will be pushed to spend your money.


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