What we did to recover our money

We are among the lucky few who managed to recover every single cent (less exchange rate loss) of the money we were swindled for.

Here is a description of what we did.


(written on 9th October 2006)

I reached Bangkok last Thursday afternoon and was back by Friday night. Miraculously, I got back 100% of the money, albeit on two Credit Notes issued by Yin Dee. We are currently monitoring our credit card accounts but were told that it will take about seven days. (NOTE: The credit notes didn’t go through and eventually, our Thai friend went to Yin Dee to get cash back for us.)

In my opinion, there were a few factors that helped us get back the full amount, which I’d share with you, and other current/future victims. Of course, it’s just my experience, and different people who have been conned by different companies would probably have different outcomes.

Firstly, we spent some money to get a Gemologist in Singapore to write a report on the gemstones. According to him, he has been doing this for many a Singaporean victims. His findings were that the gemstones, although genuine, had been given ‘Beryllium Treatment’, which should have been reflected on the certificates. He felt that the very fact that this had been hidden from the buyers is sufficient for us to ask for a refund since it was a false representation. He said that, if required, we could challenge the shop to bring the gemstones to the GIT (Gemology Institute of Thailand) to verify his report. BTW, we spent S$60 for each report and incurred a total of S$240. So, my first piece of observation is, if the amount that was conned is a few times more than the amount that is paid for the reports, a victim should get the reports done. If needed, I would be glad to help victims get in touch with our gemologist in Singapore. However, the gemologist would need to physically examine the gemstones to come up with the reports.

Secondly, two Thai-speaking friends (one was a local Thai girl, the other was a Thai-speaking Singaporean man who had been staying in Thailand for more than 4 years) went with me to the Tourist Police Division situated on the 19th Floor of Bangkok Tower (sorry, I don’t have the exact address off-hand), and they, rather than me, were the people who were doing the talking more than 90% of the time. The Tourist Policemen were pretty friendly with my friends. Actually, the Tourist Policemen must have told Yin Dee something because when the rep from Yin Dee arrived at the place, there wasn’t even any negotiation – that guy just produced two signed credit notes (credit card) of the full amount with our names already imprinted on them. I’m not sure if the presence of the Thai-speaking people made a difference, but it certainly made my job simpler. I would urge other victims to try to get a Thai-speaking person to accompany him/her – it’s so much simpler and less frustrating.

On hindsight, it might just be due to our good fortunes (I just hope the credit notes go through) that we got back the full amount. All we did was to maximize our chances, by getting the gemstone reports and getting Thai-speaking friends to accompany us.


Appended 8th November 2006 below.


Just to summarize – DON’T ACCEPT CREDIT NOTES!!!

My credit notes didn’t go through even after 4 weeks, and I had to ask my Thai friend to help again. Thank goodness, she was able to go straight to Yindee and asked for cash, which they finally obliged – the whole amount of THB 136,000+ was paid to her using THB 1000 notes! I don’t know the details, but I understand she has some police contacts.

In short, we should advise fellow victims NOT TO ACCEPT CREDIT NOTES BUT INSIST ON CASH.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bangkok Gems, Bangkok Tourists, Scam, Singapore, Thai Gem Scam, Yindee

63 Comments on “What we did to recover our money”

  1. chuach Says:

    I got conned bvy Yindee for 128000 Baht for same reasons on 29.04.2007. Think you can assist provide your friend’s contact for helo? We were given drinks and felt giddy. when we sent items for valuation – same reasons.Thank you.will reciprocate.

  2. agstthaigemscam Says:

    Please refer to the steps stated in my entries. You’ll need to find local Thai contacts to help you get back your money. Good luck.

  3. James Says:

    The same thing has just happened to me.. Any chance I could get your friemds contact details. Unfortunately I do not have the luxery of been able to go back to Bangkok.. Is there anyway of acheveing the same reult without having to actually go back

  4. Jimmy Says:


    My wife and me got conned into it too 😦
    Could you kindly provide us the gemologist that you went to? We need to get our ring tested and verified before proceeding to get help from Thai Embassy.

  5. Eric Says:


    Thank you for your blog, creating awareness for this Thai gem scam. This is the power of internet. Otherwise, I might not have known the truth.

    Just to share with you my story ….

    My wife and I just returned from Bangkok last night and out of curiosity, I decided to google for “Yindee Lapidary” and found your blog.

    After reading it, i’m sad to realise that my wife and I are victims of this thai gem scam, too.

    Our story is almost 100% similar as your encounter.

    We were at Pratunam also when we encounter this gentleman with white hair, dressed very smartly in suit and he introduced himself as the Chief Security at Grand Diamond Hotel, the hotel we were staying. Thinking back, how did he know we were staying at Grand Diamond, when we have not met him there before? Hmmm ….

    He then told the same story … Today is a Buddha holiday in Thailand … Must go to “Lucky Buddha Temple” Wat Tapan, go by tuk-tuk 30 baht only … Mentioned that his sister-in-law working in Poh Heng, every year come back twice to buy gemstones from Yindee Lapidary for Poh Heng … blah blah blah …. Since it is a special day, we thought why not go there and pray as we have some time to spare before checking out of hotel.

    At the “Lucky Buddha Temple” Wat Tapan, we encounter this guy in his forties, who told us to sit in the temple for 9 mins after praying and he proceed to strike a conversation with us. He claim to be a Thai Airways pilot, living in Phuket, going to Australia, Sdyney, to visit his daughter who is studying there. He then showed us a receipt that he buy a gem set from Yindee Lapidary (oh, so coincidence??) for US$5000 (they have this anniversary sale, 30% discount) and planned to sell it in Sdyney for US$7500. He told us we can sell them off in Singapore, Poh Heng in Lucky Plaza, to look for this bald guy (Mr Lee), tell him Thai Airline officer recommend us. He was very convincing, pulling photos, gems catalog, passport from his pouch.

    According to him, next time we come to Bangkok for holiday, we should also buy 3 handphones, 2 laptops from Changi Airport (as tourists can carry that much into Thailand without needing to pay tax) and go straight to MBK to sell them off and earn a profit to pay for our stay in Bangkok, otherwise, we are stupid not to do that.

    Thinking that we must be “lucky” to encounter this benefactor, who told us how to make money, we decide to visit Yindee Lapidary to take a look.

    Once there, this friendly elderly lady (looks to be in her 60s or 70s) showed us some ruby and sapphire rings (for good luck, career) and try to get us to look at the gems set. As we are quite in a hurry to get back to hotel, we did not look at the gems set.

    In the end, we bought 2 sapphire rings for around 60700THB (about S$2700 singapore dollars), with 30% discount, last day of the anniversary sale. She claimed that Poh Heng is selling this in Singapore for about S$7000, so it is a good bargain.

    Little did we know that she was out to scam us. Appearances can be quite deceiving.

    I must admit that i bought the rings, partly for good luck if we wear and keep it and partly in the hope of making a profit, should we decide to sell them off in future.

    I paid using DBS bank credit card and will call the bank later to see if can prevent the transaction from going through.

    I will share again the outcome.

    Hope I will have good luck to get back my money after praying at the “Lucky Buddha Temple” Wat Tapan.

  6. Eric Says:

    Just spoke to DBS bank … they cannot hold the transaction as it was authorised by myself

    So, i have to get the gems assessed and pursue the matter with Yindee Lapidary to get a refund or exchange worth the amount that i paid, should the gems turn out to be of inferior quality.

    Haiz … who can protect the consumers? just myself for being gullible to be scammed

    Can you kindly share with me on the gemologist contact in Singapore? Email me at
    ericngy at gmail dot com


  7. Samantha Says:


    I encountered a similiar scam involving a different company. Is it possible for you to email me the gemologist’s contact in Singapore?

    my email address is li_07_sa@hotmail.com

    Million thanks!

  8. trixie Says:


    i think i got scammed by yin dee lapidary. realised it when i touched down in singapore and googled for the company name. should not have been so gullible

    got cheated at pratunam center as there were a series of people who told me about the reknown yin dee exports in the same way as the rest dictated above.

    unfortunately i cannot go back to bkk. could you give me the contact of the gemologist you went to and some advice of what i can do??

    thank you

  9. sihui Says:

    Sad but true – May I have ythe contact of the Gemologist in Singapore

  10. beebee Says:

    May I have the contact of your gemologist in Singapore? Thanks much!

  11. bee Says:

    May I have the contact of your gemologist in Singapore? Thanks much!

  12. John Says:

    Hi there,

    I just came back from Thailand this month and had been the victim of the yindees. I am based in Melbourne Australia this is first trip overseas and would like to know what I may be able to do to recover some if not all of my cost. I paid $32,000bht and also do not have the luxury of going back to BKK. Wil your Thai friend be able to help? I know that you must get lots of these emails asking you for your help but I would really appreciate if we can recover some of the cost. I am willing to reimburse all cost associated with your help. I sincerely hope to hear from you. Thank You.

  13. carol Says:

    I have been in this scam too 2 weeks ago.
    Will be going back to bangkok next month to meet the tourist police .
    Can i have the address of your gemologist in Singapore ?

  14. carol Says:

    I have got the gemologist contact . Thanks (which can be found from his blog ” Two more in a month”)
    Will be going back bangkok in the next 2 weeks.

  15. Ichigo Says:


    I am a Singaporean victim of the same scam. May i have the contact of the gemologist in Singapore? I would sincerely like to hear from you. Thanks.

  16. Ken Says:


    I also SIngaporean who just get scam on last month in my Thailand trip, could u also give me ur gemologist contact? Thank you.

  17. Chloe Says:

    I’m a Malaysian just came back from Thailand yesterday and had been the victim of the yindees. I would like to know what I may be able to do to recover some if not all of my cost. I do not have the luxury of going back to BKK. Will your Thai friend be able to help? I know that you must get lots of these emails asking you for your help but I would really appreciate if we can recover some of the cost. I am willing to reimburse all cost associated with your help. I sincerely hope to hear from you. Thank You.

  18. Lihui Says:

    I am a Singaporean victim of the same scam. May i have the contact of the gemologist in Singapore? I would like to file for a dispute and get my money back.
    Thank you so much for your information.

  19. ang Says:

    hi, i am a victim of the same scam. just want to know any of you success to get ur refund? i will need more information if you already success to claim your money.
    you can email to my alpooi@hotmail.com

    thank you

  20. Daryl Says:

    Hi, i am a victim of similar scam.
    I need to know how many of you guys manage to claim back your money.
    Was thinking whether or not to spend more money to get the gems report.
    Please kindly email if you manage to claim back your money and how.
    Thanks a lot.
    My email is mickeyunderwear@gmail.com

  21. Lisa Says:


    My friends have been conned by Yindee for S$10,000 and they are devastated to find out that they have been cheated. May i please have the contact of the gemologist? Many thanks.

  22. Carol Says:

    i really hate to think of the many victims who dun know about this blog.

    Keep up KG!!!

  23. Carol Says:

    just to help : gemologist contact can be found right above here

    just click “two more in a month”

  24. clubsiam Says:

    I have been involved with the tourism industry in Thailand. Meeting thousands of tourists, I see what is going on these days.
    Local Thais haver NO IDEA what is happening to tourism.
    I care. I have many Thai friends, some in the tourist industry. All of them have been complaining about how slow business has been. Thousands of visitors getting scammed every week cannot be good. ..and I am doing somthing about it.

    Over the years I have come to believe that there is no real rule of law here. No protection other than money and connections.
    As foreigners, we have even less protection than the Thais who enjoy slightly less than no protection.

    Dozens of scammers working over tourists at Thailand most famous sites has been going on too long.
    These scammers have morphed into a powerful tourist mafia that is untouchable, supported by the Police.
    Here is my evidence.

    If you visit the Grand Palace, it is very likely, that near the entrance you will be approached by someone wearing a uniform and looking very official who will tell you that The Palace is closed for a couple of hours except to local people. He will then offer to arrange a tuc-tuc to take you to some other places of interest in the area,whilst you wait for the palace to re-open.!

    There is a vast conspiracy to defraud every tourist that enters the Country.
    It starts at the Airport at the baggage pickup. (AOT LIMO SCAM).
    Hundreds of Tourist Mafia Touts have free reign in the arrival hall. Thing is about touts at the new airport, most unsuspecting tourists wouldn’t even think they were touts as they operate in such a position that they seem official – right outside arrivals, in uniforms!. Fake ID tags
    Fake Customs officers, transport officials (in uniform) scamming travelers as the exit.

    Did you know that the taxies ‘parked’ by the hotels are almost all scammers?
    Yes. Honest drivers are not allowed to park adjacent to the hotels.
    Every expat knows this but I’m sure the locals Thais don’t realize this.
    What about the Tuk Tuiks on my Soi?
    All they do is lie to tourists. Do you actually think they are there to give tourists rides to the Temples etc?
    Every one of them in the Tourist Zone is a scammer these days.

    How about the Fake Students and their Fake Survey. They even have the nerve to wear the AMAZING THAILAND logo! How many tourists do they harass every day?

    Let’s discuss the FAKE MONKS working over tourists all over town. How can they be tolerated?

    I won’t mention the FAKE BEGGAR team diverting all the donations to the poor.
    The Sukhumvit/Silom Museum of Horrors; The beggers are working for a street gang, diverting donation for the poor into the pockets of street mafia.
    The proceeds go to the punks that own the sidewalks.(Police)

    How about the recent escalation of the LITTERING POLICE harassing tourists all day long. That is a huge problem, I’m sure the Thais are not aware of this. Representatives from Embassies have been asking for this to stop.

    Did you know the Thong Lor Police have been doing random searches of foreigners?
    Yes, they are pulling them out of taxies and searching/intimidating them.Especially near Soi22.

    What happens when a tourist walks into Hualumphong Station looking to buy a ticket? Scammers approaching every tourist that enter the Station, displaying what is a bogus ID card saying they are with the TAT. YES, inside the Station, in front of security/management.

    Look at the Sala Daeng MRT/BTS area. The Tourist Mafia has representatives there too, all day, every day.

    Look at the BTS platform/Skywalk near MBK..Yes they are there too and the BTS guards allow it.

    The Tourist Mafia has agents at the intersection of Sukhumvit Soi 18 & 20 trolling for tourists that stay at the hotels there.

    Walk down Silom and you will meet the Tourist Mafia at all the major intersections and near the hotels. They usually are very well dressed and have some scamming Tuk Tuk driver close by to take you to the next stage of the con game.

    Should I get into the Baht Bus Scams on the Islands?

    What about double pricing? Even at places like Ocean World where they sneakily put the local price in Thai Script! I’m guessing the reason they put the Thai price in Thai scipt is so that no tourists would ever spot the different price.

    To be continued..

    • soya Says:

      I’m one of the victim too, But i’m lucky to say that money is what i’ve lost and luckily i still can afford to pay my credit bills, that i spend at Yindee Laidary Co’ ltd,

      Dont your Govt doing something to Protect us Tourists. in Future who dares to Travel to Bangkok!!!?!?!?! dishonest behaver every where!!They really disgrace their Parents and Country!! we would not like to visit again!!!!
      even if it’s free ! if serious matters happen when we in bangkok no human being can even help us !!!!i honestly we feel unsave!!!

      As a buddhism Country of thailand Bangkok we really feel very sad. . .for those who has to lie for A leaving …it is a dishonest, greedest thought for a bowl of rice.

      My grandmum,father and mother always remind us and also teaches us not to lie or white lie only if you are helping for good ! cannot take ppls things! learn to share and care for ppls…be honest and always be brave to admit your mistakes..and stay to enjoy the real happyness is life!!! thank to them !!and the buddhist teaching that we learn ,and we still learning , and we hope one day hell’s can be empty…

      Lastly to the Mafia,
      Pls Stop !You only bring no profit to your country ! and not knowing that, they’re Also putting their next life’s in a handful of Bad Deeds !! please, Believes in KARMA !

      And Hoping that all Human Being Please Wake up ! You’ll have to Pray for Forgiveness and one day Hopes all of you can turn over a leaves Like a “Lotus Flower” no matters how muddy the water Is they’re still grow to beauty the surrounding !!!

  25. clubsiam Says:

    Photos of the Erawan Shrine Tourist Mafia here:

  26. VictorTan Says:

    Hi. I am a Malaysian who was conned for 13000 baht but managed to get a credit voucher upon finding out that it is all a scam. I have waited for two weeks but it has not been credited into my account yet. As per your advise not to accept credit notes, I am worried that my credit will not go through too. As I do not have contacts in Bangkok, can you kindly ask the help of your friend?
    Thank you

  27. naron Says:


    My friends have been conned by Yindee for S$10,000 and they are devastated to find out that they have been cheated. May i please have the contact of the gemologist? Many thanks.

  28. clubsiam Says:

    Reports on the gem scam here.

    bangkokscams.com website

  29. Penny Says:

    Hi I was also scammed,

    though not to the same amount others were I bought 2 rings, one for 10,000 baht the other 25,000 baht. I had some jewellers here in London look at the more expensive ring, and they told me it was worth 80% of the value i paid, so whilst i have not lost everything, if i were to sell them here I would not get everything back.

    I would prefer to return them, but I unfortunately cannot make it back to Bangkok until October, which i don’t know whether then it would be acceptable to return them to the store due to the long time period. A jeweller recommended that i sell them on ebay… may have to try my luck.

    But if you are looking for help, i did meet a thai tourist police officer at Khao San Road tourist police office, he was thai, spoke good english and was telling me stories about people getting ripped off, at the time i showed him one of the receipts for 10,000 baht, but he said that was a good price, but unfortunately i didn’t show him the ring at the time, just the name of the store, which he didn’t recognise, though because of the location he knew they sold real jewels (Chin Jewellery). He however helped many tourists to get there money back, he was helping a guy from Poland at the time get his money back from one store (This guy had spent 500,000 baht on a diamond ring) he had guaranteed he would get the man back 95 – 100% of his money

    So my word of recommendation is if you are able to get back to Bangkok and looking for a thai tourist police officer to help, maybe pop into Khao San road and look for the police officer who is friendly, in his 40s and speaks the best english out of all of them…

    Until then if anyone can give advice about whether time is an issue in returning gems to the store please let me know… because i will rebook my flight via bangkok if it’ll allow me to return the gems.

    Had i had realised my mistake before i had flown, i would have gone to find him again, he didn’t take any money for helping tourists, he seemed quite genuine.

  30. QiQi Says:

    HiHi, I guess I am also being conned. Only after I google for the company name and realised that this shop is black listed. Could I have the contact of the gemologist and really appreciate if you could advise me on how to get my $$$ back. Keep in touch by email.

  31. Fiona Goh Says:

    Hi, I’m Malaysia and jus back frm Bangkok yest. I got scammed also from Yindee after my google search on gems stones & the shop name. What should i do now?

  32. Po Says:

    Hi. Unfortunately I am being conned too and i just realized that when i googled the company’s name. Actually will reporting to TAT help us get the money back? Can i have the contacts of your gemologists too? I may not be able to head back to Bangkok within this year. Is there anything else i can do? Please advise. Thank you very much. Truly appreciate it.

  33. Mich Says:

    Hi. I have also been conned Thb39600.
    Can you kindly forward me the contacts of your gemologists. Do keep in touch.

  34. Tom Says:


    My family and I were conned about a week back during our trip to Bangkok. We had the same experience as many of the other victims. We searched the name of the company (Yindee Lapidary) which sold us what claimed to be orange sapphires through Google and realized that we were cheated. Also upon checking with 2 cerified gemologists, those gems were not actual orange sapphires but already treated with beryllium. We were conned of >130000 THB which is very devastating. You manage to retrieve your $$ with help from your Thai friends. I’m currently trying to ask the bank to stop payment to Yindee but the bank is still investigating the case and have not given me a conclusion. Can you please provide contact of your Thai friends so that I can contact them to help me in case I need to go back to Bangkok to retreive the $$ from Yindee? Since I’m Malaysian, I’m not sure if it convenient for your Thai friend to help me. Please advice if you have any other ways to help me retreive my money.

    Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it if you can help me with my case.

  35. CK Lee Says:

    Hi. i am Malaysian, I scammed by Yindee Lapidary on 19 jun 2009, now i already back to malaysia. So how am I going to do, so that I can back the money.

  36. EK Says:


    I and my fiancee were victims of this scam last week. I guess we need the contacts of the gemologist. We are singaporeans. I look forward to your reply. Thank you so much.

    Email: yanling007@hotmail.com

  37. soya Says:

    In the Bangkok Scam wedsite’s i saw a few columes in saying you have Help many ppls getting back their hard earn money !

    we will thinking not to get back thbt 11920.00 from Yindee Lapidary Co Ltd , BUT, We hope as the highest Authorities with their powerful status , they can stop this cheating ?!? Actually to introduce ppls to buy gems is not a bad thing to do, is that the gems shop should’nt conned us on over, over, over, prices Gems !!! If i will their parents i will not let’s my son or daughter work on all this cheating environment..is not healthy for their minds and bring no good for the ppls and country too…!

    On 13/10/09 (tue) afternoon at 3pm when me and my sister was offer Red Roses at the standing Buddha outside Central World, Pratunam area, We were approached by a local Thai guy around his 60+ and his voice sound very ruff type He say he’s a lawyer! He appears friendly and helpful and suggested that we go pray at a local temple which is about 5 minutes away by tuk tuk He told us that this temple is very special and only open once a month, and of course he said that day is our lucky day because the temple is open. He told us of the lucky Buddha, it is only open once a month during “Buddhist Day”. Being helpful, he help us get a tuk tuk for 20 Bath . The tuk tuk is suppose to send us to the temple and then send us back to The Central World.

    When we reached the temple we saw a tall, handsome, honest looking guy… he claims that his wife’s a Thai Airway stewardess , He say he work with the Thai Embassy in Singapore , his here today in the lucky buddha temple because this so many year his Mother Has not miss a day praying at the Golden Buddha Temple on buddhist day , He even swear in front of the Buddha ..he say 8 years ago his mum cannot even walk only with the help of Buddha Heart ( a orange sappire gems) he has bought in Yindee Lapidary Co.Ltd ..makes miracle.! He say we should be here this morning, as there is 200 to 300ppls gather at this temple to offer food to the monks and many ppls came to this 600 years old temple because of in the Thailand Bangkok history , there are 2 bomb hits side by side of the temple and did not hit this temple and so many of the rich ppls all came here to pray on Buddhism day and can even check with T.A.T for the moon day on when is the day of the month on Buddhist day.

    Until now I cant forgive myself for being so foolish..!

    I am a scam victim of Yindee Lapidary Co. Ltd., They Let me sign at my credit card bill without the 30% of the discounted price ?!? They also make me sign at the receipt and i think later they chop a non refunded for this item on this invoice. And ask for my Singapore address so that they can send us brochures of their products because since i now bought this Buddha Heart gems from them they can let us buy only three of this precious orange gems that’s the thailand govt dont allow to export this gems to other country! is only open for sales for this items for 3 days and today is the last day !

    Dont drink their serving water !


    Lastly to the Mafia,

    My sister and I, have learn a lesson and in another way sad for those who has to lie for A leaving …it is a greedy thought for a bowl of rice.

    And they not knowing that, they’re Also putting their next life’s in a handful of Bad Deeds !! please, Believes in KARMA !

    and Hoping that all Human Being Please Wake up ! You’ll have to Pray for Forgiveness and one day Hopes all of you can turn over a leaves Like a “Lotus Flower” no matters how muddy the water Is they’re still grow to beauty the surrounding !!!

    • Erica Ng Says:

      Hi Soya

      Did you bought something in the end?
      May I know how you settle with this Yindee?
      Did you manage to get refund or any credit voucher from them?
      Did you report to the Tourist Police?

      I & my buddy were cheated on 24-October-2009.

      We are planning to go back and get cash back…

      Please let me know…

  38. Erica Ng Says:

    I wanna share my experience here and hopefully can give some comfort to those who got cheated.

    I & my buddy were cheated around 39K Bhat on 24-October-2009.

    We reported to Tourist Police (Bangkok Tower Bldg. Petchburi Rd., Bangkok) and the policeman by the name of Mr. Ninasair called Yindee. We waited about 30mins there and Yindee sent their dispatch with a credit voucher saying the money will be credit back to me within 21 days.

    I got my money back today(16-Nov-2009)!!!

    If you were cheated, don’t be panic.
    – Consult gemologist and get a report if you’re already back to your country.
    – Call the shop, confront them & ask for refund.
    – Make a trip to Bangkok if necessary & report to Tourist Police if they refuse to refund.
    – Insist CASH if possible.

    Good luck!!

    • Whchan Says:

      dear Eric, did you get your money back thru the cash voucher or demanded cash from them? because the last time i read on this scam, cash voucher does not work. Appreciate your immediate attention as i was a victim for THB180,000/= i can be reached at trex2mate@yahoo.com.sg. I also got this cash voucher after I bring along this local tour guide to acts as my auntie.

  39. Jamie Says:

    I was scammed in 2000/1!

    It is saddening that so many people are still cheated even today with the same modus operandi. I can’t remember if it was Yindee, but i would not be surprised if the same group was involved. Afterall, why change it (the scam) if it ain’t broken?

    I got 75% back, but my method of recovery should never be repeated and not recommended. Thinking back, i did it only because of youthful arrogance and pure stupidity….

    By chance, i was reading journals/messages left by previous backpackers in my youth hostel lounge and realised that the gem set that i just bought was part of a scam (was still in Bangkok).

    Went straight back to the shop and demanded a refund. Got the standard “goods sold not refundable” line. I was prepared for their response, and making use of the presence of other tourists in the shop, i started loudly about how i was not getting a fair deal and about calling the police for my money back (i did not overtly mention their scam, but kept implying it in front of the other potential victims). Was forcibly escorted by the shop’s security to the backroom, where luckily, was to meet a lady who gave me 75% refund (- “admin fee”). Then, I thought i was to be tied up and gagged or something, seriously not funny.

    After being escorted back out on the street, and 25% short-changed, my youthful sense of justice and ego was deeply bruised. So, i remained right outside the front door and everytime i see another group of tourist alighting their tuk-tuks, i continued my tirade about unfair deal and calling police. This brought the 2 goons back, and this time with a mean looking mafia type middle boss with a scarred eye. I whipped out my survivor knife. They stopped.

    I doubt they stopped because they felt threatened. I think they stopped more because they were amused by my stupidity. 1 v 3? I did not know what came over me then, i just asked Scarred Eye, “wanna drink coffee?”.. and he said “lets go, i pay”.

    Over coffee at coffee shop nearby, we had a real honest talk. About how in his interpretation of Buddhism, if one needs to put food on the table for his family, a little harmless lie is permitted. About how he did not want to cheat fellow yellow skinned people; but ang-moh, he do it without remorse. About it being useless to fight the situation, because it goes way up.

    It makes sense, the last part. Prime Ministers have come and gone, coups succeeded and coups failed, ministers changed, police chiefs retired, but the same scam is still alive and kicking after so many years. Someone very powerful must have blessed this operations. Do not believe for once that the police and ministries, after so many complaints against Yindee (or any other scam), do not have enough evidence to shut them down. There are good people in the police and ministries, but there are much more powerful under current, and lots and lots of cash.

    Scarred Eye parting words to me “Nothing to fight, just go tell your friends…” And now 10 years on, stumbling on this blog, i am.

    • agstthaigemscam Says:


      “About how he did not want to cheat fellow yellow skinned people; but ang-moh, he do it without remorse.”

      It’s rubbish. All the people here who have written to me are all yellow-skinned people from Singapore or Malaysia. Since 2000/1, the scam has evolved leaps and bounds and people of all nationalities have been scammed – Singaporeans, Malaysians, Japanese, Australians, Americans.

      And, according to another blog/article, the estimated “turnover” of this “industry” is nothing short of US$ 50 million. It’s not a matter of “if one needs to put food on the table for his family, a little harmless lie is permitted” anymore.

      They have the right to “if one needs to put food on the table for his family, a little harmless lie is permitted”, but we also have the right to fight back to make sure our food on our tables are not stolen by these scums.

      If they have their issues with their government, systems, they deal with them. They have not God-given rights to take it upon us.

      • jamie Says:

        Guess i should have been clearer when i siad just go tell your friends. i meant to say:

        “just go tell your friends about this scam, and dun fall into it..”

        i agree with agstthaigemscam about fighting back and down with the scam etc. thats why i worte the post 🙂

        pardon my failure to elaborate earlier.

  40. ellen Says:

    I got scram too from this Yindee shop.. Im back in singapore. Please advise how should i go about doing it?!

    appreciate for your prompt reply.

    My email add: ellen.tan84@yahoo.com

    Thank you


  41. martin marion Says:

    i have been scam to. the worst part is that the ring is 18k gold and the gem are real. i wanted to offer this ring to my girlfrend as an engament ring.
    I went to a labatory at the state tower, lebus hotel.
    i paid to mucth, but it real.
    just the way they had me, unreal. What a fool.
    So dont be sad, maybe you paid for premium and got middle.
    At the end, it’s just to bad for this country, i will never come back.
    I import stuff from thailland to canada, if i find replacement good from somewere else, it’s over.
    That is my just to bad….


  42. ann Says:

    i am a victim too. is there a way to get refund from yindee?

  43. Lee Says:

    Its comforting to know I’m not alone, but really my heart doesn’t ache any less. It is truly amazing how evil people can be and to think I just thought they were happy and friendly because it was the Chinese New Year.
    I, as well, will not be able to return to Bangkok, but would really appreciate any help or advice anyone can offer me to recover some of my loss. Most of what I have read sounds like I need to be there to dispute the transaction and my credit card company has not been any help. I did not purchase from the same location as most of you, but from a location by the name of “Premier Sapphire Factory Export Center”.
    I only returned to Belgium a couple days ago and have not had a chance to have the ring inspected, I know that is really probably the next step. Please, if anyone has any information (good or bad) that might help me I would really appreciate it.

  44. mia Says:

    hi all, yeah i gues i’m a new victim.. it’s true that it’s not worth losing sleep..
    I finally contacted the dit and set a date to meet them in early october. I waited for their reply via e-mail, and guesss what? they are too busy to entertain everyone cos there are so many scam going on…
    I got scammed by Erawan Lapidary and I haven’t even pay off my credict card bills..
    if anyone of you would like to go to BKK, let see if we can meet or go together. I’m from malaysia. my e-mail: mia.f20118@gmail.com

    • KDec11 Says:

      I am cheated in Dec 11. I took a picture with a tourist information big sized friendly man in 40s. He said shopping malls at Siam are open at 12pm. He advised to go to Buddha temple to take a look and get sapphires which is the last day open to the public at Premier Sapphire Export Center with 200% off from government taxes.

      I am cheated:-( Please help me to recover. Really appreciate your help. Pls email me at shalomkf7@yahoo.com.

  45. KDec11 Says:

    Hi all
    Go to below website on how to recover your $. Good luck!

    I will avoid purchase of jewellery in foreign countries especially in Bangkok and China.


  46. J Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I had just experienced this same old scam with my husband. I regretted not having my roaming services activated. Else, I will definitely had done research online before believing the words of the 5 con-men involved.

    It is 2012! And they have been conning foreigners for close to 10 years, I wonder when will they have their retribution.

    After reading the endless experience posted, I told my hubby, we or either one of us have to go back to Bangkok. Though we paid 11,000 Baht for 2 gems; one for him and one for my son, but I wish to have justice back for the trust we had given. I hated for being so gullible and trustworthy. From now on, never again!!!

  47. Alan tang Says:

    J, can you get your money back?

  48. Colleen Says:

    Hello. I need your advise please give me your email or email me at colleenc84@yahoo.com.

  49. antiscammer Says:

    could not be calmed-and was on pin and needles the entire time, thinking that this was a setup, that somehow because they knew I had only the day for the negotiations they were purposely taking their time so that there would be no resolution. 
    We filled out a paper during our wait that details the reason for the complaint, your name, the store you are complaining about. I believe this is for DIT files to track all the complaints. Make sure you get a copy of this document. 
    1235pm a man walks in the door. It’s Mr Suchat. It was a bit scary since we really didn’t know what Mr Suchat looked like so we just had to trust this was him. All around the office they had pictures of the DIT office managers, but Mr Suchat’s picture wasnt in any of the postings. He sits down with us immediately and asks to see the paperwork and the gems. The gems I bring are still gift wrapped in its orginal packaging. Mr Suchat does not open the boxes but scans quickly over the papers and says he will call the lady from the Golden Argosy. He makes a quick call in Thai then informs us that the lady will arrive in about an hour. That leaves me 30 mins for negotiations if I am to make my flight at 530pm. Mr Suchat says that it is possible that I might get 90% but that the Golden Argosy lady will push for 80% since that is the store policy. 
    120pm. Lady from the Golden Argosy shows up, surprisingly a lot earlier than the hour or so that it would have taken her to get from her shop to DIT. Regardless, I was glad that I didnt have to wait anymore. I go to a back room with her and Mr Suchat. Interesting note-they would not allow my Thai contact to come to the back room with me for the negotiations! 
    Lady says she will give me 80%. I said not acceptable since the jewelry was ridiculously low grade low quality stones not worth the amount we paid. She counters, who told you that? do you have papers proving the quality? I told her I dont need papers to prove anything, that she knows that the jewelry is low grade, and any certified jeweler can tell her that. This was my argument: 
    -I told her I made a special trip back to Bangkok (at 6 months pregnant!) to return low grade jewelry to her, and that they had cheated us that it was a huge ordeal for us and a very unhappy experience 
    -that the jewelry was untouched, and in the same condition as we bought it, 
    -we had wanted to return it the minute we knew the jewelry was low quality which was only the day after we had purchased it but have not been able to fly back to Bangkok until 2 months later 
    -that I had been in contact with Mr Suchat immediately after the purchase to make arrangements to return the jewelry. 
    Mr Suchat is surprisingly quiet for some time letting me do most of the negotiations. The lady then still says store policy is max 80% and that they dont normally do returns like this. She gets on the phone and talks in Thai, while furiously filling out return forms in the process. Finally she said fine 90% and that is the best offer. I still did not accept. I asked for 95%. Mr Suchat finally jumps in and says give her 93% (for the baby). I guess they do have some sort of heart. I was running out of time so we settled on 93%. 
    These are the documents that you end up with: 
    1) Credit voucher-is basically like a credit receipt where they imprint your credit card using that credit card slider with the slip over it, the refund amount is written down, and it is signed by the shop and by you. **IMPORTANT It also will have the transaction ID from your original credit card receipt noted on this voucher. Make sure it is correct so that the store can properly credit your account. 
    2) A separate paper with a store letterhead, that details the refund transaction with the dollar amount, your name, percentage return, and also disclaimer that says both parties are satisfied with the transaction and no further action is to be taken. I made sure that I wrote down that I had returned all jewelry to the store and that the store has accepted the jewelry. Make sure you document everything and get copies for your records! 
    3) Mr Suchat asks you to write down in your handwriting that you have returned the jewelry with the date and accept the refund offered and will have you sign it. 
    2pm the whole negotiations took around 30 minutes maybe less. I spent a lot of time asking questions about the voucher since I was really concerned about its validity, making sure that the transaction ID was recorded from the original sales receipt (the little credit card receipt that you get with the merchant id, transaction number, and authorization from the credit card company). Make sure you do this. I get in a cab and head back to the airport to go home finally and make my flight home! 
    They told me it would take at least 2 weeks to process. I checked my credit card today, and the amount was credited back earlier, in only about a week. Shockingly. After the whole ordeal, I am just so glad its over. There was actually an incident involving my husband’s credit card, where they had written down the refund to his card but with the wrong card numbers! So I had tried repeatedly to get in contact with Mr Suchat over the phone and email to correct it to the right card number, but no success. I was so worried about this, but for whatever reason, the credit was still processed back to his card as well within a week. 
    In retrospect I would say my trip back to Bangkok to return the jewelry was incredibly stressful, not knowing what to expect and really takes years of your life from you (that’s what it felt like). But we were rewarded with a prompt return of 93%. With the exchange rate being so good now, it actually turned about to be closer to 97% return in the end. Note that we had the option of returning the jewelry via mail to the DIT office but that would have been just as nerve wracking and we were not guaranteed a specific percentage return on our money if we went that route. I think maybe you can get 80% that way as others have done. Because we were lucky enough to get such a high return (the pregnancy might have helped matters)) , I feel in the end the trip back was worth it, but at the severe expense of adding years to your life and a lot of stress. 
    I do sincerely wish the best of luck to everyone out there. Mr Suchat may well be in on the scam, but we were still able to get nost of our money back so I am grateful for that. I hope that I have been able to help, and have tried to document everything as I remember it although I do try to erase everything from my mind that has happened! 
    Please do let me know if you have any questions at all and I’ll be glad to help as much as I can since I really do feel for all those who fell so blindly as we did for this scam. 

  50. Alan tang Says:

    1. After the help of Mr. POM, The Department of Internal Trade Ministry of Commerce and Mr. CHOW, The China Embassy, I get back 90% refund from the gem scam. If any people involve in the same event, they can seek for the help of The Department of Internal Trade Ministry of Commerce and their own Embassy,

  51. HK Lim Says:

    I am one of the latest victim. I just came back from BKK last weekend. Again, the same trick was used near the Grand Palace and I was sold a sapphire gem set at THB 113,600.00. The shop name is not Yin Dee but Takfa Jewellery. There is a clause that we can get refund at 70%. I am fine if we can get back the 70%.

    In this case, do I still need to go to the gemologist?

    Will the police escort me to the shop? I am afraid of my safety if I go alone.

    What if they insist paying us the credit note?

  52. R Says:

    I wished I read your blog last week, as over the week end I got victim of this scam and got myself some gems (50000THB). I know such a greedy idiot that I am!!!

    I am really worried I won’t get my money back. I am sorry to bother you as I imagine you get lots of these emails, but would you be I would be very grateful if you could email me the gemologist’s contact in Singapore, so that I can try to recover – at least some of – the cost. I wasn’t planning to go back to Bangkok, but I can do it if needed.

    It is also a matter of principles – nobody likes being ripped off!!

    Hope you can help

    Many thanks

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