Message to all fellow victims: Fortune Favors the Brave

A summary of what had happened since I started my blog back in Jan 2007.

  • About 24 people have approached me for help one way or another since Jan 2007 – more than 1 case per month in average.
  • A total of more than S$124,000 (5 victims did not update me about the amounts that they were scammed) have been scammed from these 24 victims.
  • Of these 24, in my knowledge 10 of you made your way back to Bangkok using the procedures I’ve mapped out for you.
  • Out of these 10, 9 of you got back your full refund (albeit in THB), while the other 1 of you got back 75%.
  • The total amount of money recovered to-date is about S$77,000.
  • The largest amount recovered was S$20,000 and the lowest S$2,700.

So, the conclusion one can draw from above is very clear: if you try recovering your money using the method I’ve detailed out for you in this blog, I reckon you stand a very good chance of recovering the FULL amount of the money you got scammed (in THB).

And, in the spirit of Fortune Favoring the Brave, I don’t perform the following for a fellow victim:

  • Get you a Thai or Thai-speaking friend.  I’m sure you will have a friend’s friend’s aunty’s nephew’s girlfriend’s father or something like that who is a Thai.
  • Help you recover your money by going down to Bangkok or calling the Tourist Police, not even for a small fee.  I don’t fancy small fees (honestly speaking), and I don’t suppose you would pay me the same amount you got cheated.

If you are hungry (which I and 10 other fellow victims were) to get back your hard-earned money, the path is already laid out for you.  Lucky you – I had to figure the steps out myself.

Good luck!

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

10 Comments on “Message to all fellow victims: Fortune Favors the Brave”

  1. Another Victim in June Says:

    Hi,

    I got scammed too.

    The amount i got scammed is only $1.4K but i feel very sad and disappointed on BKK. I am so sad for being so gullible.

    Anyway just coincidence, my brother went to BKK just after one week I got scam. He will be helping me to report to the tourist police for a claim. We did not make any report from gemologist as the time period is too short.

    Hope that he will succeed if not i have to make another trip down which i hope that i do not need to.

    Below is the contact which i got from other site for the contact of Tourist Police:

    Mr. Suchat
    Center of Complaints
    The Department of Internal Trade,
    Ministry of Commerce
    44/100 Nonthaburi 1 Rd. Muang district, Nonthaburi 11000

    Hope that everything goes smoothly……

    Really dont know how can we do to alert ALLl the Singaporeans……

    Thanks for your information.

  2. clubsiam Says:

    Photos of the Erawan Shrine Tourist Mafia here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21533131@N06/

  3. 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.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21533131@N06/

    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. Dozens of (Police) harrassing tourists all day long…the fine 2000thb. I estimate the Sukhumvit littering Police a million thb a day. 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.

  4. JJ Says:

    I have just been a victim of this same scam. I went to Pratunam centre with my wife at 11am yesterday (16th) morning and got accosted by not one, but 3 persons, one after the other. We had no intention of going to any temple or buying any gem and was walking away when the 3rd person, claiming to be security from the hotel I am staying insisted and practically dragged us to the tuk-tuk. We bought a set for THB138,000.

    When we got back to the hotel, I had wanted to do a search on this company, Yindee. However, it slipped my mind and I only got to do the search at 10pm at night. What a horror when I read all these. I called my friend in Thailand who have absolutely no idea about these scams. He suggested that I ask the hotel security for help. I immediately called my bank in Malaysia and was told that such transactions are like cash transactions. If I had signed the slip, they cannot withhold payment. The only way is for me to get a credit from the merchant.

    Armed with all the information from the website (thanks to all who had submitted their experience), we went to meet the hotel night manager, gave the whole story and they agreed to assign someone to help us get the refund.

    At 8:30am this morning (17th), we left with the hotel security person, went straight to the Pretchburi tourist police. In there, the police seems to know what is happening. A few phone calls were made and the officer told me her superior had spoken to the merchant and they had agreed to give 100% refund. All the necessary information were passed to the hotel security person. We then proceeded to Yindee.

    At Yindee, we waiting for the person whom the police spoke to to arrive. Once she arrived, she proceeded to issue a credit voucher. Having read your experience, I wanted it to be done electronically. They claimed it could not be done as the transactions have all been cleared and they can only give the credit voucher.

    I then called my bank again. Here is what I learned. Once you have authorised a transaction, it will be floating, meaning the funds are not available to you but it has not been paid to the merchant’s bank yet. The merchant will make a claim later for this amount and that is when the amount will be transferred. Since my transaction is still floating, my bank told me that with the credit voucher, the merchant will not be able to make the claim without the credit voucher being voided by me. He told me to guard the credit voucher properly in case of any issue. Meanwhile, I faxed the credit voucher from Bangkok to the bank and requested the bank to hold any claims to this amount based the credit voucher that I had faxed over to them.

    We were lucky in that our flight was in the evening so we had the morning to run around to get this resolved. I have also learned one thing. If you had no intention to buy something, don’t start just because someone make a sales pitch. We had a list of things we wanted to buy and had researched all the places where we can go get them, silks, suits, tailor, etc. We had not researched any gems shop because we had no intention to buy any. We had agreed that from now on, we will stick to our itinerary.

    The other lesson is not to buy something if you are in a hurry and had not researched it. Imagine if we had made the transaction this morning, we would not be able to get the credit voucher to stop the payment.

    I expect the transaction not to go through based on what the bank had told me. Thanks to all who had written for saving my money.

  5. clubsiam Says:

    Photos of the GRAND PALACE TOURIST MAFIA HERE:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29324583@N05/

    The Tourist Police are now involved. Do not trust them.

  6. Andrew Says:

    Guys, these mafia are EVERYWHERE! i was going with my wife to china town. We were walking down china town (yeowarat) when we stopped to ask for directions from a street hawker. I guess that alerted the mafia to use being lost tourist. In a short while a guy approached us and Claimed to be a “Dentist” from across the street. there was indeed a hospital there. He told us that china town was closed and there was nothing to see there. he then suggested for us to go to this “lucky Buddha ” and “wholesale factory”. he even pointed to us on the map where the factory was. We thanked him and he got on his way. Just then a Tuk Tuk came along and offered to bring us to the lucky buddah at a really low price. luckily my wife and i were hungry and decided to go get food. if not we would have been victims. Please be very careful when u go to Thailand.

  7. mrf Says:

    I waa also a victim of the said scam. Right now I don’t know how i can recover my money coz I don’t have the capability of going back to Bangkok.
    I tried to call my credit card bank if I can hold the transaction that I made but the only way to refund it is through the merchant.
    I only found out that I was a victim when I read you blog when i was trying to search in the internet about the merchant’s name when i found out how my experience is exactly the same with the other victims.
    I really wanted to recover my hard earned money but based on your suggestions I don’t have any Thai friend who could help me and I even don’t have the money to go back again to Bangkok.
    Actually I just went to Bangkok as my birthday treat to myself and thinking that the ring that I bought would be a birthday gift to myself. And right now I so upset and still thinking of how I’m gonna pay for that ring.
    Is there any other option how you could help me? Do you have friends or contacts who could help me? This is the very first time I was victimized in another country. I don’t want to back again in Bangkok.Please help me.

  8. AAA Says:

    Unfortunately, I’m also victim of the scam just recently upon checking the internet. It is a shame that they are using the buddha place which eventually lead one to Yindee. There are so many of them of professional acting skills, playing different roles and knowing pretty much of Singapore well. Appearing really sincere and showing concern. I can’t believe they are actually hypocrite.

    I am really disappointed. I hope i could seek advice from you to refund the items and get back my $$!! Pls, thanks.

    • agstthaigemscam Says:

      Hi,

      Just follow the steps given in this blog. All necessary information and contacts can be found in this blog.

      Good luck.

      • SK Says:

        I’m another victim of the scam. I had no intention in buying any gem and ended up buying one ring that cost 107, 400 Baht. Very very angry and disappointed with myself for being so silly. I really want to get back the money.

        What a nightmare whenever I recalled the whole incident.


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