Scams in Thailand


Thailand is a beautiful country with a lot to offer tourists. However, like any popular tourist destination, it is also home to scammers. Here are some of the most common scams that tourists face in Thailand:

  • Tuk-tuk scams: Tuk-tuk drivers are notorious for overcharging tourists. They may also take you to a restaurant or shop where they receive a commission on your purchases.The most common places to take you are tailors, gem shops and travel agents. To avoid this, agree on a price before getting into a tuk-tuk. You can also try to hail a metered taxi instead or use one of the many ride sharing apps like Grab, inDrive, Lineman or Bolt.
  • Jewelry scams: In Bangkok, there are many jewelry shops that sell fake or overpriced jewelry. Be sure to do your research before buying jewelry in Thailand. This is often tied into the Tuk-tuk scam above.
  • The Khlong scam: This scam involves taking tourists on a boat ride through the Khlongs (canals) of Bangkok. The boat will stop at a shop where the tourists are pressured to buy souvenirs. To avoid this, be sure to negotiate the price of the boat ride before getting on the boat.
  • Attractions closed scam: This scam involves telling tourists that a popular attraction is closed for renovation or because it’s a national holiday, buddha day etc. The scammer will then offer to take the tourist to a different attraction, where they will receive a commission on your purchases. To avoid this, check the status of the attraction before you go.
  • ATM card skimming: This scam involves installing a device on an ATM that steals your credit or debit card information. To avoid this, be sure to only use ATMs that are in well-lit and busy areas. It’s safest to only use ATM’s that are inside malls or other shops or ones that are attached to an actual bank.
  • Pickpocketing: Pickpockets are a common problem in Thailand. Be sure to keep your belongings close to you at all times.
  • Lucky man scam. Someone, normally an Indian, will approach you and say that you have a lucky face or something else to engage you in conversation. They will then claim to be able to read your fortune or tell you something that only you can know. Somehow they will play some kind of confidence trick to extract money from you. 
  • Money change scam. Someone will approach you saying that they have just arrived in the country and they need to change some money. They will flash a lot of cash at you asking to see some of your money to see what it’s like. Not really sure how this plays out but they somehow manage to scam you. Possibly they will offer to change some money at a ridiculously good rate and then give you some worthless fake currency.
  • Valuables theft from buses. There have been reports of people’s valuables going missing when they have put them in the luggage compartment of long distance buses. Someone gets into the luggage section while the bus is moving and goes through the luggage. It’s common sense, but make sure you keep your valuables with you at all times on the bus.


If you have been scammed in Thailand, there are a few things you can do:

  • Report the scam to the police. Call the tourist police on XXXX
  • Contact your credit card company or bank to report the fraud.
  • File a complaint with the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

By being aware of the most common scams in Thailand, you can help to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Here are some additional tips for avoiding scams in Thailand:

  • Be wary of anyone who approaches you on the street and offers you something for free.
  • Don’t agree to pay more than the local price for anything.
  • Don’t leave your passport or other valuables with anyone you don’t know.
  • Be sure to bargain when shopping.
  • Trust your instincts. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your trip to Thailand is safe and enjoyable.


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