How I got Scammed? The INFAMOUS Thai Gem Scam
Many years back, when I was travelling with my mother in Thailand. I was scammed by the infamous Thai gem scam. The scam was very well planned and executed to ensure that you fall deep into their webs.
How did it start?
I was trying to head down to Erawan Shrine the famous 4 faced buddha from my hotel while looking at the maps and trying to navigate my way. I was approached by a ‘friendly’ Thai guy claiming to have worked as a teacher in Singapore, he shared that today is a public holiday, and I should visit the Lucky Buddha temple as it is only opened once a year. He also claimed that I should also visit the Thai Export Centre for the blue sapphire as they opened 3 days in a year to tourist and is having a 30% discount storewide.
He stopped a tuk-tuk by the road and ask the tuk-tuk to bring us to the temple and the Thai Export Centre, and negotiated an irresistible price of ONLY 20 Baht for a short tour that includes the temple and the Thai Export Centre.
What happened next? What happened at the temple?
The tuk-tuk brought us the temple, it was pretty secluded. We have expected the Lucky Buddha Temple to be super crowded, as from what he mentioned today is a Thai public holiday and since the temple only opens once a year.
We were surprised to see a pretty empty temple with just a few person. As we walked in, a temple staff approached us and chatted with us, asking us information regarding my age, how many siblings and stuff.
He also mentioned that I should spend some time visiting the pagoda and the Lucky Buddha within their premises.
We went to the pagoda and was met with a guy claiming to be working with City Development Limited, CDL. City Development Limited is a Singapore’s property company, he claimed that he was the one who designed the Suntec City based on the Chinese geomancy, Feng Shui.
He gave us his name card, that carries the CDL Logo and corporate colours, making us believed that he really worked in CDL. He mentioned that he is here to visit the Thai Export Centre, for the blue sapphire.
He has also asked us to head to the Lucky Buddha Temple which is nearby. When we were at the Lucky Buddha Temple, we were approached by a fortune teller, claiming to work for the United Nations.
The Fortune Teller is able to identify certain information about me, like my age and how many siblings I have. He also mentioned that my younger brother is ill and he recommended that we purchase a blue sapphire put into a bowl of water and sprinkle over him. He also casually mentioned that we could get the blue sapphire from the Thai Export Centre.
After we leave the Lucky Buddha Temple, the tuk-tuk has asked us if we want to head over to the Thai Export Centre. Thinking that it won’t harm much to take a look over there, we decided to head over to the Thai Export Centre.
Did we purchase anything at the Thai Export Centre?
While at the Thai Export Centre, and after hearing the fortune teller mentioning about my brother illness. We purchased some small blue sapphire, and it cost us about SGD70 after discount.
We also gave the tuk-tuk more than the 20 baht that was expected from us!
Be informed and don’t get SCAMMED!!!!
You can still take the tuk-tuk at the low cost, but just don’t buy anything from any shop that they bring you. The tuk-tuk gets a gas coupon when you are being brought to the shop or the Thai Export Centre. It was also mentioned by other users that some were brought to the tailors asking you to buy suits.