Beware!! Top 10 Scams in Thailand 19

Thailand is constantly voted as the top destination in the world, featuring Buddhist temples, exotic wildlife, and spectacular islands. Along with a fascinating history and a unique culture that includes delectable Thai food and massage, Thailand features a modern capital city and friendly people who epitomise Thailand’s “land of smiles” reputation. But behind the land of smiles, there are many scams going on. Check out the 10 scams in Thailand.

#1 The Grand Palace is Closed Scam


This scam can happen near any tourist attractions, where tourists are told that the attractions that they are visiting are closed for various reasons. You should ignore them and head directly to the attraction to see for yourself or you might end up either in a gem store or a tailor shop.

#2 The Thai Gem Scam


This is the infamous scam, where you would be told that you can sell the gems at a very high price and make a profit in your country, or they might scare you are try to lead you into buying the gems for health reasons. I fell into the scam a few years back, check out How I was scammed? The Infamous Thai Gem Scam.

#3 The Wrong Change Scam


A common scam at provision shops or minimarts in tourist areas is to give your change as if you have given them a 500 baht note instead of a 1000 baht note. Many tourists are not familiar with the Thai baht and do not notice that their change is incorrect. Always check your change and the money that you give to the cashier.

#4 The Jet Ski Scam


Frequently found in Pattaya and Phuket, many found themselves being asked to pay an exuberant amount of money for dents in the jet ski after they return their rented jet ski. Unknown to tourists is that many before them have paid for the scratches and dents. Make sure that you document all dents or scratches for motorcycles, cars and jet ski.

#5 The PatPong Sex Show Scam


Don’t believe the touts outside who say free sex shows and drink for only 100 baht each. You would end up paying thousands, stay clear if you are alone as they can turn violent if you refuse to pay. Try to get your hotel to recommend if you want to watch a PatPong sex show.

#6 The Hualamphong Scam


You might be approached by an official looking person, who would say that they will help you to book your train tickets. The official looking person would take you to their nearby travel agent and pretend to ring the train booking office, and they would tell you that the train is full and the only way to get there would be by bus.

#7 The Long Distance Bus Scam


On long distance bus, many would place their bags at the bottom area of the bus, and or at the back of the bus. Many people have had things stolen from their bags on overnight bus trips, and some have reported they were drugged and found their money missing when they woke up. It is best to place your valuables with you instead of in your luggage in the compartment.

#8 The Airport Taxi Scam


Official looking touts would pretend that they are meter taxis and tell you that it is 500-1000 baht to go into town. The meter taxi outside is less than half of this, while the police have tried to crack down on them but they are back. Simply ignore anyone who asks if you want a taxi, or tries getting a grab car or uber.

#9 The Blackjack Scam


This usually starts when someone asks you where you are from, they would mention that they have relatives that have intentioned to study or working in your location. He would ask if you can go and meet them as they have some questions about your country. At their house, you would end up playing blackjack with them, which they would then ask you to help them to cheat someone out of their money. In the end, you would be the one scammed out of your money instead.

#10 The Pregnant Scam


A popular scam these days is your long distance girlfriend writing to you to say she is pregnant with your baby. She would either ask you to help to pay for the abortion or for money to raise the baby. What she doesn’t tell you is that she has already written to other foreigners telling them the same plight. The largest gimmick is that there is some medicine in Isaan that swells their belly to make them look like they are pregnant if you decide to fly in to visit them. The best way is to get an ultrasound to know if they are really pregnant.

Be careful when travelling in Thailand, and do not give any chances to the various scams.

Top 10 Scams in Thailand Top 10 Scams in Thailand

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19 thoughts on “Beware!! Top 10 Scams in Thailand

  • Alan Cuthbertson

    Hi Bernard good list. I have come across the wrong change scam when we first came to Thailand. The local 7 Eleven short changed me and I didn’t realise till outside the door. Went back in but just got a blank stare. Now I always recount the change when they give it to me.

  • Loredana Pascal

    Some of these scams are present in multiple countries on different continents (especially the taxi ones, with people asking a lot more and not using the meter). A great list of scams for anyone who will visit the country!

  • Apol B

    Yes these are true, I was scammed by a tuktuk driver for 50bhat each for a tour around bkk and then we end up at a tailor shop and gem store. I refused to pay his petrol as the driver demanded us to pay more for what we agreed before we left the hotel. An experienced I can’t forget…

  • jedd

    i was scammed like the “the palace is closed and will be open at midday then a thai english speaking guy approaches and pretend to offer some help and we end up window shopping to the different jewelry shop, and so on and so forth we don’t buy even a thing anyway. a tricycle driver was so furious by looking at his eyes. but its good that they know that they just try to scam us.

  • Erwin de Guzman

    Also in Ayutthaya were locals will approach you and offer their aircon car (old model btw) for 1500 baht to tour you around the area then after the first attraction they’ll suddenly tell you that the tires where flat and needed to transfer to his/her friend who has a tuktuk for the same price. Never gonna visit Thailand again.

  • raech gardio

    when we were in Bangkok, a tuktuk driver told us that he would take us to the Platinum mall for 10baht. on our way there he told us that he just newds to take us to a jewelry store to get his free gas if he brings in tourists. so he took us to unfamiliar alleys away from the main road. fortunately, my kom’s instinct kicked in and when we were stuck at atraffic jam she immediately gor off the tuktuk and we ended up getting a can going to the mall which is just a few meters away from 0ur hotel. we just didnt know we could get there by foot..

  • Ivan Ivanov

    I just came back from vacation in Krabi, Thailand. I had an amazing time without any incidents or negative experience. Money exchange is another opportunity for scamming but around my location there where enough places with good rates and no fees or commissions. If you use some measure of common sense and awareness, you should be fine.

  • Reyes r

    There is another common scam in Thailand and it involves taxi drivers. We hailed a taxi from Pratunam going to Siam Square and the driver agreed that we pay according to meter.
    Our “meter” fare was just around 50baht -60but the driver asked for 150. I argued but it seems that there was no way out.

  • ninette

    i just came from thailand… another scam is in khao san road where a lot of backpackers go… some taxis will tell u they will bring you to the floating market for 350 to 400 baht…. which is an hr away… u will think it is a good deal… but once your on ur way, they will not tell you that the boat in the floating market will cost you 3000 baht for an hr or 4000 baht for 2 hrs… so in the long run… u will be robbed of 3300 to 4400 baht all in all… they work with the boats for a commission… so beware…

    • Lalyn

      So ours is a lot worse. We were told to pay 1,000 baht. Along our way the driver said it is far and seem our fee is too small. So we added another 500 khao san to floating market.

  • Rei

    Last weekend we’re in Bangkok for a vacation. We’re walking down the street to Wat Arun with just a map. We asked the street vendors if we’re heading the right path to Wat Arun. Since they’re not really good in speaking in English, they will just do a sign language to tell us to go straight. Then, while walking, there’s this man eating in a table wearing a long sleeve, speaking in a formal manner. My instinct says that he’s a Tuk Tuk driver but since he can speak a little English, I think he can politely tell us where to go to reach Wat Arun. I handed him over our map and pointed him where we want to go. He said, Wat Arun is currently closed and opens at 12NN due to ceremony. He pulled his pen from his pocket and encircle Wat Arun and write “closed”. He then encircle Wat Pari Yanok for Lucky Buddha, The Marble Temple and Wat Intharawihan and write down “Thai Export” while saying that we must go to those temple first and go back to Wat Arun when it opens. He then write again, “100 Baht for Tuk Tuk”. That confirms he’s an Indian Tuk Tuk driver/ scammer. Good thing I remember what I read in Google about some scams. I told my boyfriend to ignore him and just go with our plan of visiting Wat Arun. When we reached our destination, it’s open with few visitors inside. No ceremonies whatsoever. The whole 4 days in Thailand, we never ride a Tuk Tuk, their asking for an expensive fare. Why should we ride a Tuk Tuk if there’s a lot of buses and BTS (train stations) around the city? It’s affordable and it can help you reach the beautiful places in Bangkok safe and sound.

  • Lean


    This is treally true me and
    My boyfriend was in thailand last month we’re going to visit in one of the temple then there’s one person who is trying to help us we ride the tok tok and ended up in small temples and tailor shop.

  • Karen Reyes

    Tuktuk drivers are the #1 scammers. Taxi are fair enough because we took the metered ones. 2nd, about your change when you paid for goods especially the ferry rides. Be careful with those people selling ferry tickets, always coubt your change. To top it all, among asian countries i’ve travelled thai people were very rude in general whether in public transporation conductor or ferry ticket seller down to sales people in markets.