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Old 02-09-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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Default Scams: TV producer looking for examples

Hi folks,

I just got off the phone with a British television producer who is doing a program on travel scams. She wanted to talk to folks who have actually been scammed, and is interested in the more elaborate ones -- not just the simple, demanding a tip, type. So, if anyone has any they'd like to e-mail her about, this is her address:

Kyra Beguiristain
Associate Producer
Electric Sky Productions
kyra.b@electricsky.com

I gave her a few that I encountered, especially in that island full of "sharpers," Bali. The one that caught her interest and she said she may use was what the porters in Bali do right when you get off the plane. When you go to claim your luggage, they have it stashed behind one of those velvet ropes with the porters standing in front of it. They make you point out your bag, which they snatch up, and voila! Even if you don't normally use a porter, suddenly there is a guy carrying your bag. That's part one of th scam. Then, the porters are quick to usher you to the ATM machine, which dispenses only large note bills. Then they try to hustle you to the curb where your ride or a taxi may be waiting, knowing full well that you have only large note bills in your pocket. Thus, you get fleeced for a porter you didn't want and tip them way, way more than they normally would get.

I got around part two (but not part one), but ignoring their frantic ushering and taking my ATM large note bills to the Foreign Exchange window and asking for small note ones. I still didn't get small enough ones that SHOULD have been their undeserved tip, but it was better than others were being hit for...

So, feel free to contribute to this thread and post some scams you've encountered yourself...

worldwidemike
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:26 PM   #2
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similar thing in China, when in Beijing I was looking for a particular gate only to find that there are "guides" ie people who take you there and then demand money
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:16 PM   #3
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India is rife with schemes devised to separate unsuspecting people from their money. Some of it is dishonest, but I found that a lot of it is simply the way that business is done over there. More to come on this later...
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:42 AM   #4
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Default tourist scams

Thanks for your suggestions so far. We have featured two scams in India: a scam where a guy booked a stay on a houseboat and was told he couldn't leave until he coughed up a few hundred dollars as there was fighting outside, and a scam where some tourists arrived at the airport to be told their hotel was closed, but the driver then recommended another which turned out to be a real nightmare...
We aren't looking for any more stories in India as we've already got these two. But we're still looking for stories from anywhere else. I'm very keen to hear from anyone who may have been scammed in the UK by the way!
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:00 PM   #5
 
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No list of scams would be complete without mention of Tangier...I'd heard about it on this site before I went yet still one of em got me.
A charming man in a suit with a badge meets you as you get off the ferry and invites you for dinner. In my case it was Ramadan and nearly sundown, and he told me that the buses wouldn't be running until after everyone ate. I didn't fully believe this but I only expected the scam would end up with me overpaying for a meal at his buddies restaurant or something, not too much. But as the evening drew on he "bargains" for a 60 euro jellaba for you while you eat with his family, and he's "out of pocket" if you don't pay for it. Meanwhile you're at his house somewhere in the streets of Tangier essentially at his mercy to get out of his neighborhood. I actually ran into a South African couple who'd been fleeced by the exact same guy. The only positive is that this baptism by fire experience kept from being taken in the other common Morocco scam: The guys offering rides from the end of the bus lines to the desert towns will take you to their father's/uncles/friends guest house and it's pulling teeth to get them to take you the rest of the way. They will also pull a slick trick where you agree the price with one guy who slips aside and is replaced with another so you haven't really agreed the price with anyone at your final destination, which they increase ten-fold in the back alleys of an African desert town. That one I saw coming, but heads up.

Don't get me wrong, Morocco was freakin awesome, but the fact is they have a good deal of slick and practiced scammers, they've been at it for awhile.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:15 PM   #6
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Any three-card-monte / shell game is pretty much always a scam. I got to the point that I tried to avoid anyone that approached me. When they did, I grabbed everything valuable. I remember watching a women fall in Brussels and not assisting but staring at everyone helping to make sure they didn't pickpocket a few backpackers who were helping.

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Old 02-12-2007, 10:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyra View Post
Thanks for your suggestions so far. We have featured two scams in India: a scam where a guy booked a stay on a houseboat and was told he couldn't leave until he coughed up a few hundred dollars as there was fighting outside, and a scam where some tourists arrived at the airport to be told their hotel was closed, but the driver then recommended another which turned out to be a real nightmare...
Yeah, the second one happens ALL THE TIME. It happened to me but we got around it eventually. In fact, it's far more likely for taxi drivers to do this than to actually take their passengers to their requested location. It's almost not even a scam anymore, really, it's more like a sad fact of daily life.
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