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Travelers, Beware of These Scams!

Real experience of scams revealed by travelers

Cyclo Drama

Experienced a similar scam in Ho Chi Min, Vietnam. We rented three cyclos, and the cyclo riders took me and my two girlfriends to two museums, a beef noodle shop and Chinatown. We had agreed on the price of US$3 (RM10) per hour per person when we got on the cyclo. But when we reached our final stop (a dodgy market in Chinatown which they had recommended), one of the riders took out a different price list that said something like US$15 per hour.

Shocked, we paid them the US$45. As my friend was going through her money, the other two riders snatched another US$40 from her and rode off. The situation soon turned ugly.

The remaining rider turned aggressive and demanded more money, saying he didn’t know the other two riders. Thankfully I knew he spoke Cantonese, and a shouting match followed. He even had the audacity to tell me that he would call the police, I told him to go ahead.

The other people surrounding us didn’t attempt to help. They just stared at us blankly. After about 10 minutes, he backed off. I think it was because a policeman was in the vicinity. Relieved, we took a taxi and left the market (this after struggling to get a taxi because the taxi drivers there had an agreement not to drive us for less than a certain amount).

Later when I returned to Singapore, a Vietnamese friend told me that the area where the cyclo riders brought us was a place even she wouldn’t go. Looking back, this was certainly an experience we wouldn’t forget, and yes, it made us more wary of transport scams. Thanks once again for this article!

Submitted by,
Serene Chia

Extorted by carriage drivers

After reading the many horror stories of tourists getting scammed as they travel around Asia in your story, I would like to share my experience with you. My friends and I were walking around the seafront visiting tourist spots in Manila. A horse carriage pulled alongside and persistently offered us a tour of Chinatown for a small fee.

He kept following us and quoted 50 peso (RM3.50) each for the ride. One of us was feeling a bit tired and suggested that since the fare was only 50 peso each, we would take it.

Since there were four of us, another carriage was called. It was quite a pleasant ride until we reached the market place in Chinatown where our driver picked up another guy. As we were about to complete the tour, he suddenly drove the carriage into a side lane in an isolated area. There I saw my other two friends in the first carriage surrounded by other carriages.

My friend told me his driver demanded 5,000 peso (RM350) from each of them. The same happened to me and my partner. We objected to the amount and argued that the agreed fare was 50 peso. He denied saying that and said he quoted US$50.

They were very aggressive and threatened my friend with a machete. I was horrified at their action and asked my friends to pay up and leave quickly.

My advice is never accept rides from these people.

Submitted by,
Jimmy Boon

Other commons travel scams told by others

  • Common Tourists Scams in Aisa – You’ve heard many horror stories of tourists getting scammed as they travel around Asia. Sometimes it’s money, sometimes, much worse than that.
  • How to avoid taxi scams – It is really sad to read news again about a lady who is a tourist from the United State got robbed and raped by two men after being taken on a 80km terror ride in a taxi.
  • Ensure a safe and happy vacation – The last thing you need when on holiday is to be mugged or robbed. Taking certain precautions will definitely make your holiday a happy one.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Soo Simpson January 18, 2011, 5:28 pm

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