How it works:
- This is Korea’s version of China’s teahouse scam.
- Version 1:
- An old lady and her daughter ask if you have had a relative who passed away recently, explaining that the soul did not depart in peace.
- To give it peace, she encourages you to come to a traditional Korean ceremony to make offerings.
- There, offerings require a compulsory donation of 1000x your age in Korean won!
- Version 2:
- A pair of girls invite you to a Korean ceremonial event where you get to eat local fruits and wear traditional clothing.
- There, you have to make a compulsory donation to a foundation before you can eat or try any clothes!
Places to beware:
- Seoul: tourist attractions at Myeongdong, Hongdae, Gangnam, etc
What to do:
- Decline - some believe that these scammers are from a cult/practising pseudo religion.
- If you want to learn about the Korean culture, engage a reputable tour operator instead:
- Offline operators: ask - is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover - is it too cheap?
- Online platforms: Klook (best day tour platform in Asia) has some popular tours (e.g. Lotte World, Everland, Nami Island, etc).