12 Oct 2018
Thanks a lot for making these lists of scams. Unfortunately Sri Lanka has become a mekka for hustlers and scam artists of all sorts with the growing tourism after the Civil War ended, to such a degree, that I can hardly recognize “my Sri Lanka” anymore, and I have basically been victim of attempts to do them all and then some by now.
I can add the marriage of relative or friend scam. In Sigiriya one young guy befriended me and soon he began talking about a friend of his girlfriend, who had been through a horrible marriage with a local boy on drugs and who now would like to marry a westerner.
It all sounded so good, but it basically turned out, that I just had to invest in some business of which I could not hold papers as a foreigner or build a room to my “friends” sister’s house, where my coming wife and I could live for free.
I did try their “for free”, I stayed at his sisters house for a little week and every single day were without comparison the most expensive days I ever had in Sri Lanka and I basically were stuck in the middle of nowhere and couldn’t go anywhere on my own.
My “friend” of course choose were I ate, which always were on the expensive tourist places, where I simply would never go on my own.
The last day at his house I ended up buying him a new set of clothes, because his all were wet, by the way the most expensive set of clothes I have ever bought in my time in Sri Lanka, and give the guy 7000 rupees, so he could meet the girls parents in Kandy in an restaurant, of course, and talk them into accepting the marriage. What a joke!
While he were away, I packed my gear and called a taxi and went of. Same evening I send a message to the girl and explained my concerns and called of the wedding plans. Her entire reply were “okay”. She definitely had never had any intention marrying me and for all I know she might not even be single or live in Kandy, as she said she did.
I have heard some horror stories about these kinds of fake marriage proposals already, so I was on the guard and did not fall for it. For instance did one of my friends meet a countryman from Denmark who fell for a romance scam on a vacation in Thailand
By the way, I have been married to a Sri Lanka woman and I therefore have some knowledge of Sinhala, the majority language in Sri Lanka.
If they refer to you as “Sudha”, maybe even with a snear on their face or disgust in their voice, I guarantee you, that they are not your friends, no matter what they try to do or say in English to convince you otherwise.
“Sudha” is a racist and very negative laden word used against white men in particular and its just as negative as ni*ger would be about black people in USA or pakhi would be in UK against Muslims, just to take this into context, and the racism against in particular white males are unfortunately rampant down here.
It is government policy, that tourists should pay over prices for everything and in popular media you see dayly doses of propaganda against white people, as of course programs constantly referring to white males as drunks. I’m not kidding you, this is true.