How it works:
- Opening: perpetrated by young local girls, they target single male travellers by approaching them and getting them to go to a local bar or café.
- Set-up: they order drinks at inflated prices on your tab and when the bill comes, they will be gone. If you do not pay, burly men will escort you to the ATM.
Places to beware:
- Bangkok: Patpong
- Chiang Mai: Ta Pae Gate
- Pattaya: Walking Street Pattaya
- Phuket: Bangla street
What to do:
- Avoid heading to a suggested bar together with a random stranger.
- If not, consider: does the bar seem legitimate? Are there customers? Is the stranger evasive about things? Is he/she only bringing you to a particular restaurant or bar?
- Test your new “friend”: pretend you have company by suggesting to go another place where you have friends at. Ask for prices before ordering. Take a photo together.
- If scammed: pay with a credit card but call the bank to dispute the charges immediately. Keep a separate bank account with not much cash inside to limit your losses if threatened.