I am a German guy, but I want to reach as many people as possible with this story, so I’ll write this down in my amateur-English.
(for an example: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jan/25/goa-gem-scam-lost-life-savings)
I went to Thailand in 2018 to start my worldtravel from there. At first I arrived in Bangkok and I wanted to stay there for some days. On my 2nd day, I went for some food on the famous Khao San Road.
Before I went to Bangkok, I informed myself about several kinds of scams etc. I heard about the “usual jewelry scam” with tuktuk-drivers BUT this is a different kind of scam!So I was going down the street and I felt quiet good, so I smiled. Someone was shouting: “How are you doing?”. At first I was just going my way and didn’t respond. But 10 meters later the man (one of a group of around 6-7 Indian-Nepali-guys) ran after me and stopped me by tippin on my shoulder.
At first I was a bit stressed by this offensive approaching, but soon this guy told me, that he doesn’t want to sell me stuff or anything else. He just wants to start a conversation and we got in touch. Later, another guy came by and joined the con.
After a few minutes of speaking about god and the whole world, they invited me into their shop. After my first reaction of: “hey.. what if this is a trap..”, they were responding, that it’s just for a good chai. I agreed and went back to the shop, where all this men were sitting and just do nothing but watching the people. (I felt a bit strange but I was just interested in meeting friendly people. Also I never heard any bad things about Nepalis or Indians)
In the shop, which looked quite authentical, we sat down and talked about Yoga, Gurus etc. I told them, that I’m interested in all of these things. One of this guys (his name was Aali) told me, that there is one other guy in this group of “working men”, who is very spiritual and deep into Hinduism n stuff. Out of nowhere this guy came from outside into the shop 5 min later and we started to speak about Yoga and Hindu stuff even deeper.
(Note: now I know, that this group of organized criminals have a special kind of person for every kind of human. In my case, it was the spiritual guy. There was also the serious business-guy, the woman-approacher, the sporty etc..)
This guy introduced himself as Denesh.
He offered me, to do some rituals with me for free. He said that it would be good for this, to let me stay in Bangkok for one week, so that we can meet everyday and do this ritual again.
(Note: in this moment, I think, he wanted to find out, how long I’ll stay in Bangkok)
I was surprised by this kindly offering and agreed. We got even more used to each other and he was making compliments all the time.. (Psychology)
He showed me the whole town. He was telling me, that money doesn’t matter to him and he made myself gifts and payed the taxis and food.
I was asking myself a lot, if this could be a scam, because it seemed so unreal, that some stranger would be so nice. I had a very bad gut feeling but on the other side, I was so astonished by this kindness.
Denesh even phone called his familiy in India quite a lot and showed me his children via skype. He invited me to his home and told me, that I became such a good friend and it would be an honour for him blablabla..
(Note: this happened in only 7 days. I got brainwashed a lot)
On my 4th or 5th day, I got introduced to their style making money, because I got curious about it. They were sitting all the day in front of this shop, but did nothing.
So the told me, that they work for the Company named: “Nakshatra Jewellery Co. Ltd.” in many different places. Mining, export, import… And all the guys, who are sitting there in front of the shop have holidays and are waiting for going to another country to do a job for the company.
The way, I could make money with them would be in a similar style. (and this is, where it gets interesting)
They told me, that I could deliver some jewels for them to my home country. (Why me?) Because of taxes and citizenship blabla .. I got interested, because my greediness was too big, to hide. They explained it 5-10 times to me:
1. Someone from Germany buys jewelry from “Nakshatra Jewellery Co, Ltd”
2. Me, a German, is needed, to bring the parcel to Germany
3. Why a German? Because, I don’t have to pay taxes .. they told me. (My greed was even bigger than my gut feeling in all the moments)
4. Then someone is needed, who brings the jewels, packed in a parcel, to the post office.
5. the company will pay you a flight to Germany
6. Then the parcel arrives in Germany and you have to pick it up and give the parcel to the real customer, who bought the jewelry for real, in the post office.
7. you’re not allowed to speak or follow the customer
8. you get your profit and your invested money from the customer
9. the job is done
I agreed to do that.
BUT I had to pay an amount of money for the jewelry, so that the custom department will see, that I bought it for myself.
I agreed again and wrote down some stuff on paper, that I will refuse to take a refund blablabla (they prepared everything for making myself lose my money.)
I invested my part of 9000€ and my profit should be 7500€.
The receiver-adress, was the big error in all of that scam, because it wasn’t the adress of my hometown, but it was “general post office Berlin”.
(Note: in this moment, I didn’t know, that there isn’t existing any “general post office Berlin”, like in the article of the women, which I included with a link at the beginning of my article)
We took the parcel to the post office and I got my flight back to Germany.
Back in Germany I waited for the parcel and because of my sendingnumber I could watch, where my parcel is in the moment.
But then it stayed in the custom department and I got nervous.
I phonecalled the boss, whos name is Aadi and he told me, that something bad happened.
Some guys from Belgium, which worked for the company, got arrested with drugs. Because of this, every employee of the Company is under serious investigation. This shall be the reason, why the parcel stayed at the custom department, without going on to its final destination -> general post office Berlin
In this moment I felt the fear rising inside my stomache, because thats the total opposite of what I wanted to happen.
More than 10000km away, there was a serious investigation and the friendly scammers could tell me anything, which I cannot proof, if it’s even real, what they are saying.
After 1 month of struggeling and phone calls with this scammers I was exploring the article of the women, which I mentioned earlier.
And then I noticed, what is really wrong with everything:
Could it be coincidence, that she also had the same receiver adress, like me? “general post office Berlin”?
The parcel got sent back and I never saw the parcel again.
I tried to contact my bank, went to the police and tried everything, to get my money back.
This group of scammers managed everything, so that if I try to get my money back, they are safe, because I signed stuff and papers on which I declared, that I won’t take a refund.
At the end I can be happy, that I JUST lost 9000 and not more, like the woman in the article, but I want to warn and tell you, that this shop on the khaosan road, isn’t marked on google maps. I don’t think, that “Nakshatra Jewellery Co., Ltd.” is the same, like the real brand “Nakshatra” from the so called “Gitanjali Group”.
This scammers are professionals and they do this on a daily basis.
PS: if you’re watching the Khao San Road via Google Street View, you’re able to see the shop. It has a blue Scoreboard with white letters.
I whish you the best. TRUST YOUR GUT FEELING