So you may have seen my taxi scam post, if not check it out. I want to inform people about another scam that happens often in Bangkok, a scam at the highest level that you wouldn’t have thought even possible. It really got my blood going but there was nothing we could do.
So Pokémon go is huge in Bangkok. We went to a nearby park to play after getting a pocket wifi and spent a good hour doing so, literally an easy hundred people playing in the park is was lovely. Now the scam wasn’t in the park though, it was when we left.
We walked along the street to get some fruit from a street stall, they are the perfect place for fresh amazing fruit at a low price. Well before we even made it there we got approached by a policeman. Odd, but we listened to him. He proceeded to tell us in little English that we dropped paper and we had to pay a fine!!
Okay… my partner said we didn’t realise and could we pick it up, well as we turned round he snaps and says “no pay fine” I’m pretty sure we didn’t drop anything considering we carry bags with us and everything goes into them. I’m afraid however we weren’t in any position to argue and we had to pay up.
Here’s the punch line, more like a punch in the face. He ordered us to pay 2k baht each, that amounts to £100 at the exchange rate we had at the time. Of course we had to pay, you ten not to argue with a policeman in a different country, especially when his hands resting on his gun. It was all rather intimidating and I can’t help but feel we got targeted. The average British tourist, easy pickings.
Well no surprise but totally cleared us out and the fruit will have to wait for another day. We are avoiding the area like the plague as well. I’m not sure if there’s anything that can done to avoid this. I wouldn’t have minded if I’d been written a ticket but he literally took the money, put it in his pocket and walked off. Something tells me the local area or Bangkok won’t see the money and he’ll be spending it on a ladyboy.
It’s gutting and puts a downer on the trip, I’ve read online that some police literally do this to tourists and scare money out of them and will sometimes take less because it’s money for them and less hassle to argue, I can’t offer much advice here but I just wanted to make people aware. I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else.