Thai Gem Scam 1
Thailand is one of the world centers for gemstones and rubies and sapphires along with lots of other gems are manufactured there. It is well recognised that 9 out of 10 tours will end up at a “jewellery wholesaler” of some description. In fact, many go to Thailand expecting to buy jewellery on holiday. However it’s when you least expect it that you fall victim to any of the scams we cover.
Of all the gem scams going on the world, The Thai Gem Scam must be the oldest.
As a gemstone dealer with over 15 years of experience buying gems and diamonds around the world, I am constantly amazed when when I hear stories from friends (and in some cases family), or read in the press about people being ripped off when attempting to buy gemstones or diamonds on holiday.
If you’re seriously thinking about buying a ruby or sapphire of this kind on your next holiday, please read this series of guides. It is written with the holiday maker in mind and isn’t full of jargon or technical information, just straight forward advice.
The first Thai Gem Scam we cover, yes there are 2 main gem scams within Thailand – will have some if not all of the elements detailed here, but all will have a few of these elements, so if you learn all the scam “tells” alarm bells will ring when you see 1 or 2 of the scam elements.
How the scam is done
A stranger approaches a tourist, informing them that the landmark they want to enter is closed either for lunch, or the day, but they know of a different location, not normally known by tourists, which is open and equally impressive.
The tourist is then advised to take a “Tuk Tuk” ride to the said location, the stranger then departs. Then, as if by magic, a “Tuk Tuk” will appear! And they know the secret location you’ve been told of. On the way the driver casually mentions a special promotion on gems or jewellery that is currently in trend. Upon arrival, you are shown into a gem factory, and not wanting to offend, you go in and then the sales assistance pounce. All with great English and what seem to be bargains, of course they are not. They are selling low grade cheap jewellery.
Many tourists caught in this situation have bought something just to get out of there, you can be hit by a second scam of credit card cloning as this is also very prevalent here.
The best way to avoid this scam
Ignore strangers that approach, don’t engage at all, even if it seems rude to do so.
If you’ve had first hand experience of this gem scam or you know of any more gem scams you can warn people of, leave a comment below and we’ll spread the word.. Thanks
Want to see the more gem scams going on around the world? Click Here For More Gem Scams