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Scam alerts given to travelers

Alberta, Canada
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729 posts
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Scam alerts given to travelers

My son came home from China and was scammed badly. I think it's wonderful that the young can travel ; but unfortunately young means naive, maybe stupid. Living in our safe haven of Canada, kids don't grow up with skepticism and distrust.

You may remark that one should research before traveling, but I remembered when I was young and traveled, I didn't, but there wasn't internet either back then, either.

I read the question on the right 'what are the scams I need to watch....' Too bad he didn't read that , especially about the invite to the tea shop. Let's say, he didn't lose a few $$$. How is it possible to lose thousands in a tea shop in one afternoon? Pay or get your teeth smashed in!

I know the cautions here on Trip Advisor but how many young people read TA ? He was out and hadn't decided to go to China until half way in his trip. He applied for a Chinese visa and was in; facing the wolves at every corner.

What I am trying to say is travelers should be warned! Why don't they inform the traveler like they would if there was a rebellion, terrorist threats or weather alert?. Why not alert these travelers when they charge for the visa? When they sell the flight ticket into the WAR ZONE? They know the list of the scams. That would be the fair thing for the Chinese embassy to do. They know how rampant the money scammers are! Why don't they do something if they want tourist into their country?

My question; what can I do to fix things? What can I do to help others so it doesn't happen to them? Who might I contact to ask for some changes?

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Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

Sorry to hear bout your son but you should have read this forum before the trip. Actually any travel forum will cover this.

And who should be alerting you about scams? Who is "THEY"? For these alerts that you are referring to, it is the Canadian embassy that warns its citizens. I do not see any warning on the Afghanistan embassy in Ottawa website.

Does your son follow strangers he meets on the street when he is home? I have been approached by scammers in Montreal but just kept walking.

I have traveled to many countries around the world and let me tell you that there are scam targeting tourists everywhere tourists go. Actually many countries have scam similar to this tea scam, same modus operandi. Cute girls targeting single male tourist.

Hopefully you son will travel more to different places and he should learn to inform himself. He should also learn how to get out of trouble, like the phone number for police (110 in China, equivalent to 911 in Canada).

Again sorry about your son but you or he should prepare better for future trips.

My daughter traveled alone twice to China when she was 20 and she was not scammed.

Happy travels.

Beijing, China
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2. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

You can ask your government to issue a travel advisory notice. However, to echo your own comments, how many young people are likely to read it? Besides, the advice would be so general as to be applicable to pretty much anywhere in the world, as noted by JP. A bad experience for sure but it could have been worse. Live and learn.

What's this WAR ZONE you mention?

Dayton, Ohio
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3. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

I am sorry to hear this happened. I was on business travel just last week, when I fell for the same scam. 6000 RMB for a Qingdao beer and a glass of wine. I paid with the credit card and left, and immediately called the bank and informed what had happened. Then I informed the cops in front of the Forbidden City. Some of these cops can speak some English. I went back to that restaurant with two cops in tow. Long story short, the scammers immediately admitted their scam, and offered to pay me 2000 RMB in cash. The thing is, the police did not take a report, nor did they arrest or fine anyone. It was business as usual for that place. The name of the place is "DA SHAN QING TEA HOUSE" on Chizi St. I am sure there are thousands more like this. While in China, 100% of the Americans I came across said they were scammed.

Your immediate concern when you are scammed is to get out of the place safely. Some have suggested making a big scene or threatening to call the police. I don't think these are wise actions. You never know what these scamsters can do, and your physical safety is far more important than money. In hindsight, I think I did the right thing by paying with credit card and then reporting it to the bank and coming back with the cops. Now I feel like the thief who scammed the scamsters.

I agree with you that the Chinese embassy should be warning us when we apply for a visa. But I can guarantee you that they won't. The Chinese embassy website contains nothing about potential scams. The US embassy in China does warn Americans about this exact scam.

beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/scams.html

Sherbrooke, Canada
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4. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

Actually several posters have previously reported on calling the police or even just threatening to call the police with success.

Beijing, China
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5. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

I can't agree that the Chinese embassy should be warning visa applicants about this, I mean where would it all end? This is just 'nanny-state' thinking.

Beijing, China
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6. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

This is a link to the current UK travel advice as regards such matters: https:/…safety-and-security

Being British I'm used to the 'nanny-state' ;)

Amsterdam
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7. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

It is unfortunate for every one that runs into scams, but there is no county in the world warning for these king of things.

Scams happen all over the world in major tourist areas, but I have never seen official warnings.

Alberta, Canada
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8. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

"They" was used to imply the Chinese government agency who set regulations for a Chinese visa.

Once I was buying a ticket to Northern Mexico , a big red Warning sign came up on

the site alerting me that this area was dangerous.

Is it a 'nanny state' to have concern for the protection of travelers entering their country. Wouldn't it be better than to have visitors lose thousands of $$$ to these scammers and leaving with such a disgusting feeling about the whole country.

I think the embassy should put out a similar warning for those entering China; on applying/ or receiving the visa /or on the site selling flights into China so the traveler is forewarned.

I think I would worry about calling the police as sometimes the police are as corrupt as the scammers.

Yes, my son was traveling alone and yes, he was approached by some very friendly girls.

I totally agree about doing the research ahead of time. My son works, had time off and went without a lot of planning. Obviously he's not the only one . Like Andrew (poster #3) said 100% of Americans he came across said they were scammed.

San Francisco
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for Guangzhou
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9. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

Regrettable but that is life, I want to teach my sons to not to make the same mistakes I made, we all do, but there is no end to that and to a point they don't want to listen, or don't want to come home to visit if their dad just nag them. They have to make their own mistakes.

They grew up just like me and you. If they are smart, they don't make the same mistakes twice.

Just today I was "advising" one son about something by email but I had to stop and think if I should do it, it could be just another "lecture" by dad. When he was 17, he was in Europe for 2 months we did not hear from him, he missed flight in Paris and had to pay $2500 to buy another ticket, "scammed" by Air France, you can think that way. I did nag him in advance about Italian railroads and he may miss his flight. Another son just shipped out with US Marine Corp, "scammed" by the Marine corp. they should advertise flying a jet is dangerous.

That is life. You should be happy your son grown up to be adventurous to travel the world, tea house scam does not diminishes the beauties and wonders of China, that is part of the adventure, you should not misguide him to lose sight of that, if he does, it will be his loss, not China or anybody else.

Edited: 2:22 am, May 31, 2013
Beijing, China
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10. Re: Scam alerts given to travelers

I guess it wasn't the Mexican government that warned you about entering a dangerous area, though I imagine that warning referred to something a bit more serious than being duped by some friendly girls.

I still don't agree that governments of any country should be flashing up warnings about such things as scams to potential visitors. Information is already available. It doesn't need to be thrust in your face.

I'm not sure that Andrew's experience is typical any more than that of your son's was. Partly, it's just bad luck. Leaving with a disgusting feeling about the whole country because of the actions of a few scumbags is something of an overreaction, I feel. Understandable up to a point but generalizing to an entire nation is not warranted.