Bangkok Musician Scam (WARNING!)
28th December, 2010
I'm here to post my story of a scam that happened in Bangkok - and supposedly also happens in Pattaya. Two places to keep your guard up. this particular incident happened on Khaosan road and continues to happen to this day!
The short of it is this - it involves a musician who is charming and friendly, he attracts the tourists (often a lone tourists, because they are easier to pray on and have less people to watch his/her back) by playing guitar. He then offers the tourists to come watch him at his bar and to tell the bar people he is his friends so that the tourists can get free food and drinks. "Great!" Thinks the tourists, I get free food and free drinks and a cool local experience.
But sometime along the way, the local musician will ask the tourists to burrow some money for whatever reason (the story will seem very plausible) and because he ahs been so friendly and fun and charming, showing you a good time at his bar, you will feel obliged to help him in his time of need.
He will promise to repay you. But he never will.
That is the short version of the story.
Don't think that you cannot get scammed or that you are too smart. Stay away from local musicians in Thailand, no matter how friendly they are. The risk is too high and they do it too often that they're too good at stealing your money.
This local musician even said things like "You should keep all your money on you all the time, it's not safe in your hostel."
They'll work a long long time to gain your trust, only to use you.
What I was told is this, "There are some people in this world who will feel bad if they do wrong to someone else. But there are people in this world that will feel bad if they do not. If they miss the opportunity to scam you, they will not be able to sleep with themselves at night." - That is the mentality of the peolpe are you are dealing with when you go to Thailand.
Don't think it's too bad, Thailand is great. But beware, and know that there are people like that that live there and pray on unsuspecting tourists.
This particular scam artists' name is Kim Sriprateep - he plays on Khaosan road at a bar called The Rooftop Bar. He's quite good at guitar and singing, which also adds to his charm.
He can read people very will, and also lie through his teeth, he can even cry on command. But do not believe a word he says. These people are dangerous. He has scars on his face that he claimed were from Muay Thai boxing, but after further reflection, I realized those scars are far too clean cut to be from boxing. Most likely, they were from knife wounds.
In addition, he will make up stories that will build up throughout the weeks. And make up different stories in order to use them later to either steal money from you or burrow it somehow.
He was also a Meth Addict, which explains why he needs so much money. He told me that he didn't care for money, but a drug addict always needs more money. Do not believe him.
He eventually ended up stealing 300 dollars from me by making up an elaborate story about needing it to buy back a laptop which he has given away to a family in order to help them out. (I know, it sounds ridiculous now in hindsight) - always trust your instincts. It was ridiculous to lend him the money.
In the end - Just stay away from local Thai musicians. I was told later by someone that Thai musicians only play at night time, in the day time they have a lot of free time, free time to roam around and scam unsuspecting tourists.
And they have a great cover for it, being a reputable musician and damn good ones. Offering you free beers and food at their bar, and making you feel very comfortable.
#1 Posted: 28/12/2010 - 17:40
26th December, 2010
good advice, not happened to me but good to get a heads up as i enjoy a few drinks in that place!
#2 Posted: 1/1/2011 - 19:27
So what happened when you went back and confronted him? Or when you confronted the bar, who must have been in on it? If he goes to the same place and you have a good description of him and even a name, how do the police, either local or tourist, react?
You did report this guy to somebody, right?
I would have raised hell if this happened to me - not that I'd even consider lending more than 500 baht to anybody.
How do you know he was a meth addict?
I think desperation can drive good people to bad things, but then again, some people can be given a thousand chances and still do wrong by others. Don't stand for it. Ever.
#3 Posted: 1/1/2011 - 22:52
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