The Thai Gem Scam is one of the oldest in the book. Generally it works something like this:
You get approached by a well-dressed stranger -- Thai or foreign -- who strikes up a seemingly innocent conversation. Though a variety of schemes the conversation leads to you perhaps being offered a free ride in a tuk tuk or an invitation to a store that their friend owns. The store invariably will be a gem and precious stones outlet.
To cut a long story short, they get you into the store and convince you that you can earn a lot of money by buying some gems to take back to your home country where you will be able to on-sell them for a large amount.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The gems you be will either be fake or, if real, woefully overpriced.
Gem buying in Thailand should be left to the professionals. Despite warnings everywhere, a ridiculous number of people still get caught up in gem scams in Thailand. Never allow yourself to be taken to a gem store. Never.
For more information on these scams read this post about gem scams on the Travelfish forum, or see the following websites:
Thai Gem Scam Group
Please find below some of the more frequently asked questions (FAQ) people have about travelling to Thailand. We've tried to answer all the most frequently asked questions, but if you have another query about Thailand, please try our Travelfish messageboard.
Is it possible to rent rooms or dormitories for long periods of time?
Rooms: is a fan room ok, or should I budget for air-con?
Should I take my own padlock for the door of my room while travelling in Thailand?
What should I do if a bag is stolen from my room or dormitory while travelling in Thailand?
What standard of acommodation can I expect for US$5?
Why are there so few dormitories in Thailand?
Can I drink the tap water in Thailand?
How can I avoid MSG in Thailand?
How do I avoid peanuts in Thailand?
I have a food allergy - will I cope?
Is there good vegetarian food in Thailand?
Is western food available in Thailand?
Are the ferries in Thailand safe?
Are the trains in Thailand safe?
Do they trains run on time?
Is it easy to hitch-hike in Thailand?
Is it easy to rent a car or motorcycle in Thailand?
Should I get a tourist minibus in Thailand?
What is Bangkok's bus system like?
Which is the better way to travel around Thailand - train or bus?
Are credit cards accepted in Thailand?
Are there ATMs in Thailand?
How can I have money sent to me in Thailand?
How can I send money out of Thailand?
Should I bring travellers cheques, credit/debit cards or cash to Thailand?
Should I tip in Thailand?
Are leeches a problem in Thailand?
Are legal drugs cheap in Thailand?
Do I need a prescription in Thailand?
Do I need malarial medication in Thailand?
General food and water precautions in Thailand
General health advice for Thailand
HIV/AIDS in Thailand
Is cholera a problem?
Is heatstroke a problem in Thailand?
Is medical care cheap in Thailand?
Is medical care in Thailand good?
Is rabies a problem in Thailand?
Schistosomiasis in Thailand?
Traveller's medical kit for travel in Thailand
What about dengue fever in Thailand?
Will I get diarrhoea in Thailand?
Are there many internet cafes in Thailand?
Can I travel with a laptop in Thailand?
Is there ADSL internet access in Thailand?
What is mobile phone coverage like in Thailand?
What is the voltage in Thailand?