[quote=“septimus, post:3, topic:577042”]
[li] Double pricing annoys me too. But did you know that those with Nevada driver’s licenses often see Las Vegas shows for a discount?[/li][/QUOTE]
Actually, that’s not quite the same thing, as foreigners can hold Nevada driver’s licenses or state IDs too and are therefore welcome to the discounts. We had the same thing in Hawaii, called the Kama’aina Discount – kama’aina being Hawaiian for “native” – and anyone with a state driver’s license or ID, be they American or foreigner, got it. We knew many Thai and other foreign students who took advantage of that.
Anyway, yes, it is a shame that so many scams get perpetuated in Thailand. You do have to be somewhat on your guard in tourist areas if you are a newbie, but don’t be paranoid. Just remember that temples and other major attractions never close for holidays despite what the very official-looking man may tell you a block away from it; go look for yourself. There are no government gem shops that offer huge discounts on special days of the year, or any other types of gem shops either. Tuk-tuk rides normally cost much more than 10 or 30 baht for all day. Thais are friendly but not so friendly that complete strangers will walk up to you and want to be your new best friend. And never, ever rent a jetski.
Why are the scams allowed to perpetuate? Quite simply, powerful people profit from them, people who are in many cases above the law. In other cases, the law themselves get kickbacks. The gem scam in particular is supposed to profit a member of a particular family that if just named, the namer could go to prison for many years. And as for warning people about the scams, that’s a good idea of course, but believe it or not, there are still many cases where victims admit they read all the warnings beforehand and still got scammed.
Most Thais are not going to try to scam you, though. Just remember to keep your wits about you and that if something seems to be too good to be true, it almost certainly is.