Scam in Phnom Penh- Beware solo travelers
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Aug 6, 2012 6:19 AM Last Post By: Soksabai
Aug 4, 2012 8:27 AM
Scam in Phnom Penh- Beware solo travelersHello All,
Recently back from a trip to Cambodia (July 2012). A man on a motor bike tried to get me to go see his daughter who was supposedly moving to Canada (my country of origin) since she had many questions about making such a move.
When I asked him to bring his daughter to me so we could meet and chat at the public market (where I was headed), he said the daughter was with his wife AND, since his wife was sick (required medical treatment at a clinic), neither of them could come to the market.
HOWEVER, I was very welcome to go to their house which was not far away and he could take me there, very quickly. It was "down the street".
When I did not get on the motorbike, the man did not in the least become pushy, arrogant or upset- he simply drove off. Not once did he give a “bad vibe”- he remained cordial, seemingly genuine and looked entirely harmless. He could be your long lost uncle flipping burgers at the neighbourhood block party! The bad vibe kicked in when he almost instantly dismissed my idea of meeting his daughter at the public market... that's when I knew something "was up".
I have since looked on the Internet to see if someone else had had a similar experience and found this: http://www.nzwomansweekly.co.nz/your-stories/weekly-people/kiwis-oe-terror-i-was-kidnapped-in-cambodia/
I have no way of verifying if the story on Internet is accurate nor the date of the incident- but the similarities b/w my story and this story on the Internet are hair-raising!
1- both stories start with someone needing help because their child is moving to 'x' country,
2- both require we meet someone who is not instantly available- they are sick and being treated at hospital- usually it's the "caring mom"
3- both result in you to be moved to a place where you are entirely helpless, out of public eye
Solo travelers, both men and women, Be Aware! I was alone at this point in the day when the man approached me and yes, I am female.
My time in Cambodia was lovely, besides this little moment- people were friendly and warm, there is much to see and discover.
Just be careful- use your smarts- do not be blindsided by your desire to help.
Safe travels to all, peace.
Aug 4, 2012 9:08 AM
Aug 4, 2012 10:13 AM
Aug 4, 2012 10:47 AM
4It's a common Filipino scam that is operated all over Southeast Asia. I've run into its practitioners 3 times in Bangkok, once in Krabi, once in Kuala Lumpur, and once in Hong Kong. It's been widely reported in Saigon and it's been going strong in Phnom Penh for a year or two.
You did exactly as you should. Listen to those warning signals.
Aug 4, 2012 12:32 PM
5Invincible_Gamera, the man introduced himself as coming from The Philippines! I'm just happy to get the message out- if more people know, the less power it has!
Aug 4, 2012 7:02 PM
Aug 4, 2012 7:35 PM
7This scam comes up regularly and still claims victims. I read the link from the OP about the girl from NZ who was scammed out of thousands of dollars. She seemed incredibly naive and then I read further down that she'd been accepted into medicine at Oxford! Classic case of study smart but not street smart.
Aug 4, 2012 8:42 PM
Aug 4, 2012 8:48 PM
9Not had the clothing bit in Vn but had it in Malaysia. Usually shoes, especially better quality trainers. ('What make?'' ''Where did you get them...'')
Aug 5, 2012 3:33 PM
10Nothing new under the sun...
I had the 'Hey, great trainers - where did you get them?' approach in Manila in 1992, a friendly guy with an attractive female companion.. On the same trip and also in the Phils I had the 'Hey friend - remember me? I'm the immigration officer who stamped you into the country.' In Bangkok a couple of years later I encountered a gentleman who's daughter had landed a nursing job in the UK - amazingly in the town that I come from! In 1988, also in Bangkok, I met a New Zelender who had been completely taken in by the infamous scam in which he ended up losing in a high stakes card game against a rich 'uncle'....in Cairo in 1981 me and a mate got taken round the town by two friendly 'journalists' who just needed to borrow a few dollars before they picked us up in the evening to take us to the Egyptian wedding to which they had invited us....the good scams don't really change, as there are always new travellers and people who are not aware of how these things operate...so yes, be aware. Forewarned is forearmed.
Aug 5, 2012 4:48 PM
Aug 6, 2012 12:58 AM
12I've had the nice boots , t-shirt compliment at least three times on every visit to Phnom Penh over the last five years or so , normally in Lucky's in Sorya and on occasion while walking past the 24 hr shop next to Golden Sorya Mall on St 51 .
The more publicity about these scammers the better .....
It would be nice if the Airlines serving Phnom Penh would put a small article in their in flight magazine's highlighting the problem ...
Aug 6, 2012 3:49 AM
Aug 6, 2012 6:19 AM
14I find it interesting from a sociological perspective about who gets targeted with these scams or other approaches and who does not. When I was in my 20s it seemed to make a big difference if I was by myself or with male companion who was offering what. By myself... not much. With a bloke, he was offered all sorts of stories as well as drugs and women.
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