Attempted scam at Christie’s Lapidary – October 30, 2002

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Attempted scam at Christie's Lapidary - October 30, 2002
If there was any doubt that the authorities are doing nothing about the gem scam, we are once again getting a scam report a day (this happens each year during the tourist season).
While walking near Siam Center, a tuk-tuk driver approached, and offered to take me on a "two-hour sightseeing tour of Bangkok for the remarkable price of 10 baht. I had all day - why not. Within 15 minutes, I realized that it was going to be a scam: my sight-seeing tour was going to be of over-priced stores. Let's see: a tailor shop (where my store guide offered me, among another things, silk ties for "600 baht for one, 900B for two" which looked exactly like those sold along Sukhumvit for 100B), a jewelry store, another jewelry store and, finally, the Lucky Buddha. Inside, I was met by a personable young man telling me about a fantastic sale at Christie's Lapidary! Jewelry was so cheap, I could resell it at Tiffany's (!) for twice the price! Wow! According to this gent, he had done it 3 times, paying for his college and vacations. The promotion: for today only, a necklace / ear ring / bracelet set for $4000 US. He actually had a receipt "1 set, saphire/gold ear ring, necklace, and bracelet, $4000 US". Incredible, this idiot had a receipt in US dollars. Gee, and I thought the currency in Thailand was in Baht. Of course, I realized it was a scam, he realized that I knew it was a scam, and it was time for us to leave the temple ("the monks are going to have a meeting"). The "tour" was worth the 10B - I loved it.
While walking to the boxing stadium (Ratch...something or the other), a gent strode aside me, asked where I was going, and offered to take me to a "secret TAT office to buy cheap boxing seats" - I guess that I looked like a real sucker. While at the stadium, a tout mentioned that all seats were terrible, except for the 1500B ringside seats. If you've been there, you know that the ringside seats are unremarkable, and the cheapest seats are great.
What else...I emailed a realtor (I'm interested in moving to Bangkok) who took me to 4 condos, and told me that they were the only ones available and, if I was smart, I'd have money transferred from the US right away!
I can't stop! I stayed at the Ambassador hotel which has 3 tailor shops. One enterprising guy offered a custom made suit for $40 US. If I die and go to hell, I'll be forced to attend business meetings every day in a $40 suit! I loved my visit, and I can't wait to return.

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