The area around Central World seems to be particularly bad for gem scam touts these days.
Stand around outside for a few minutes and one will likely be approached by touts claiming to be "Manager of Central World" or as in this case below, "Chief Security of the Building."
A reader reports:
...I was referred by Thai Gem Scam Group. I wish to write to your website about my bad experience on a gem fraud by the shop YINDEE LAPIDARY CO., LTD. As they have resorted to improper way of running business, I wish to publicize their acts so as to RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS and less tourists will be cheated...
My family and I were having holiday in Bangkok on 17th November. We were walking outside World Trade Centre and were approached by a man who claimed to be the Chief Security of the Building. He asked us where we are going. I told him that we were going to pray at Four Face Buddha and he told me to go another temple nearby instead.
He told us that it was Buddha Day and asked us to go to Lucky Temple to pray, by the arranged tut-tut nearby. On arriving at the temple, which was empty, which was suppose to be crowded, happened to be only a man who was praying at that time.
He found a chance to talk to us, asking us to remove shoes.
He claimed that he is working as a Thai ambassador and was once a monk there and just returned from Singapore.
He even showed us the name cards of some of our Singapore Police Officers, claiming that he knew all of them.
He then told us to look at the Buddha and explained to us that the right heart of the Buddha heart is bigger than his left as it contains BUDDHA HEARTS… He told us a long “story” about the miracle of having “Buddha hearts” which were orange sapphires. His mother who suffered from stroke recovered from drinking the holly water placing next to the Buddha heart…and was able to walk again.
He told me to go to a shop, see enclosed receipt, and told me, that day was the last day of sales and it was the first time that government allows to sell orange sapphire to public, which are meant to be national treasures. Each person is ONLY entitled to buy 3 items. These can be re-sold for three (3) times its price in Singapore.
We “stupidly” went to the shop and the sales person tired ways and means to persuade us to buy 3 items costing about S$4,400.00 and realized when we returned to Singapore that they actually do not cost this much. After browsing through the website, I realized that my husband and I were actually conned by the fraud network into buying gems at inflated prices.
I do not want to know how high... He gave me his mobile number and email address, which we later tried and find them invalid.
I have often made frequent trips to Bangkok for holiday, the trip this time has turned into a nightmare!!! These acts have drastically tarnished the image of Bangkok affecting the tourism industry...