OMG is it end of the year already? That means it’s holiday season!
But… with talk about Malaysia going bankrupt and petrol prices going up once again (now so high it has reached Snoop Dogg level), Malaysians have never clutched their wallets so hard. Before thinking of running off to the nearest ATM to withdraw your savings or buying a bicycle to commute to work, why not get a part-time job? We’re not asking you to be a Starbucks barista or banquet waiter in hotel lah. You know you’re much better than that. So why not try being a con artist?
No lah. A con is when you persuade someone do something though deceiving them. Therefore, a con artist swindles money out of people through gaining their trust.
It’s a great job cause you have plenty of people to prey on. They are called tourists. Even with our country making embarrassing headlines internationally, it’s surprising that Malaysia is still on people’s bucket list on countries to visit. That means good news for you con artists!
We trawled the intehwebs to look for the successful scams in Malaysia as told by the victims themselves. They are:
1. The Gambling Scam
Works great on: Backpackers travelling alone, first timers to Malaysia.
What you need: A deck of cards, a house as well as 4 to 6 friends or family members.
As seen on: This review by ‘malaysianhell‘ on virtualtourist.com
Pick a tourist trap of your choice and scan for lone backpackers to try out your scam. Petronas Twin Towers/KLCC is a great place to start because always guarantee got tourist one. ‘Innocently’ bump into the tourist of your choice (Let’s call him Ben) and ask them to help you take a picture. After that, start a conversation with Ben asking him where his from. If he says he’s from the States, tell him your parents are going there soon to meet some relatives and would like some advice from a native system. You invite Ben over to your house for tea to meet your ‘parents’. Free food mah, of course Ben will accept.
After Ben has been teh-d and kuih-ed, your ‘dad’ will tell him that he used to be a Blackjack dealer and knows a foolproof trick to win every time. ‘Dad’ then asks Ben to join a Blackjack game that is COINCIDENTALLY happening at the moment. Ben wins the first few rounds with using the trick. Everything is jolly until le wild rich friend of ‘Daddy’ appears. This friend bets big and Benny is forced to match his amount to continue playing. What Ben doesn’t know is that you, your ‘dad’ and his rich friend are in cahoots to swindle as much cash from Ben as possible.
Of course, things go downhill for Benny instantly. He starts losing round after one and eventually has owes your ‘dad’ a lot of money. Not wanting to get walloped, Ben has no choice but to withdraw money from the ATM or sell his 10 Bob Marley t-shirts to pay ‘daddy’ back. Yes, it’s a very long con and takes up the entire day but the pay-off can be huge after converting the USD into RM! But remember you have to share it among your accomplices so pandai-pandai lah.
2. The Fake Tourist Police Scam
Works great on: Random tourists, preferably travelling solo.
What you need: A hensem Middle Eastern friend, laminated card tags, a printer, crushed up Panadol.
As seen on: This review by ‘from_bangalore’ on virtualtourist.com
If have a Middle Eastern friend and wanna make some fast cash, this is the con for you. This scam is mostly run by Middle Easterners, so you and your friend can fit in perfectly. First off, you need to create fake tourist police IDs. After that’s done, linger around tourist traps like Bukit Bintang or Jonker Street and approach any random tourist, preferably female, as they will be drawn to your hunky friend.
Anyway, you and your friend approach a female tourist, let’s name her Sally, and proceed to flash her your legit IDs. Then you tell Sally that you need to check her bags for fake currency or drugs. Once you have her bag, pretend to check her bag thoroughly and carefully place the Panadol powder inside. Watch the colour drain from Sally’s face as you tell her she in possession of an illegal substance. As she realises she has fallen for your scam, you order Sally to pay you a certain sum of money if she wants her bag back. Name the amount of money you want Sally to pay you, and you are set for night out in Bukit Bintang for free!
3. The Damsel in Distress Scam
Works great on: Rich uncles and sympathetic aunties.
What you need: Eye drops or an onion, professional acting skills.
As seen on: This review by ‘DennyP’ on virtualtourist.com
Ladies who like to drama-drama please take note. For this one you need to be brave a bit.
If you are in Genting, walk around the cable car area and follow a group of people of your choice. Make sure you stay close to them so you will end up in the same cable car. When it is about to be their turn to get on, apply your eyedrops or chop an onion quickly and get ready for the biggest acting gig of your life.
Start crying and tell them your sob story. For example, your husband left you with his gambling debt, you realised that you dropped your wallet and can’t pay for the Genting getaway you have promised your family for the past 2 years, etc. Be as convincing as possible. Be as desperate as possible.
You only have 20-25 minutes to make the people in the cable car sympathise with your story. Only then will you receive some pity cash. Once you’ve achieved that, wipe your tears because it’s time to hit that casino.
4. The Taxi Driver-Hotel Staff Komplot Scam
Works great on: Desperate and rushing tourists.
What you need: Not much. A day job at a hotel and good nego skills.
As seen on: This review by ‘Swissdani8919’ on tripadvisor.com.my
This is another fast cash scam for those of you who are bored with your hotel desk job, especially those of you in Penang.
Planning a scam with a taxi driver is a fun and beneficial way to spend an afternoon. Most Penang cabbies don’t get a lot of business, so high chances are Uncle Teksi is damn free and will be happy to entertain you. Tell Uncle Teksi you will provide him passengers in the form of hotel guests. And oh, also tell him to overcharge them kao kao and give you a cut of the fare.
Just a small cut will do as Uncle Teksi needs it more. Not only do you help a struggling taxi driver, you have enough cash to belanja yourself and your SO 2 or 3 plates of delicious char koay teow.
5. The Car Rental Scam
Works great on: People who need cars la ahbo.
What you need: A vehicle and gangster friends.
As seen on: This review by ‘Yooqie’ on tripadvisor.com.my
For you peeps in Langkawi that are short on cash cause you went overboard on chocolate and booze, listen up.
Firstly, go and talk a few dodgy car rental agencies to see whether they want in on the scam. Tell them you will ‘accidentally’ bump into a particular car they’re renting and then speed off. When the poor driver returns to the car to the agency, he will be asked to pay a shitload of cash in compensation. If he doesn’t, call your gangster friends to give him a few Archie slaps.
That will make the fella pay up, hmm is RM600 fair? Anyway, once that’s done get your cut from the agency and go to Pantai Cenang and get your jet ski on!
6. The Bus Ticket Scam
Works great on: Sigh, people who need to buy flight tickets?
What you need: A walkie-talkie, fanny pack and lotsa patience.
As seen on: This blog post by Marina on rinaz.net
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a tout? Yes, there is a legit English term to refer to those bus ticket agents who ikut you everywhere and bombard you with questions and ticket prices, eventually pressuring you to buy from them. This is prolly the most common and successful scam if you wanna try it out. If you do, then head to Pudu, doo bah doo bah doo. Ask a fellow Abang Tout to take you under his wing to see how it’s done.
Look out for lost tourists who need to get somewhere asap. Once you spot one, be load and aggressive as competition is stiff with other touts around. Let’s call this tourist Freddie. Persuade Freddie to buy a bus ticket from you as he can’t get a better price from anyone else. You offer Freddie a RM38 bus ticket to Penang which leaves in 15 minutes. He takes it and proceeds to the bus which is already waiting for him and leaves immediately. Freddie is pleased with his steal of a bus ticket.
Just kidding. *evil laughter* Of course the bus is not there and Freddie is informed that it will arrive in an hour. After waiting forever Freddie will board the bus only to be approached by your tout friends with walkie talkies. They tell Freddie that seats on this bus cost RM50, not RM35. Therefore, an angry Freddie has to pay an extra RM15 to get to Penang which he will pay cause he desperate. Just like that, RM15 profit.
If you can get 6 Freddies in a day, walao earn RM100 already wei! More than Starbucks barista yo!
7. The Fake Tour Agent/Hotel Representative Scam
Works great on: Jet lagged tourists.
What you need: Good eyesight, high stamina and badass charm.
As seen on: This review by ‘maic’ on tripadvisor.com.my
For this scam, you need to head to the KLIA or any other major international airports. Then faster faster make your way to the arrival hall and take note of where the tour agents and drivers are waiting. They will be the ones holding placards of names of arriving tourists who do not know they’re about to get duped.
Now this is where your good eyesight comes in. Choose a placard and memorise the names of the tourists and travel agency as well. For example, Mr and Mrs Papito for Funny Tour Agency. Once you’ve done that, stand way in FRONT so you get to the tourists first.
Try your luck and call out for the Papitos a few times until they approach you. Be charming and tell them Funny Tour Agency sent you to arrange their hotel accommodation as the original hotel rep forgot to do so. Charge them on the spot and tell them their driver is outside waiting to send them to the airport. As soon as you see them exit through the sliding doors of KLIA, run to the nearest Firefly counter and buy a one way ticket to wherever you want. Domestic only lah cause no need passport and all. You just bought yourself a free holiday, tahniah.
Homaikot! So easy to make money leh!
Since there are seven scams, you can try out one scam a day for a week to see which one suits you best. If you lazy then one scam a month can d lor. But we kid, we kid. Don’t be a con man, ok. Can go jail one. The point of our story is……. it’s scary how easy it is to get scammed right? And it’s even scarier how many people still fall for them!
So as it’s holiday season right now, here are 5 IMPORTANT tips to ensure your holidays are scam-free, and potong-stim-free:
- Always bring a copy of your passport, but just the photo copy.
- No matter how nice the locals are, never follow them home please.
- Only let police in uniform check your bags.
- Always buy bus tickets from credible bus counters, do not buy them directly from the touts.
- Do your research before travelling anywhere. Go on forums and check out what scams to look out for.
But the most important thing is to always wear your “common travel sense” hat on wherever you go. And the rest of your clothes also lah. Anyway, happy travelling guys!