Took a walk down the Sukhumvit road one morning on my own and decided I wanted to do some tourists things around Bangkok, see some of the sites, not just gogo bars. A Tuk Tuk rider would take me around the sites in Bangkok for 30 baht, sounded like an offer I could not refuse.
The reason the Tuk Tuk riders offer such a low fare around Bangkok is because they know you are a tourist in sight seeing mode. The Tuk Tuk driver will drop you off at various tourist attractions around Bangkok where you will then pay an entrance fee and the Tuk Tuk rider gets a kickback in the form of commission. Its a Thai network and the cherry on the cake is taking you to a gem shop.
The first stop was on the Bangkok river, where a private boat would take me around Bangkok by waterway, I think this was about a 1000 baht but enjoyed it and went well, its like this builds up your trust.
On the river we stopped by a zoo again paid a hiked entrance fee and then watched a snake show. Finally the boat stopped somewhere and my trusty Tuk Tuk rider was waiting for me.
He then took me to a temple in Bangkok. In the temple a man approached me and started telling me about the benefits of buying some gems in Thailand and then selling them back in London UK. He particulary kept going on about the lady princess set, similar to what prince Charles had got princess Dianna. I guess because you are in a sacred place that somehow it must be genuine. At the time I not really think alot about it and not realise all these people were working together with the Tuk Tuk rider being central.
Surprise surprise the next stop was a gem shop in Bangkok. Not really interested wandering around and then the shop lady brings my attention to the lady princess set. It does look very beautiful and suddenly I remember the conversation with the guy in the Bangkok temple. I believe back in the UK I can make a tidy profit and purchase it with my credit card for £1500. Tuk Tuk rider job down, he went home a happy man that day.
Back in the UK, I get the jewelry set valued and it comes back should insure it for £3500! wow! sure was not fake. But you cant sell jewelry and make a profit. A few months later I took it to Hatton garden in London and they would not look at it twice, they see it every day. One place offered me £300. I went home an unhappy man, realising I had fallen for the Bangkok gem scam. Around a decade later I managed to sell it for £500.