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Travel Alert: Absolute Scam around Asia

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Travel Alert: Absolute Scam around Asia

Post by Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 31 May 2010 11:57 am

Just got back from Koh Samui and thought I do a travel alert for travellers.

I was with my bf in Samui over the long weekend, and we got approached by 2 french guys. The 2 french guys gave each of us a scratch card, and told us that we may get a chance to win some prize. Mine shows that I won a t-shirt while my bf shows that he won one of the 5 listed prize. :roll:

To me, its an obvious time-sharing because we are required to sit through a 90 minutes presentation. My bf has never sat through a time-sharing talk and he is curious to take a look at how it goes, etc. So yes, we went along with it, knowing that its going to be a complete waste of time. :cool:

Anyway, I have to admit that the whole scam is very well-executed. The guys who approached us are caucasians, and everyone within the nicely decorated showroom in Samui are also caucasians. No slide shows or brochures were given. The "sales man/woman" will sit down with a cup of coffee, asking casually about your work, your travel style, plans, etc. They will also bring you to take a look at a couple of their "supposedly" owned resorts and pay for the coffee/snacks consumed in the resorts.

Eventually, they will show you some websites on how you can book accommodations at deeply discount rates, etc.

The last part is to bring you to a private room, and talk about the details of the packages and of course the price. When we commented that the price is not exactly attractive, the guy started to explode (literally!). He was screaming and shouting saying that he is british and we obviously uses a different english because he don't understand what we are talking.

Note that my bf is legally trained and has a masters of law from a university in US.

Anyway, we calmly said that the conversation should conclude because nobody deserved such insults. The guy obviously think he is right and started to snatch the pricing notes away from us, rudely and shouted that we can go claim our "free prizes" now and get our "a$$" off his office.

My bf felt bad and declined the gift. I told him that the whole explosion is staged, simply to make him feel bad (and he obviously suceeded). If you observe the entire process, its very well-thought and executed, with every detail planned carefully to "lure" the "innocent".

Anyway, if you google "Club Absolute Scam", you will notice that they have it in several popular travel spots including Phuket, Samui, Hong Kong, etc.

Be warned!

But if you have time, you should play along with it, and have fun with the free coffee, tour around the resorts and snacks. If possible, it will be good fun to see the response of the "sales people" if you can google "Club Absolute Scam" on the spot and show them. :lol:

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Post by missis » Mon, 31 May 2010 12:56 pm

Happened to us in the Canary Islands in the 90s. Happens everywhere.

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Post by BigSis » Fri, 11 Jun 2010 9:40 am

This used to be big business in Europe but the holiday areas over there must have had some kind of law change or something because there don't seem to be as many of them around these days.

I suppose they've moved to Asia now - perhaps the laws about it are more relaxed.

You should have gone to the police about them and put in a complaint. They might not have been interested, but you never know. Apart from anything else you could have complained about being threatened by the guy and as he wasn't Thai, they may have acted on that instead.

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Post by chelseagirl » Fri, 25 Jun 2010 8:42 am

We went to one in Oahu, Hawaii and for our troubles, we got a coupon for one free day rental of a Jeep Wrangler. The guys in Oahu were nice though when we declined, so not such a bad experience like yours, :)

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