My Cousin Moves There!
How the scam works:
Most of the scams that are being pulled by locals in the Philippines, Vietnam, or Thailand start with a phony friendship.
Wherever you meet people (temples, store clerks, vendors, hotel employees) they might ask you where you are from, only to reply: “Oh, that’s so interesting, because my cousin moves there next week!” This is a guaranteed scam.
The crooks will invite you for dinner to meet the “cousin” (or uncle, sister, brother, etc), just so “you can explain to them what to be aware of when they move. We could really use your help”. As travelers have nothing but time on their vacation and want to make friends, most of them accept the invitation, especially if it is a free supper.
What’s about to happen is, while having a good time, the scammers will lure you into participating in all kinds of deals (see the Vietnamese Blackjack Scam, Carpet Deals Scam, and the Gems Transport Scam).
How to avoid:
Every time you hear “My cousin will move there. Please come and meet him”, just say thanks, you have plans.
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