Phone Slipped in Your Pocket

How the scam works:

This has been reported to happen in many countries. As you are enjoying a touristy spot, your pocket or bag vibrates. A phone is ringing inside, but it is not yours!

All of a sudden, a person standing five yards away starts yelling from the top of her lungs, accusing you of stealing her phone. As it takes you a few seconds to realize what’s going on, another person “witnesses” the whole episode and is ready to swear she saw you stealing the phone. You could be in big trouble, as the police might show up within minutes.

How to avoid:

Most of the local police officers are familiar with this scam, but if you are not that lucky, you will get away with giving them a lot of money to let you go. Similar to Thailand, cash extortion is huge in Malaysia. However, you could avoid the whole thing by trying to stay away from physical contacts with unknown locals or people who “accidentally” bump into you. You don’t have to be paranoid, but use your common sense.

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