Why you can't feed pigeons in Thailand: scammers and birds

HIt can turn into something as harmless at first glance as feeding pigeons for a package tourist who first arrived in Thailand. Be careful not to fall for this Thai way of divorce for money, which is common in Bangkok.

Bird Feeding Fraud Scheme and Execution

And so, how to feed the pigeons for 1000 baht or "sorry for the bird." In fact, this method of fraud is popular not only in Thailand, but also in many Southeast Asian countries.

It is one of the easiest for scammers, because package tourists come across for a divorce, who anyway leave the country in a week. At the same time, the amount for many is not so huge as to spoil their vacation and go to the tourist police to sort it out.

The circuit is really simple. Usually in places where tourists gather, somewhere near a large temple or other attraction, there are places where pigeons live, which the tourists themselves constantly feed.

1. The plot: an offer from a kind Thai at the temple

And here you are, walking slowly, passing by such a place with a sweet smile of a tourist on your lips. With the same sweet smile, a respectable Thai swims up to you, who confidently hands you a bag of grain or other bird food and nods his head, pointing to the pigeons.

You, being in a good mood, decide: why not feed the poor birds, it's so Buddhist. You quickly use the contents of a small bag for its intended purpose, but a caring Thai is nearby and with enviable regularity, with the same kind smile on his lips, he supplies you with new bags of food.

In the process of feeding the birds, you absolutely do not strain. Most likely, after all, the food is free, and this entertainment is made specifically for foreign tourists. Even if you are wrong, then paying a few tens of baht will not be difficult for you.

However, the feeding process has been delayed and it's time for you to move on to see the planned sights. After all, the "Temple of the Emerald Buddha" is already waiting for you.

2. Development of the action and the climax: the invoice and the fake cop

Through the veil of peace, into your complacent space, along with the voice of a kind Thai, strange information breaks in that one bag of food costs 50-80 baht and that it's time to pay the seller ...

And then the costume show begins. Of course, scammers are ready for the fact that the tourist will resist and refuse to pay a few hundred baht for cheap food. They are well prepared for this.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a policeman appears from the crowd and asks you to show your passport. He will look at it and tell you that your visa is not properly issued and invite you to go with him to the station.

Perhaps he will say that he will confiscate your passport until the circumstances are clarified. But the issue can be resolved on the spot for a small amount, for example, 1000 baht.

3. Decoupling: you pay the money and leave

They expect that even if a person realizes that this is an outright extortion of money, he will not argue, but will pay the required amount.

Why do so many people do this:

  • Firstly, in order to finally get rid of annoying beggars, and continue a short rest.
  • Secondly, what if the police really are also in the share and you can make yourself even more trouble?

By the way, this form can be bought in the store. Moreover, even if this is not a real police uniform, but very, very similar to it, you won’t be able to tell right away, because you don’t know exactly how the uniform should actually look. And any crusts of paper can be fake.

What should you do if you are offered bird food?

Don't pick up anything. They push it by force - discard it and that's it. Or under the camera, before buying from a merchant on the street, find out in advance how much it costs.

If you find yourself in such a situation, do not give your passport to a stranger dressed as a police officer. Make a noise to attract the attention of the crowd. Try to take pictures or videotape them. Fraudsters will not take risks and will prefer to find more accommodating people.

In general, you need to know that feeding pigeons and other birds in Bangkok is simply illegal since the end of 2018. And tourists who feed innocent pigeons face a serious fine for such an activity.

bird feeding

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