Beware, tourists, China is an ideal destination for tourists, but you are likely to be scammed — not just the average tourist, but everyone should be aware. Knowledge is power, even if you live in china, you should be on your guard. Fraud is normal l, but with this knowledge, you can avoid fraud and have wonderful travel experience in China! Here is a list of the most common scams that you would probably encounter from the moment you step off the plane landing in China.
Scam#1 Black Taxis
The first scam you will meet is black taxis, when you walk out of an airport or a train station, the first people you’re probably going to see are these black taxi scammers. They’ll be shouting out in English ”TAXI! TAXI! TAXI!” Do not go with those guys, they’re a complete rip-off, they are going to charge a lot of money. Remember only take officially marked and metered taxis.
Scam#2 Higher Product Price for Foreigners
Everybody knows that you can buy nice products with lower price in China, But there are things people need to know. When you first come to china, bargaining is pretty much like a sport, but a lot of foreigners are trying to be polite considering bargaining is a bit rude in the western culture. In fact in China they actually they take advantage of this western sensibilities that foreigners don’t want to bargain because It might be rude. So they’ll offer foreigners outrageous price. Not only this usually happens to foreigners, but also to Chinese. Sellers don’t get offended by that, and that’s what they are expected.
A little tip for the best deals:
Come early, Because if you are the first customer, they will sometimes drop even lower, being the first customer is kind of a luck thing due to the traditional superstition—开门红 kaimenhong (Don’t turn away your first customer)
Scam#3 Fake Monks
There are fake monks wandering streets trying to extort money, usually, they are trying to give you a good-luck charm making you feel obliged, they won’t ask you if you want it or not. If you take the charm, then they will ask you for money or a donation. They are usually very persistent, it can be annoying.
Beware of the fake monks, real monks don’t wander the streets asking for money,
and they stay in monasteries.
Scam#4 Bait and Switch
You will probably meet this scam near gadgets market, A guy approaches you and claim that he came over the border and his wallet got stolen and he can’t get back home and all he has is his cell phone, then asking you if want to buy to help him get back home. First he will show you a brand new real iPhone, but when you give him the money, he will use a sort of sleight of hand to switch your real one. Then you will get a fake iPhone.
If anyone tries to sell you things on the street, you should probably be careful. Even it’s not a scam, probably stolen.
Scam#5 Tea House Scam
The gist of this scam is that you will be approached by attractive young women, this will typically found in Beijing and Shanghai. They will try to invite you to go for coffee, tea or art gallery. Then they will entice you to try out tea ceremony, they will take you to their tea house, once you tried their tea drinks you will be presented with an outrageous bill for thousands of RMB.
You are probably thinking that in china scams only affect foreigners, but this is not the truth. Local people get scammed just as much as foreigners. The only difference is Chinese people think foreigners are rich, and the language barrier makes it easier for them to scam you. Also, Scams are everywhere in the world, you can think this as a survival guide, china still is a diverse country and offers a lot to see. Hope you can be careful with these scams and have a nice trip in china.