Post Last Modified – August 26, 2021
Popular Scams In Hong Kong
With the city inviting over 50 million tourists a year, Hong Kong is a perfect place for scammers to apply their trade.
This city is known as a Free Trade Paradise and scam 🧑 artists galore flock to the city to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists!
If you’re simply stopping over on route to or from your intended destination as we did last year, or you plan on spending several days in this bustling city, then you should familiarize yourself with a few of the more common scams in the city.
Shopping Scams Everywhere
Scams in Hong Kong #1
Who doesnt go to Hong Kong and not take advantage of the great 🛍 shopping available to visitors. ❓
This is without a doubt, one of the biggest scams that tourists get taken for. As we discovered in Thailand, you can be guaranteed to find counterfeit goods and designer knockoffs for sale everywhere!
Mong Kok Shopping district is very popular for locals and visitors. It is commonly referred to as the Counterfeit Goods and Electronics District.
A wonderful place to experience, but do be careful of what you are 💰 purchasing. Unless of course, the real thing is not that important to you.
Great bargains are to be had on knockoffs, if that is what you are looking for. If not, check with your hotel staff or other reputable and trustworthy professionals for the best place to purchase authentic items without being scammed!
The Bait and Switch Shopping Scam is huge world-wide, and something everyone should be aware of when out shopping in other countries..
Always check your 👜 item placed into the bag prior to leaving the check-out counter in the store.
For example, you purchase an expensive ⌚ watch of a particular model you’ve chosen. Shop keepers will commonly head into the back room to grab that item for you. Unfortunately in some cases, they return with an older or outdated model without you knowing.
This is especially common for those stopping briefly on tours, buses, transfers and so on, where returning to the store is impossible.
You have been scammed! 🕵
Antiques Scams – Shoppers Beware
Scams in Hong Kong #2
Many visitors flock to the 🏪 Big Antique Marketplace also known as 🐱 Cat Street Market for what they think are old antiques from years gone by.
In fact, the majority of items for sale in this marketplace are fakes and simply cheap items assembled in Mainland China. These items are made to look old.
Shop keepers will tell you that many pieces for sale are a thousand years old!
Well, if that is really the case, dont you think that item would be in an historical museum?
Common sense folks!!
Still, do not let this deter you from visiting and experiencing these markets and purchasing a trinket or two to take home. Its all part of the fun and enjoyment of the Hong Kong experience!
Beware Of Fake Monks
Scams in Hong Kong #3
One other fairly popular scam you may encounter during your visit, is the presence of fake 👨 Buddhist monks walking about tourist areas asking for donations.
Do not be fooled by these individuals just because they are dressed and look like monks, they are not!
It is against the law and forbidden by anyone to beg for money on the streets of Hong Kong.
They can be 👮 arrested on site. Even for a few dollars, do not give these people any money!
This will only encourage them to continue to scam others, and perhaps those more sympathetic people who will get scammed for large sums of 💰 money!
Night Club Scams
Scams in Hong Kong #4
The nightlife is a huge money making industry in the city and where many tourists flock to in the evening hours, particularly younger male adults.
The Wan Chai neighborhood is perhaps the most popular and filled with nightclubs, prostitution and other activities for visitors to experience.
This is perhaps the most dangerous for tourists and where one should exercise extreme caution at all times. Most clubs and other related activities are all controlled and run by serious Gangs, and scams run rampant in these areas.
As in most areas of the world, its great to enjoy the nightlife, but if you are traveling alone and visiting these places, do keep in mind that you are a target for scammers.
A very common scam and dangerous one at that, is with Lady-Boy prostitutes who prey on males.
They first entice you into targeted bars to dance, buy them drinks and feed them, all at your expense for the evening.
It is also not uncommon for them to have their prey purchase clothes and much more afterwards, even days later. Depending on the circumstances, some may use blackmail and extortion in extreme cases.
So a word to the wise, be careful and try to visit these areas in groups, using caution and common sense at all times!
Just a few things for visitors to be aware of when visiting this beautiful city that never sleeps!
Taxi Scams in Hong Kong
Scams in Hong Kong #5
🚕 Taxi scams are known world wide, and can easily be avoided. Here are a few things to keep in mind when entering a taxi;
🚥 Never enter a cab without a meter;
🚥 There should be No extra surcharges;
🚥 Never exchange foreign currency with a taxi driver;
🚥 Never enter a cab at the airport out of queue.
These are just a few common sense things to consider if you take a cab in Hong Kong or anywhere else in the world.
If there is no meter, always negotiate an accepted price before ever stepping into the vehicle!
Tourist Scams are everywhere, not just in Hong Kong. I’ve been the victim of some very minor tourist scams over the years traveling. These are everyday folks just taking advantage of tourists when they can.
But using 🛑 caution and a little common sense, will save you from becoming a victim of scams wherever your travels may take you.
Below, I have also included a link to the Official Hong Kong Tourism website. Here, you can access everything you need to know when planning a trip to this beautiful City.
Safe and Healthy Travels!
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