Home Community General Travel Travel Tips Scams – such as baby milk powder in Cambodia

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    Paul Spain

    I have come across a few scams when travelling. Central Paris was the worst area for it.

    But the baby milk scam is a shocker. Details here on News.com.au




    My general rule is – if I’m approached by someone I don’t know, the answer is always “no” or “sorry”, and I walk faster. Doesn’t matter what country I’m in. These people are no foreigners to that type of reaction I’m sure.


    I had my first intro to begging when I was 16yo and in India on a sports trip and was told not to give money or anything because then there will be a horde of people begging for the same tip. I was also told that limbs were deliberately cut off to make themselves look good for begging (not sure how true that one was) but yeah it was a good piece of advice not to give anything.


    I have to admit I was a bit bored when approached by some make a wish foundation people on the GC so signed up but in general I support the SPCA and any old clothes go to a clothing bin, other stuff goes to habitat or the salvation army. I make an effort to get to those places rather than putting things in the bin. Sometimes I don’t mind buying things or paying a bit more for something when I’m bargaining overseas because you can see those people need it or leaving a tip for some amazing meals you get for dirt cheap because those people earned it! But I despise the thought of being scammed. I may infrequently buy something purely because I think they’ve worked hard at whatever they’ve made but I’ll insist they keep it. You can tell “the talk” is coming your way. We were in Sapa in Vietnam trekking and hired one guide but ended up with another 2 but they were lovely, they walked with us and offered their hand on tricky parts. I really enjoyed talking to them and finding out about their lives. I prefer this over reading a book. You feel bad when they’re aiming just to see a plane in person yet every tourist there has flown in, but I also feel amazed they have the internet and can watch planes on you tube and I feel guilty that is their dream – to see a plane in person when we think nothing of it. These are moments of reality that slap you in the face and remind us how lucky we are.


    I’m open to helping out the locals but not in a way where I feel deceived or scammed. I prefer to make contributions to humanity in my own way, on my own terms. I will give a bit extra overseas depending on how much I value a meal, service, or a piece of work. I know those people work hard and have hard lives so I have no issue contributing in the right way or in the right moment.



    Heading to cambodia on saturday… Will watch out for this one, thanks Paul!

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