Why Do Farangs Fall For Scams?

This week Stickman has yet another tale of woe from the Land of Smiles. I’m always surprised to what lengths guys will go to in order to stay buried in a fantasy world which simply doesn’t exist.  Things that they would never do back home suddenly appear completely sane in Thailand.  Often it is because the object of their desire has convinced them that it is the Thai way of doing things but more often than not it is plain stupidity.

Let’s remove Thailand from the equation and tell me if this conversation sounds even remotely sane.

You:  So you’re going to quit just short of retirement thus lowering a lifetime of pension benefits and selling everything to go open up a bar in [INSERT ANY COUNTRY OF YOUR CHOOSING HERE]?

Friend:  Yeah, I met this girl and I’m head over heels in love with her.  She told me about a bar in her village that I can buy and it’ll make enough income for us to live off of.

You:  But do  you know anything about running a bar?  Have you ever run a business before?

Friend:  No, but that’s what’s so exciting.  I’ll be my own boss.  I’ll be the one calling all of the shots.

You:  Yeah but most small businesses fail.  Do you have a business plan?  What are your fallbacks if that doesn’t work out?

Friend:  It can’t be all that hard.  I know the guy who runs my regular pub and he doesn’t seem especially gifted at business.

You:  Okay, even so, what do you know about the business laws, taxes, and such in _______________?

Friend:  Well, I don’t really know any of that stuff.  I’m not the first guy to ever open a bar there before.  I mean, how hard can it be?

You:  Whatever.  Still, you said that you’re putting the rest of your money into buying a home there?  At least you’ll have something of value that you own in case it doesn’t work out.

Friend:  Well, technically, she’ll own it but I’m paying for it.  It’s illegal for foreigners to own real estate there.

You:  Are you out of your fucking mind?  You’re going to invest most of your life savings into a piece of property that she can walk off and keep?

Friend:  It’s not like that.  You don’t know her.  She’s such a sweetheart.  Besides after we get married half of it will be mine anyway.  No different than if I got married here.

You:  Do you know that for sure?  What are the community property laws like over there?  Have you checked?

Friend:  How different could they be?  I mean, you get a divorce and each party gets half.  You just don’t know this girl.  She really loves me.

You:  Speaking of which, we’re friends so I can say this but you’re a fat fuck approaching retirement age and not exactly Sean fucking Connery.  And she’s, what, 24?  Mate, when’s the last time you’ve even dated a woman your own age let alone less than half your age?  Hell, when’s the last time you’ve even gone out on a date since you got divorced five years ago?

Friend:  Fuck off.

You:  No seriously.  Doesn’t it strike you as a little fishy?

Friend:  Go fuck yourself.

Literally, you could plug any country into that conversation and it sounds just as mad.  Would an American sell everything and dump all his money in a UK business he had no experience running because he met some girl on holiday?  I’m sure you can find a few scattered stories of such things happening but it’s relatively rare.  Would an Aussie use his last dollar to buy a house in his girlfriend’s name in Italy after only knowing her for a month or two?  Maybe it’s happened before but certainly not to the degree that it happens in Thailand.

I don’t know if that’s a testament to Thai girls or a indictment of farang women who haven’t figured out what really motivates a man.  Maybe it’s the western sense of fair play that allows guys to think that nobody would take advantage of them that callously.  I really does boggle my mind.

I certainly don’t mean to sound insensitive to guys who have lost their life savings yet at the same time when you run through the thought process that got them there it’s difficult to see how they could have allowed themselves to get sunk that deep.  I could even understand this happening to guys before the internet age but today a simple search on Google will yield a digital library of warnings.  Seriously, before upending your entire life is doing a Google search too much?

I guess the part that always strikes me is that they always seem to find sites like Stickman, ThaiVisa, etc AFTER they’ve lost everything.  When they sobered up to reality they started doing some research and found these sites.

Truth be told I think most of them knew beforehand but didn’t think it could happen to them.  Otherwise how do you explain how they figured out how to get their money overseas, visas sorted out, etc, etc?  Chances are they did do some internet research and if they clicked on anything after the first three sites returned by Google they probably read about what has happened to other guys.  But they figured that their girl was too sweet and innocent or that they were too savvy to get snookered.

At times I like to think it’s just a matter of educating people about these traps but in a way it’s like the Nigerian scam artists who send you emails claiming to be holding millions of dollars in a secret bank account that they need your help to get access to.  No matter how many times the story runs on local news channels, no matter how much it’s lampooned in popular culture, every year thousands of people lose their life savings thinking they’ve been blessed with the great fortune to be contacted by some former president’s nephew in need of help.

All scams work because they appeal to something greater than logic.  In the case of the Nigerian scammers they appeal to greed.  Greed is a powerful emotion.  People will throw away all logic if they think they can get something for nothing.

And perhaps it is a sense of greed that drives a man to move half-way across the world for the arms of an uneducated farmer’s daughter.  Not greed in the sense of wanting to get rich but the guys who fall prey to an unscrupulous Thai girl are trying to get something for nothing.  They are trying to find love without all of the other baggage that comes with it.  Who cares if she’s a fraction of his age and they share absolutely nothing whatsoever in common?  Who cares if she has a five year old grasp of the English language and he speaks not a word of Thai?  Who cares if he can’t even fathom what her life was like?  Doesn’t love conquer all?

Well, not really.  Not in real life anyway.

And that’s the lesson that gets played out for us again and again on message boards, blogs, and websites all over the internet.  Love doesn’t conquer all.  There was probably never any love on her side.  In fact, I think if a lot of guys look really, really, really deep within themselves they’ll admit it wasn’t really love on their side either.  Maybe it was the idea of having a gorgeous wife with a perfect body or living the dream life in paradise.  Whatever it was, it probably wasn’t real love.

Thailand is not a place to come find yourself.  If you don’t have your head screwed on straight and are confident in who you are as a person then this country will chew you up and spit you out.  That’s not to say that there aren’t many genuine and lovely people here but the unscrupulous hunt in packs and they follow the herd until they identify the weakest and target that one.  The naive are easy to spot and don’t stand a chance.

If you want to come to Thailand, meet a nice girl, get married, and raise a family then good for you.  But use some common sense.  Don’t be afraid to walk away from a relationship if any of the warning bells are sounding.  They’re sounding for a reason.

And just so as to save people time when they disregard the above, I’ve put together a template you can use when writing to tell your tale.

Dear Stickman / ThaiVisa / OTHER___________________,

I am writing you to tell you about a recent experience that has left me gutted financially / emotionally / both.  It all started when I met a Thai girl / ladyboy named ____________________.  I fell deeply in love with her and decided to:

a)  Sell everything I own, break off all ties to friends and family, and move to Thailand without any source of income

b)  Sell everything I own, break off all ties to friends and family, and move to Thailand with the intention of using all my life savings to buy a home (in her name)

c)  Sell everything I own, break off all ties to friends and family, and move to Thailand with the intention of using all my life savings to buy a business which I have no experience running

d)  All of the above

At first things were fantastic.  It was the best time I can ever remember in my life.  Then something changed.  The first warning bell was when _________________________________.  But I ignored the warning signals because I was so in love with my little teerak.

Long story short:

a)  The business was a huge money pit that drained me down to my last baht

b)  Her and her husband/boyfriend/family stole all of my money and left me penniless

c)  As soon as my money ran out she was gone.

d)  a and c  or b and c

I am now heartbroken, broke, and don’t know what to do as I no longer have any friends or family willing to send me enough money to go back home.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME HERE

13 thoughts on “Why Do Farangs Fall For Scams?

  • November 26, 2008 at 11:31 pm
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    It’s a testament to the power of dreams.

    Good that people can still dream.

    The differrence between Italy and Thailand though is that in Italy the aussie can own the land in his own name.

    [ All My Comments at http://blodcast.com/cheap-flights ]

  • December 22, 2008 at 8:07 pm
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    I’ve been coming to Bangkok since 1993 and staying here and off and on since then. After all, like any major cosmopolitan city, Bangkok and Thailand in general have changed a lot for the worst. Perhaps,due to external influences from the millions of tourists that come here each year. Thailand is no longer the “land of smiles” they smile to get your money, it’s always been that way. But at least you felt that it was genuine and warm-hearted approach. But now it’s more cold hearted. They are moody people, self-centered, selfish and don’t care anymore. Their society is breaking down, crime is on the rise, scams etc…

    There is a sucker born every minute. Thai girls have mastered the art of playing with your feeling to get you hooked about their little village and bufalos, and their family support and fidelity and love and the list goes on and on. The minute, you get on that plane back home, you start sending her money and you won’t be her last. She has a million other customers like you.

    Thank god I have never been suckered into any of this. This is all from observation and reading stories about those who lost their livelihood to these girls. It’s a double-edge sword. If it weren’t for the foreigners, they will still be in rice fields. Yet, it is the foreigners that corrupted their souls and their way of life.

    The airports closed for one week and their economy came to a stand still. I had hoped that this would be a learning lesson for them to be nicer and gentler and more caring and bring that genuine smile back. But, my hopes were dashed when everything went back to the way it was.

    I used to be the biggest promoter of Thailand and Thai people and had nothing other than nice things to say about them. Today, it is not the case. Unfortunately, there will always be millions of tourists pouring in every year yet corrupting them even more. Thai people used to take time and pause, light an incense and a candle and worship and “Wei” and offer respect to one another. I used to admire them for that. Look around you today. Do you notice any of that?

  • July 7, 2009 at 9:42 am
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    It’s a sad fact actually. I think it really helps for farangs to do research first in coming here. Would help a lot to be aware on the possible consequences and the history or records of some crimes happened at least for Farangs to get warned and be cautioned in some way. I’m not sure if there’s such an agency, may it be from the govt. or farang groups that caters to that.

    I have read threads in this famous forum in Thailand and I was so surprised that it blocks topics as related to scams of course being farangs as the victims. It helps though for some who are in troubles, yes, after the damage has done.

    Anyway, guess Farangs shouldn’t defend on others, perhaps this isn’t where help comes in handy, it’s hard, but should take lessons in a lot of ways, even the hard ways. If he’s clever enough he should let himself informed and come here with open eyes and ears.

    Thailand is beautiful as what makes it attractive to tourists, the same way as the tourist’s coming is a business as well for those who wish to get a quick cash out of them.

  • July 7, 2009 at 9:45 am
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    sorry I mean Farangs shouldn’t DEPEND on others.

  • December 10, 2009 at 3:36 am
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    If Thailand ,is all doom and gloom for Farangs, why do so many live here? Look around at most of them, and you will see what a sorry bunch they are.Social misfits who would be looked down upon in their own countries,as lazy drunkards. The respect they don’t command at home,they feel is their right in Thailand.Farangs colonized many countries in Asia and Africa. In all cases, they robbed these countries of their values and morals and culture.
    In it’s place they brought their own morally corrupted lifestyle and values. Then they whine ,when it comes back to bite them in the arse.

  • December 11, 2009 at 10:44 am
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    I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom. I think Thailand can be a great place if you have your head screwed on straight.

    I’m not really sure what all of your ranting about colonialism is about as Thailand was never a colony but your comments about many of the people who end up here are straight on.

  • January 2, 2010 at 2:32 am
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    wowwww joemanjoe…you really know the real thailand for us farangs, is really for almost all farangs, one way and end in dead end way. Give and ont get (apart sex).
    I have friends had so much trouble there, but I am still immun from Thai smile. I like it, but I do not trust it, because too quick like a glance and after that smile is only program how to suck your money. But I am more clever, i just go with thai women left and right and i prosime i marry them (then I have to escape) and go from flower to flower and enjoy my money.
    Why marry? for a steady pussy? always the same? then loose everything and the girl do not smile anymore and do not have so interest for sex (may be has, but with younger me). Yes she tells you that she loves older men (pensionist!!!), but in reality she dream of sex with younger.
    Let us be honest: after you have sex with a thai girl, what else is there?
    paul

  • January 2, 2010 at 3:15 am
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    Mr Zed
    Nobody means that Thailand is a bad placea and this reason we like go there. But why must be like that? why thai women use our enthousiam to take us all what we have from our pockets? yes farangs are doom and thai women are clever, but not honest, let us be true. Must it always like this. Africa? they never mention so much their culture. Thai women put thai culture in first place lik the most honest and sincere culture in the world, but then why the girl (many of them) must organize programs to steal all what we have saved in our life?
    They do not believe so much in their culture like they say, because according to buddismus, when you steal money to somebody with thricks or different way, in next life you will be his servant.

  • January 2, 2010 at 7:31 am
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    @paul: I have a theory about men and women . . . you get what you deserve. Your friends that lost their money (as you mentioned in another thread) are stupid. They have no balls and can’t say no so the types of women that are attracted to them are ones who prey on spineless guys who come over here and think that any girl who will sleep with them is the love of their life. They don’t need elaborate scams when your friends are buying them houses in their name or spending 6 million baht in just a few months.

    What guy who wasn’t desperate for sex and/or love would do something that retarded? I’ve been dating women in Thailand for 6 or 7 years now and I’ve yet to buy a single home for anyone. And I have tons of friends and yet I know of not a single one who has been duped into buying a house or spending obscene amounts of money only to get dumped.

    Sure, I’ve read tons of stories about it happening to other people but every story told has one thing in common . . . the guy was thinking with his dick and not his head.

    And you are a really f’d up individual if you’re expecting to get any pats on the back for promising to marry girls and then dumping them. Don’t get me wrong, butterfly all you want but lying to girls like that puts you in scumbag territory.

    I really hope you don’t find out the hard way that Thai women have a way of dealing with guys like you too. All you need is one slightly unbalanced girl to find out that many Thai women take love and marriage very seriously. Don’t be surprised if you wake up minus your dick or come home and find your girlfriend brandishing a knife and threatening to kill either you or her (or possibly both). Or she may decide to rat you out to the police or immigration for a real or imagined crime.

    You think you’re smart but you’re actually very, very stupid. I would much rather lose money than dying or spending a few years in the Thai monkey house.

  • January 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm
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    Okay, I think some fall for scams because simply they are very unsuspecting. Nobody would think twice to a smile and “kindness: may it be real or fake.

    Second, not just kindness but getting into men’s weaknesses, let’s talk about sensations. One gives you a mind blowing sex, romance, sweetness and the “care” one hasn’t had ever in his entire life and when he came to a certain place he had it all perhaps everyday and everynight, and he believes it’s paradise and it never ends not minding he has been lured by his predator.Come to think of it, don’t you know they are fully aware of your weaknesses? and yes to get to your wallet? some people who are into this kind of doing are just extremely good at it, much as they’ve been doing the same thing over and over.

    Third, the farang isn’t honest enough that he doesn’t have much affordability. Maybe at some point in time he tried to impress the girl and leading her to believe that he has all the money in the world to support her capriciousness. Now who’s to blame? I’m sure if the scammers know ahead that you are almost a broke (maybe an inch away), one won’t ever dare come close to you, what for?

    Fourth, the farang got so fascinated on her beauty not knowing that beauty enhancement here is all over the place as dimples just costv 6k or less, nose lift not over 10K and breast implants not over 30k. Go check Thai beauty magazines so you’d know what I am talking about, don’t ever go to those that caters to farangs, their prices are way too much, they get foreign customers or some locals who have married some wealthy farangs ( no, not rich Thais (thai couple)go to Japan not here). Take note, I even heard one in Nawamin area that there’s a clinic there asking 3k only for a nose job. And by the way, weight loss control pills are available anywhere, you may want to check yanhee it costs less that 800 baht for a month supply. There are more hospitals offering weight control programs. That’s the best way to maintain the shape especially the 23-inch-waistline with NO effort. No wonder they’re slim and sexy. Imagine and then check it yourself.

    Fifth, as Ruai stated. Some farangs get what they deserve. If they are not being too hasty and at least use their heads not their joysticks they wouldn’t fall in any trap or scam, good thing if they realize their fate earlier or else they still end up deadly broke and blame all the girls in Thailand of their stupidity and ignorance.

    So why do farangs fall for scams? They themeselves can answer that.

  • January 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm
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    @Eaanah: You started to touch on a point and then backed off so allow me to elaborate . . .

    Another aspect of it is that they take you out of your element. Most of these marriages and long-term scams happen when the couple have known each other in real life (as in seeing each other – no webcam or chat) for less than a month. They come over on a 2 week holiday, fall in love, come back for another 2 week holiday 3 or 4 months later and all of a sudden she’s steering the conversation around to wedding bells.

    Of course, since our poor victim doesn’t have many (or any) options for companionship back home and she’s heavily implying that this is the only way for her to be sure he’s serious about her or that she might have to continue shopping unless he’s willing to take her off the market he caves in and agrees.

    On his next trip out here he’s whisked away into the heart of Issan and surrounded by all of her friends and family. Because he’s spent all of a month in Thailand he has no friends here and nobody to shake some sense into him. He’s told everything she tells him is Thai culture and that it would be a huge loss of face for her family if he backed out on anything at this point. If she says her sin sod is 1,000,000 baht the guy either has to pay or risk insulting her, her family, and the village who will all be lobbying him that this is normal in Thailand.

    Come to think of it . . . this sounds a hell of a lot like a shady time share tactic. Get the sucker on your home court and then hard sell them until they relent and say okay to whatever you’re proposing. Don’t get them time to check with a spouse or a lawyer or the financial planner . . . just sign. If you can’t put ink on paper then you’re weak and don’t have the balls to make a decision.

    Hmmm . . . starting to sound familiar?

    One of the reasons why I think most of my friends have never been taken for a big ride like this is that it’s customary to bring your girl around to meet your friends and their wives/gf’s. Believe me, if the girl doesn’t smell right your friends wives/gf’s will be jabbering into the ear of their man and he’ll give you the lowdown.

    One of my tests is to bring girls I’m starting to get even remotely serious about to hang out with my friends. Then I look at which girls she gravitates towards while I’m chatting with the guys. Is she naturally taken in by the party girls? What about the traditional girls? Maybe she strikes it up naturally with the ambitious middle managers. I think this tells you far more about her than one’s own biased eyes will. People hang out with like people.

    So, my advice to anyone who is thinking about any sort of serious relationship in Thailand is to never commit to someone unless friends or family members have met her and are willing to give you honest feedback. They’re not tainted by being smitten with her so they’re going to see much more than you do.

    My second piece of advice is to never go up to the heart of Isaan to do the family thing alone. Pre-negotiate everything. Get a ballpark as to what the sin sod is going to be. Find out your exact itinerary while you’re up there so surprise engagement parties aren’t planned that you’re expected to pay for, etc.

    And try to bring a friend with you. They can serve as a perfect excuse to extricate yourself from any situation that wasn’t part of the itinerary. I know guys will want to spend their time with their honey but you and your friend should book a hotel either in the same village or the next closest one where they have a hotel. You want a base of operations so if things start going sideways you can always claim you need to go back to the hotel with your friend. Or you can object to changes to the itinerary because your friend has to go back to the hotel.

    Most importantly though, your friend will be there to provide a moral support if you’re being put into a tough situation and can tell you that they’re taking the piss out of you. He can support your decision to walk away rather than allow yourself to be sucked into a bad marriage.

    I know some of that advice sounds rather untrusting but then again, I would never try to marry a girl I’ve only seen face-to-face for a month. I think being careful if you don’t know someone that well is better than finding out the hard way.

  • September 10, 2013 at 7:17 pm
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    I wish I had the answer as I am involved with a Thai lady, I am 55 years old and she is 42 years old I am not to sure if it’s love, but we like to do the same things and have the same values about family etc, she is a school teacher in Ban Phu, I talk on skype everyday to her in the evening, I was married to a Burmese lady for 20 years so this is my second time and I will be getting married and we will be living in Australia, I do think about the relationship all the time but I have to give it a chance, because I do care about her and her son, She will be meeting my children when she comes for a visit in October, this will be our third time together, We started talking on the internet a year ago and she has told me everything I hope, there are so many relationships that work and so many that don’t everywhere in the world.

  • October 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm
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    In my experience most guys visiting Thailand forget to pack their brain and leave all the thinking, when they do arrive, to the little guy down in their pants!!

    Im always amazed of the scams I hear western guys fall for, things they would never do or even consider doing back home!!!

    Check them out first!
    Kim recently posted..Do Thai Bargirls make good Girlfriends!

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