Phnom Penh Scams – Blackjack, “Milk Scam”, Fake Monks

First off, these scams are not endemic to Phnom Penh or Cambodia for that matter. They can be found in other cities across Asia and beyond. In Phnom Penh Scams as far as the “buying milk for my baby” and fake monk scams go it’s up to you whether you choose to give these people money. I’m just sharing this info so you know what’s actually happening. The blackjack scam has been reported in Phnom Penh for years now but I’ve also seen reports of it taking place in Ho Chi Minh City as well. As I stated in the video there was a group arrested in the summer of 2019 but it’s possible that other teams or groups are carrying on the scam here. I believe it’s a little more sophisticated than “oh that’s a nice shirt, where are you from” scenario that usually is the start of some petty scam. This one involving multiple players is definitely more complex but if you have your wits about you it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out what’s going on. I have pieced together a possible scenario or two based on many reports in forums and from news sources. It might not be precisely what occurs but it should be close enough for you to detect if you are experiencing the same kind of exchange. If someone really is genuinely interested in chatting with you or sharing travel stories they won’t mind if you suggest a place to meet. If they have lots of excuses for not doing so and insist a location of their choice then you’ll know they’re up to no good.
If you want to donate money to real local monks of course it’s possible to do so but there is some etiquette you should know before you begin, otherwise you could make them feel awkward or uncomfortable. It’s best just to observe how locals do it during the morning alms, when monks wander the streets for donations.
There are more scams I will cover off in another video. Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to check out my Far East Travels Podcast in the iTunes Store, Spotify, or whatever platform you download your podcasts from:Write A Review
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About the Author John Saboe

I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.

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