Avoid this tourist SCAM in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 🇱🇰

Avoid this tourist SCAM in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 🇱🇰

okay it was my first day in Colombo, Sri
Lanka. I’d just left my hotel in the Colombo Fort area and I’m out doing a wee bit
video blogging, when this happened. No not the Chinese posing for photos, that’s pretty normal. I’m talking about the beggar that’s in
front of me. He shouts something as he sees me coming. How are you sir.
Now as I walked past them you can see a man and a red polo shirt walking in the
opposite direction. As soon as I pass him he does a sharp U-turn and gives a thumbs
up to the beggar, who doubt has just alerted him to my presence. So, unaware to me at the time, he starts following me. I walk pretty fast so I
know if somebody’s walking at the same pace as me it’s no coincidence, that guy
wants something. So I’m out exploring with a general direction in mind of where I
want to go and I think I’ll turn round this corner. Oh and so does he. I think I’ll
change my mind and cross this road. Oh and so does he. So I run across the road.
And so does he. Yeah I’m fast it’s no problem for me mate.
I’m a fast one. Anyway, I’d finished saying what I wanted to say to my
GoPro and stop recording and put it down and it was at that point that the fella
started talking to me so I sneakily hit the record button again and just kept
the camera down at my waist so it didn’t look like I was filming because I kind
of knew that this is going to be some kind of scam or something like that.
Nobody approaches a tourist in this kind of manner,
speaking perfect English like this it just never happens without it being a
scam so I kinda knew straight away When you come to Sri Lanka, today?
ah yes but I’ve been here before Other side more beautiful. You go other side.
Take a photograph. There’s nothing there.
There’s more beautiful, uh?
This place, Red Mosque, Tsunami Temple. The Red Mosque, yeah I’ll take a look, yeah.
When you came Sri Lanka, today? Today but I’ve been before. It’s the second time.
Ahhhh, Sri Lanka. Okay, so he starts by asking if it’s my first day in
Sri Lanka and if I’ve been here before. Basically what he’s asking me is,
“how much of a noob are you?”
“How easy is it gonna be for me to scam you right now”? Very beautiful.
Go this one. No I want to walk around this way.
This way nothing here.
It’s OK, I just want to walk around, I have a lot of time. So straight away he’s
enthusiastically trying to coax me in some other direction by telling me about
oh a beautiful temple that you need to go and see. Unfortunately for him I’m not
a sheep. I’m not that easily led and also I’m not really interested and visiting
some random temple. I mean I’ve seen enough temples in my life that I could
easily go the rest of my life without ever seeing another one and being quite happy about it. If you told me there was a place over
there giving away free ice cream, or there’s a place where
really hot girls hang out or there’s a retro Nintendo Museum or something like
that he may have got my interest but some temple, nah, not interested mate. Where you stay?
Where do I stay? In Galle Face road.
Ahh, you second time Sri Lanka. Yeah, second time, yeah. And you? What’s your job here?
In the port harbour.
Port harbour? What you doing there?
Container discharging loading, discharging loading. Ahh, okay, you do this all day, yeah?
Yeah today I’m on leave. Ahh because it’s Saturday, uh?
Saturday off day. So I asked this guy “what is
your job here?” and he’s trying to tell me that he works at the port in some kind
of labour job, loading and unloading containers or something like that some
kind of job where the effort is really high but the pay is really low and he
likes to spend his one day off per week, not resting, not at home with his
family but wandering the streets of Colombo approaching tourists with his
perfect English. Yes, the story does not check out. You came how many years before?
Before two years ago. I go to Ella, Hatton. Hatton, Kandy and Negombo and Galle
Negombo, I’m living in Negombo.
You’re living in Negombo? and you come here for work every day, yeah?
Every day yeah. Negombo is very good in the beach. This, you’re working here?
Other side. Ahh, okay, I’m going to walk this wat
Nice to meet you, I see you next time. You seen already Red Mosque?
Yeah, I will see. So right there I tried to get rid of him.
I kind of let him walk ahead a little bit to see where he was going and then I decided to cross the road to the right. Ohhh, but still he’s coming with me.
Still he’s following me. This one Red Mosque.
Yeah, I know. Two years before, you came, you see new one? What they changed it, they paint?
Ohh, a new one. Look this.
Yeah I see. Yes two years before make this already finished here.
Okay, I walk there now. You want to see Tsunami Temple?
2004 December 26th, tsunami came. Yeah I know the tsunami, this very bad.
Very bad, 3,900 people dying and the temple, look at the biggest one, *something* temple. So if this was a genuine interaction with a genuine Sri Lankan citizen and they suggested that
you should go and see some kind of attraction and you just told them you
weren’t interested that would be the end of part of the conversation. They wouldn’t
suggest it again but this guy he’s walking in the opposite direction of
where he was originally going and follow me through all the streets to try and
convince me I have to go and see this place. Yeah it’s pretty obvious he’s
trying to lead me to something that’s gonna end up with me parting with cash. Seen this temple.
You never seen, never been to here? No, first I will walk across to the Red Mosque. You seen *something*, Buddhist temple?
No. Ah I don’t I don’t like to visit the
temple, not interesting for me. Not big on religion, so temple not really
interesting for me. Temple no interesting?
Yeah, not interesting for me. Okay, so he’s engaging with me in a bit of chitchat
about Sri Lanka and different places are good to see but still he’s trying to steer the
conversation in the direction of suggesting that this beautiful temple is
a place that I must go and see despite me outright telling him that I’ve got zero interest in temples. Yeah I like the architecture, the old buildings from the Portuguese and the Dutch and the British They build some nice buildings in Sri Lanka, uh?
Sri Lanka, yeah. They build some nice-looking buildings.
You go Dutch building, Dutch. Yeah, the Dutch, they build the buildings
300, 400 years ago and still, still here still here, not fall down after three, four hundred years.
300 years before, Dutch Church, 1749. The Dutch Church. Dutch buildings good. Only Dutch. You came, you want to see Dutch colonial building?
Yeah, I see in Galle they have many Dutch building everywhere, uh?
Yeah that’s a Dutch port, Galle is a Dutch port. Yeah, yeah.
And the Negombo, British people make Negombo. Now it’s hot sir.
Yeah for me especially because I’m not from here. Okay nice to meet you, I’m going to walk on my own.
You go Tsunami Temple, Tsunami Temple I’m going to walk to the Red Mosque now.
Yeah okay, nice to meet you.
You go Tsunami Temple, never seen? Maybe later I go.
Building, building.
Maybe later I go. It was nice to meet you. Okay nice to meet you, have a nice day. Woah, woah, woah, woah. okay so I finally got rid of him,
but not without a desperate attempt from him to try and convince me to go to see
this Tsunami Temple. You can see the desperation on his face there as he just has
one last attempt as he knows that I’m leaving. oh but you don’t want to go see
the Tsunami Temple, oh you Tsunami Temple, Tsunami Temple, I don’t care mate, I don’t care, see you later. Right, so that fella was walking with me for like 5 minutes. But hey, that’s not the end to the story.
The fella, look at him, behind me, he’s on his phone
now, and a tuk-tuk stops beside him to pick him up. He didn’t wave it down or anything this tuk-tuk’s just stopped and let him
in and so basically that tuk-tuk’s his friend and that tuk-tuk must have
been stalking us the whole time, like driving behind us, like maybe like 10
meters behind just following us so that’s part of the scam. So what is this scam?
Well I did a bit of googling afterwards and the only reference I
could find to a Tsunami Temple in Colombo was on somebody’s blog saying
that they got scammed funnily enough so I’ve read that and the way it works is this.
Okay, the scammer approaches the tourists, and convinces them to visit the
Tsunami Temple, this beautiful Tsunami Temple that’s nearby. His friend’s in a tuk-tuk and
he sees them and offers them a free ride, because, he’s offering it for free,
why would you offered it for free? oh because you want to go and see the
memorial to our good people who died in the tsunami, I’ll take you there for free.
So the scammer, the tuk-tuk and the victims go to the Tsunami Temple, that
ends up being like 15 minutes away, so apparently not that nearby after all.
Anyway it turns out just to be some ordinary temple, not beautiful, just as
beautiful as temples are. It’s just some ordinary temple that are ten-a-penny in Sri Lanka, you know. So the victim spend like a couple of minutes there
at best, don’t take any photos and just ask the tuk-tuk to drive them back to the
Colombo Fort area so they get in the tuk-tuk,
they get back to Colombo Fort and that’s when the tuk-tuk starts demanding
massive amounts of money from them. Apparently all the only the ride to the
temple was free, not the ride back so that’s the scam.
The tuk-tuk’s just giving up all this time and everything and now he’s asking for
the money for taking him there and knowing that it’s probably their first day in Sri
Lanka they don’t know how much a tuk-tuk costs, so he’s asking for whatever,
like $20, $30 I presume anyway in the blog I read, the victims
had an argument with this tuk-tuk and just threw him a 500 rupee note and
told them to take it or leave it so they took it and they drove off shouting abuse
at the victims, with their money in their pocket, so there you have it, that’s quite
elaborate scam just to get an overpriced tuk-tuk fare out of some victims.
I feel like if these people can come up with such a scam such an elaborate scheme that they
can use that kind of ingenuity to create some kind of entrepreneurial business,
but I don’t know, I guess they just find it easier to be dirty scammers than entrepreneurs. Well, congratulations scumbags. You may earn an easy 500 or 1000
rupees now and again from some stupid tourists but know this and know it clear,
foreign visitors hate you, your own Sri Lankan people despise you for disgracing their country. So enjoy your life of stealing from people for petty cash,
for chump change, while being hated by absolutely everyone. Enjoy that life,
while it lasts, hopefully not for too long. Okay, so please give this video a
thumbs up, it’ll help more people see it and if only 1 person sees this and then
avoids wasting their time and money on this kind of scam then is worthwhile
isn’t it? So until next time guys please consider subscribing more Sri Lankan
videos are coming soon, but until next time, cheerio for now and I will see you on the next one.

100 thoughts on “Avoid this tourist SCAM in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 🇱🇰

  1. You're way too public. You don't have to answer questions from a "friendly stranger" (which is basically an oxymoron). Just ignore them. And if they keep bugging you tell them to piss off. There are times when you need to be an asshole and not everyone can do it.

  2. Its likt tryin n skipping the commercials in this youtube video they just keep oj coming bro!!!😂😂😂

  3. OMG!! the same person scammed me in the exact same place in 2016. He first claimed he was just showing me around because he likes helping tourists, then we ended up taking a rikshaw, which he stopped himself. After visiting few places, he stopped the rikshaw at an empty road where few people were passing by and asked me to pay a hefty amount of money. When I refused to pay the amount he asked for, he threatened to take me to the police and tell them I asked him to buy me drugs (which I didn't). When he saw that I wasn't afraid of the police, he started bargaining. I ended up paying only a fraction of the price he asked, and that wasn't cheap either. Lesson learnt!!

  4. Maybe his dream is to be a tour guide and he was just practicing his pitch before going for a job interview 😉

  5. In third world countries you never ever listen to any men age 18-40 that randomly approach you on the streets. Just say "thanks, thanks" in whatever their language and walk off, keep saying it until they go like "fuck this idiot tourist" in their own language and walk away. Don't look at them, don't smile at them, don't be kind at them, just keep walking as if nothing is there but keep saying "thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks"….

  6. Well done! 👌💪🏽✅. I would have offered to fight him if he insisted on following me. So you can tell I’m not too smart or tolerant of scammers of any kind.

    You sound like Scotty 😅👀

  7. I was in Colombo 2 weeks ago and was approached by scammers twice. The first one claimed to be a teacher who wanted to take me to a festival involving elephants. The second claimed to be a policeman (helping tourists on his day off) who was providing helpful advice like "that roads closed, you can't get there because of a protest", etc. In both cases they followed us around and tried to funnel us into a tuk-tuk, which we refused. I'm not sure what happens if you get into the tuk-tuk, but it's almost certainly expensive and possibly dangerous. So: never get in the tuk-tuk, you have to control the situation. Once they failed to transition to the tuk-tuk they gave up. In general you'll find people providing unsolicited help at various places, for which they will eventually request renumeration. If you signal clearly you don't wish to interact with them you can make them go away, but you may have to be very clear.

  8. So many scams in sri Lanka! we had one were you go in a shop and the assistant rings his mate who's circling the area in his car then waiting for you outside when you leave, pretends to be from your hotel and has by coincidence bumped into you today … his wedding day! Shows you his ring etc then wants to take you to his ''uncle's'' jewellers in the middle of nowhere for a celebratory discount, oh and princess diana shopped there haha lucky we were aware by this point after we got scammed at the spice garden on day one …

  9. Oooh, these tourists can't get enough of a temple. They become hypnotised by temples. A temple to a tourist is like a medium rare steak to a foodie. LOL

  10. Well dodgy, that scam could get a whole lot worse if they start getting a couple of mates to meet you all at the temple.


  12. Not only in Sri Lanka. These "helpful" guys are everywhere. They lead you deep into bad neighborhoods and then ask for money or cigarettes

  13. Similar scum in Phnom Penh Cambodia. Tuk tuk will ask you $ 10-20-30 for a short ride. Give him $2-5 and tell to get fu*k. Then no complaints from tuk tuk driver. (monthly income in Cambodia $100 USD)

    In Siem Reap be aware of beggers,Thye living like kings from begging.

    In Vietnam be aware if Vietnamese people approching you and offering help or free rides and etc. They already know ho to rip you off.

    Same thing tell them from begining to get fu*k and end of story. If not after they will demand from you 1 mln Dongs. (and they make about 3 mln VND / month)

  14. This happens everywhere you go in Asia. Don’t acknowledge it and if he follows you, tell him to get tae fuck. Job done.

  15. You just not the nail on the head if they used their envy on work stuff they would be better off I guess, iV travelled all over with no funds but always managed without robbing people, I believe it's not learnt behaviour your just born that way, like some of us r born with big ears or small feet

  16. WOW! This brings back memories from 1958. Yes I kid you not. enroute by a P&O Ship from Tilbury, UK to Melbourne, Australia. My parents and us 3 children all under 10yrs of age. We were stalked (not going to call it scammed, because it was terrifying), for over an hour in Columbo, Ceylon as it was called then. Same sort of encounter. Young guy, good English language and tries to persuade Dad to do a tour in a pedal bike type rickshaw thing. Dad said no so many times it was getting annoying to me as a child even. Eventually Dad for the one and only time in his whole life, swore in front of us girls. He told the guy to f**k off and leave us alone. Dad was so angry. I think he actually scared the scammer who left us, but not without wishing all sorts of curses on us. We had been warned before coming off the ship over a tannoy, not to interact with anyone at all. To have this memory brought back so vividly is amazing. I admire your resolve not to give in to such determined scamming. I guess families have passed on this thievery down the generations. My Dad died age 96yrs about 10yrs ago, he was a gentle soul and I genuinely never ever heard him curse again his whole life. Thank you for sharing this video. Keep safe out there.

  17. The man is worse than thrush & just as irritating! Anyone who behaves like this is a man who cannot be trusted with my shoe size!

  18. On my India and Nepal trip, I found a simple "Fuck off!" to be adequate in every instance!  "Fuck off!" is universally understood!

  19. I always carry just visa cards (no cash) and show that i'm broke and struggling too just like them, if necessary. Wearing cheap shit to blend in. But don't walk with selfie sticks and gopro's bro. Also i've learned that being friendly doesn't pay off. I hold a slight angry face without being friendly and all these things make all the difference. I'm a Dutch gringo in Brazil and in the beginning I struggled like you, but now they won't fuck with me anymore. It was like having a sign above my head saying: "please steal from me".

  20. I'm sri Lankan, only city people do this. People from villages are very nice and trustworthy. Also uhh please don't mind the terrible weird driving.

  21. The first time the guy mentioned going somewhere with him, I'd day, "Who the fuck are you,  I wouldn't  go with you even you could take me to a Nintendo museum.  Now get the hell away from me

  22. The same things happen everywhere in Delhi, India :)) And due to the cheapness of railway tickets there are a lot of people who try to sell them to you much more expensively. They come up to you, start talking about city attractions and then ask if you already bought tickets. There are also a lot of fake guides.

  23. i cant believe people like these destroy the dignity of sri lanka since i have lived in there for a long time and only third class people are bad most sri lankan people arent like that

  24. I’m originally from the Philippines and this happens over there too. When we went to Italy same thing. Also in Mexico, Los Angeles, New York. They’re everywhere folks, they’re like a massive explosion of out of control parasites. Different places with different M.O.

  25. Dude, you do the SAME thing you do in YOUR country. "Hey, stay back. I DON'T talk to stange men on the street I don't know. Go away, goodbye and DON'T walk up on me." DO YOU UNDERSTAND???" It has NEVER failed me. You have to shut that shit down.

  26. Man he could of took you off robbed you and/or killed you…you are very smart not going….do your own site seeing

  27. Id just put my hands up and see if they wana throw hands they dont wana be running up on me like that if i ever visit

  28. Stop, tell them that having this conversation is offensive to you because he is being a racist and that he constantly is misgendering you.

  29. Sri Lanka is a beautiful place to visit and i hope you weren't discouraged by this unfortunate incident and that you do come again and explore our unique hospitality and exquisite sites. For your and other tourists future safety i'd love to recommend some tips the next time you visit here.
    1) Don't acknowledge strangers or show them any interest, Just ignore them and you'll be fine. maybe go into a fast food restaurant or a mall and they won't bother staying around much.
    2) if they still trail you, try and get to a tourist police hub(these checkpoints are there in all popular tourist areas) or just go and tell a cop you meet on the road that this stranger isn't leaving you alone and you'll be fine when the cop warns him.( People in sri lanka are afraid of cops and its not that hard to find a cop since they patrol the streets all the time, Bonus is that majority of sri lankans can understand English so it wont be a hassle to explain your situation)
    3) When getting a taxi always try and use Uber, Pickme or any other ride-sharing app since you get GPS tracking and emergency SOS in case something goes south. Also you get a fare estimate and can avoid overcharging. But in case you do take a street taxi ALWAYS REMEMBER TO ASK IF IT IS METERED AND THEN REMIND THE GUY TO TURN ON THE METER BEFORE YOU START YOUR JOURNEY. but personally the best advice is to use uber or pickme. If you want a little more spacious and vip service at a budget then go for Kangaroo cabs or a similar service. (Tuks are around 50LKR for 1st KM and then 40 LKR, sedans are 250LKR for first 2-3 KM and then 50-70 LKR per KM)
    4) Go thru TripAdvisor, just let one of your sri lankan mates or ask a subscriber for help on where to visit and what to do in sri lanka. it works best and you've got some expert advice beforehand.
    5) Dont cross the main roads without the pressing the switch and waiting for the green cuz you can get hit by a bus or car, side note- if a cop sees you crossing without the zebra crossing then you might get fined. Byroads and pedestrian crossings without traffic lights are fine but be careful.

    I really do hope you love our country and our cuisine, the extraordinary view and our great landscapes. Have a safe flight and be safe!

  30. what a moaning tight wad..what do you expect in a poor country..theres no such thing as a free lunch..would you get into an un metrered taxi in scotland and not fix the price to destination before you leave..?..anyone that does that is an idiot and deserves to get scammed..anyone as mean spirited and nieve as you should not travel..

  31. another idea: Maybe stand on a wall and pretend to start talking on your mobile phone. When you do it, they can/t stay next to you while you are talking, otherwize they will reveal themselves.

  32. To all the Sri Lankan people here apologising for this scamming fuckwitt… you don't apologise their behaviour, we understand they are not you, or representative of you. Same thing happens everywhere to tourists, even here in sunny Scotland. I've seen it loads

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