If you are a victim of the gem scam in Thailand and India and would like to tell your story in order to help warn others or to let people know tactics for getting their money back.
Sadly, the sheer volume of experiences we’ve received shows how many people have been, and still are, getting caught out by this scam . We’ve got stories of the scam operating basically unchanged going back as far as 10 years, and it’s known to have been going on for years before that too.
Sorry, but we can’t “name and shame” every shop that’s guilty of this practice. Shop names and locations change frequently though, so it’s easier just to remember: never buy gems or jewelry from a shop you’re taken to by a tuk-tuk (or next a temple a tuk-tuk took you to), and you’re very unlikely to have any problems.
There is no such place as the “Lucky Buddha Temple” or “Standing Buddha Temple”, no such thing as a gem-related “Government Export Center”, “Thai Trade Center”, “Gem Warehouse”, “Gem Education Center”, “Government Gem Export Promotion For Students”, “Government Tax-Free Jewelry Export” (etc, etc…) . Anyone, Thai or foreign, who mentions anything about any of these or about a jewelry-related promotion on its last day is definitely trying to scam you!