Top scams to avoid in Pattaya Thailand

January 6, 2022 - Reading time: 9 minutes

It must be said that Pattaya, and indeed most tourist areas in Thailand, are all relatively safe. The chances of you falling victim to crime or fraud here are no higher than they might be in most Western cities. However, much depends on the activities that you decide to partake in and the company that you keep during your time here.

The minimum wage in Thailand is very meagre, which can spur on some to look for creative solutions to their monetary woes. It certainly pays to use your head and have your wits about you when travelling to any international tourist destination.

We have put together the following list based on our experiences in Pattaya which can help you to avoid some of the most common scams that you might encounter during your stay here.

1. Pattaya bar girl scams

One of the most common scams that foreigners encounter in Pattaya are so-called ‘bar girl scams’. Whether you meet a lady working in a beer bar, massage parlour, go-go bar, nightclub, or even through internet dating, we often see similar scenarios play out time and time again.

Asian lady wearing a sports bra

Let’s say you spend time with a lady that is working at a bar in Pattaya. You decide to form a relationship with her. At the end of your vacation you return back to your country and she promises not to go with any other customers… In our experience the vast majority of these ladies will continue to sleep with customers despite having a boyfriend and promising not to. 

Another common bar girl scam in Pattaya is for ladies to have several different boyfriends at the same time. Some ladies might find themselves half a dozen different sponsors who all believe that they are the only man in her life. It may seem farfetched, but such cases are very common. We also see pregnancy scams occasionally and many other tricks used by bar girls. 

Some ladies will trick their boyfriends into believing that they work a normal job whilst they in fact work at a bar... Usually the lady will take many photos of herself at a fake workplace in order to make this seem believable.

If your girlfriend is working in a Pattaya bar, massage parlour or go-go, then we can help to check whether or not she is being faithful while you are out of town. Click to learn more about our bar girl investigation service.

2. Taxi scams

When you arrive in Thailand, it’s a good idea to get yourself a SIM card before leaving the airport. Getting a local SIM card will allow you to book taxis yourself by searching out taxi firms or by using popular apps.

If you rely on other people to arrange taxis for you, then you may find yourself paying middlemen fees along the way. For example, if you ask your hotel receptionist to book a taxi for you, then (s)he will possibly addon a small commission for their trouble.

Always ask how much when entering a taxi

Before sitting down in a taxi, it’s a good idea to ask your driver exactly how much he or she will charge you for the journey. After you have agreed a fee then you can proceed on with your journey.

If you are using ‘baht busses’ in Pattaya however, this is one situation where you should not ask how much the journey will cost…

Baht busses in Pattaya

If you are in Pattaya city for any length of time then you will probably notice ‘baht busses’ cruising around the streets looking for customers.

Baht bus in Pattaya

Photo: A ‘baht bus’ carries passengers through Pattaya city.

Baht busses are pickup trucks which have been converted to include a seating area in the back of the truck. In Pattaya they are typically blue in colour. These trucks circle around Pattaya in a big loop. Regardless of how long you are on a baht bus, you will need to pay the driver just 10 baht at the end of your ride.

The trick is to figure out which direction you are travelling in and get on a baht bus which is already going in that direction. Hail a baht bus and get on, when it's your stop just push the button and hand the driver 10 baht. If you don't know which direction you are travelling in, then simply use Google Maps on your phone - when the truck reaches your destination then you will know to get off.

On the other hand, if you speak to the driver before getting on a baht bus then you will be privately hiring the truck from him, and the charge will be higher than 10 baht.

3. Hotel room valuables scam

Many tourists tend to bring cash with them and electronics/tech or jewellery which can add up to thousands of dollars in some cases. While thefts from hotel rooms are in our experience fairly rare, they can occasionally happen and a wise precaution would be to lock your valuables up in a hotel room safe.

Keypad on a digital safe

If you are relying on a hotel room safe to protect your belongings, then it would be a good idea to first check how secure that safe really is. If the safe has a default admin password, then opening it could be as easy as typing in “12345” or “00000000” and pressing “unlock”. You can check whether this is the case by finding the model number of the safe in your room and then Googling its admin and default passwords.

Some people even take an additional precaution of bringing an extra lock with them which ensures that the safe door cannot be opened without their key.

If you are travelling with a large amount of money or valuables, then you might consider even hiring a safety deposit box for the duration of your visit.

4. Pickpocketing

Pickpocketing is not nearly as much of an issue as you might believe after having read an outdated blog post or travel guide. The truth is you are probably more likely to get pickpocketed in somewhere like London or Prague rather than in Pattaya.

However, pickpocketing can occasionally happen, usually in areas with many people around such as busy markets.

Common sense is usually the best form of protection… Don’t carry more cash than you need to on any given day, consider leaving some of your credit/debit cards in your hotel room as a backup, and don’t walk around wearing more gold jewellery than ‘Mr T’.

5. Rental scams

So-called ‘jet ski scams in Thailand’ are a topic which has been discussed in depth by most travel blogs in the past decade.

Simple concept: You rent a jet ski, then on its return the vendor finds some mysterious damage (usually on the underside of the jet ski that you could not see or inspect before renting it). Then you pay for that damage.

Riding a jet ski at sea

If you are renting a jet ski, motorbike, or car, it would be a good idea to go around the vehicle closely before hiring it and take a video which highlights any pre-existing damage. Check reviews for the rental company before using them, especially for jet skis. 

The roads in Thailand are not for the faint hearted. Consider whether your driving ability and understanding of the roads are up to task. And double check that your travel insurance will cover you for any injuries, especially if you are hiring a motorbike.

There are many forms of transport available in Pattaya, such as motorbike taxis, car taxis, baht busses (songthaews), taxi apps, etc… There is no need for most travellers to rent a car or motorbike. If you do decide to rent a car or motorbike then remember to bring suitable documents such as an international driving permit from your home country, and insurance that will cover you in the event of a crash. 

“Those who want respect, give respect”

In Thailand many accept the adage that “the first person to raise their voice has lost the argument”. Remember this if you ever encounter a problem or issue during your stay.

In Western cultures, many tend to respond to their problems by quickly getting very angry, raising their voice and shouting abuse at the nearest person. 

In many parts of Asia including Thailand, this approach may not always have the desired effect.

Keeping your composure and remaining calm will almost always result in the best outcome to any problem for everyone involved, not in least yourself.

Thai girlfriend scams in Pattaya

December 31, 2021 - Reading time: 9 minutes

Are you looking for a girlfriend in Pattaya, or are you already dating a Thai girl that lives in Pattaya? Women from around Thailand travel to Pattaya for work and to meet foreign boyfriends. It has been said that there is nowhere in the world quite the same as Pattaya, for several different reasons.

Although this article focuses on ladies that work in Pattaya, it can also apply if your girlfriend lives in Phuket, Bangkok, Koh Samui, or any ‘tourist destination’ in Thailand which has a popular nightlife scene.

This article aims to shed light on some of the more common Thai girlfriend scams which we see in Pattaya and at other popular destinations in Thailand. You may read this article thinking that it could never happen to you, many guys that fall victim to scams harbour this sort of mentality. 

Being aware of common tricks and learning to ask questions can go a long way. If you believe that you are being scammed then a private detective can often help to find answers for you.

Bar girl scams in Pattaya

If your girlfriend is working at a bar in Pattaya then the odds that she will cheat on you and service other clients are extremely high. Many ladies will tell their boyfriends that they ‘never leave the bar with customers’, and in many cases their boyfriends actually believe this.

Asian lady on a busy street

Most bar girls are great at concealing their activities from their boyfriends, after all, it’s their job. Whether a bar girl calls you from the toilet of her customer’s hotel room to explain that she is ‘tired and going to bed’, or her ‘battery died’ and she wasn’t able to contact you for several hours… If your girlfriend works at a bar then don’t expect to find out if she is with other men unless you are actually in Thailand. 

It can be easy to fool your partner, even if you are speaking to them through the internet every day. How would you ever find out unless you are in Thailand seeing what is going on with your own eyes?

Bar girls are aware that their profession makes them unappealing to some foreigners, which is why they often conceal their work when searching for boyfriends through internet dating sites and apps.

If the lady is openly working in a bar (beer bar, or go-go bar, massage parlour, etc), then she will simply claim not to see any other customers. The reality of the situation is usually different.

We have seen many cases where our clients believed that their girlfriend had a ‘normal job’ in Pattaya however they were actually working full time at a bar. Other ladies may have regular jobs but ‘freelance’ at one of the many nightclubs or beer bars in Pattaya during the evenings and night time.

Internet dating a girl that lives in Pattaya

Many ladies that use internet dating will continue to meet with men until they have found a truly ‘serious relationship’ and a man that is able to support them adequately. If you have never met your Thai girlfriend in real life, or if you are not supporting her financially (and she is in a bad position financially), then the odds of this happening will be considerably higher.

Lady reading a smartphone

In Thai culture, many do not recognize a relationship as legitimate until a wedding has taken place. If you are not married to your Thai girlfriend and she perceives that your relationship with her is not serious, then she might continue to date other guys until a serious enough relationship materialises.

Another factor with internet dating is that you do not truly know the history and activities of your partner. For example, in one case we were asked to investigate a Thai lady that was attending university. It turned out that she was working at a bar in Pattaya.

In another case a lady that was internet dating a foreign man told him that she worked full time at a coffee shop. It turned out that she was not working at the coffee shop and instead worked at a bar... She used photos of herself wearing a barista uniform on social media to make the lie convincing.

Once a guy has fallen in love with a lady that he met through internet dating, he will be less likely to question the truthfulness of anything she says, telling lies can become extremely easy. 

Multiple boyfriend scams

The so-called multiple boyfriend scam is one of the oldest tricks in the book. For ladies that are working in bars, or any establishment where they meet foreigners on a regular basis, forging relationships and finding boyfriends can be easier than you might think. 


If a lady is young and good looking (or even if she’s not!) it can often be easy for a beautiful woman to find half a dozen foreigners that are eager to be with her - the internet can help to make finding customers even easier.

Every man will believe that he is the only guy in her life. Perhaps some of these men will send her an ‘allowance’ every month, some others might only buy her gifts occasionally or help out with money sometimes… Others may just fly over to Thailand and spend a lot of money on her during their vacations here.

We have even seen cases where a lady will have an older guy (or guys) sending her money, while she is living with a much younger foreign man that is perhaps easier on the eyes but in a worse position financially.

This type of scam is usually run in a very ‘long haul’ type of way… A lady will not start asking you for money right off the bat. She is more likely to speak with you regularly for several months or even years; eventually she may need help with money, and by this point your feelings for her will be strong enough that you don’t question what you are being told. 

Fake identity scams

Fake identity scams are romance scams whereby the scam artist will steal another person’s identity. They will typically scrape photos from a victim’s social media pages and then use those photos claiming the victim to be themselves.

Fake identity scams have erupted globally alongside the growth of internet dating, and we often see romance scams which involve fake identities.

Holding a mask

If you are speaking to a person over the internet and have never met them in real life then how can you ever really be sure who you are speaking to? We have seen many cases where our clients found it hard to believe that they have been scammed. Without seeking help, they may have spent more months or even years believing themselves to be in a relationship with a person that does not really exist. 

The perpetrators of fake identity scams are often not based in Thailand – you may find yourself speaking to a random person in an unknown country. You may think that something like this could never happen to you, but the unfortunate reality is that it does happen to many victims each year.

If you have any doubts about the identity of your partner then feel free to get in touch with us, we can help to verify their story and make sure that everything is as it should be.

We can help

PattayaPI are a leading detective agency based in Pattaya and covering most areas of Thailand.


If you suspect that your partner could be scamming or cheating on you then feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced team members – we offer free quotes for all work and all contact with us is strictly private & confidential. Please include as much information as possible with your inquiry so that we are able to understand your case and offer a quote if we are able to help.

Visit the PattayaPI Homepage for more information.

10 things to consider before marrying a Thai lady

December 15, 2021 - Reading time: 10 minutes

If you are getting married to a Thai lady, then there are likely to be many differences between your wife's culture and your own culture which you will gradually become aware of throughout the course of your relationship. We have put together the following list which touches on some of these differences, and things to consider before getting married to a Thai lady.

Disclaimer: Not all Thai women are the same and many are very different to each other! This article aims to highlight some of the more common cultural differences that are encountered in relationships between Thai ladies and foreign men, it does not by any means represent all of these relationships nor represent all Thai women.

1. Many Thai ladies have ‘traditional values’

Over time attitudes in Thailand are gradually shifting, especially with influence from Western cultures. However, Thai ladies have often been described as having what Westerns would term as ‘traditional family values’. It has been said that the concept of feminism is not well-known in Thailand, and that many ladies are happy to cook and clean their family homes – more so than some Western ladies. Although it must be said, this type of attitude does go both ways, and if you are expecting your Thai wife to wait on you hand and foot then she will likely expect you to provide for her and her family financially.

2. You will never be as important as her family

Family bonds are very strong and important for most Thai people. No matter how devoted your Thai wife is to you, she is likely to always prioritize her family over you, especially her mother and father.

If her parents are ever in trouble or in a dire need of money for example, then the obligation will typically fall upon their daughter, and ultimately yourself if you are married to her.

Thai woman smiling

This is not necessarily a bad point so long as you build a good relationship with your partner’s family. Many foreigners develop a close bond between themselves and the family of their Thai wife – they will ultimately become part of your family.

3. Thai women love spicy food

Most Thai women love spicy food. As a foreigner, you might find that your wife likes to eat foods which you find ‘weird and wonderful’. Many traditional Thai dishes which are consumed in Isan and other parts of Thailand are far different from the type of foods which you might find served up in a Thai restaurant located in Europe, America, or any Western country… We’re talking about heavy servings of fish sauce, raw crab dishes, papaya salad, fermented meats, and many others. 

This may seem like an obvious point, however, if you are planning for your Thai wife to live with you in your home country, then finding food that she likes to eat can be a challenge. Of course, all Thai people are different and many Thais are able to eat Western foods – however, many Thai ladies can struggle to adjust when it comes to eating foreign foods which have less spice and flavour.

4. Thai women don’t care as much about your looks and age

This point is another generalization which does not apply to all Thai women. However, on the whole, if you are coming from a Western culture then you may notice that women in Thailand are not always as superficial as many ladies back in the West. Whether you are balding, overweight, or elderly, many Thai women are willing to forego your superficial downfalls if you are what they describe as ‘jai dee’. Jai dee basically translates to ‘good heart’.

For a lot of Thai ladies, the most important characteristic of their foreign partner is to have a ‘good heart’ – meaning that they are kind and good natured. If a Thai lady falls in love with you then she may be willing to overlook your superficial traits.

5. Thai women like having children

Family is very important to most Thai people, as we touched on in point 2. Family units tend to operate quite differently in Thai culture compared to the West. For example, many Thais see their children as a kind of retirement policy… When they grow old their children are often expected to help out their parents financially.

Thai lady smiling

As a result of the Thai attitude towards family, many ladies are keen to have several children, even if their husband is getting on in age. It is not uncommon to see 60+ year old foreign men in Thailand with infant children.

6. Thai women enjoy nature

Many Thai ladies enjoy nature, spending time in nature, and growing their own food or working on the land. This point is especially true if your partner comes from a rural farming area (especially the provinces of Isaan in north-east Thailand) – this applies to many of the ladies that form relationships with foreigners.

7. Thai ladies are loyal to their partners

This is another point which is highly subjective! If you met your Thai girlfriend in a bar, nightclub, or in any other ‘adult entertainment zone’, then this point may not apply to your partner. Similarly, if you have met a Thai lady through internet dating and only speak to her through the internet, then it is very hard to judge whether or not this point applies. Many of our clients that meet women through the internet wind up falling victim to romance scams.

When a Thai lady has gotten to know you, and has spent a significant amount of time together with you (this means real life contact – not talking over the internet), then you will gradually start to form a serious relationship…

Once you have established a serious relationship (this usually culminates in getting married), Thai women tend to be very loyal and dedicated to their partners. Most Thai ladies view marriage as a strong commitment and will stick together with their partners ‘through thick and thin’. It is not uncommon to find foreign men that have been married to their Thai wives for many decades in some cases.

8. Thai wives control the money

If a Thai lady takes the roll of a homemaker, then she will be responsible for buying food for the family, and purchasing everyday items such as clothes, cleaning supplies, and any other household consumables.

Counting dollar bills

If a lady is responsible for purchasing everything for her family, then it only makes sense that she would have control over the money. Whether this means opening a joint bank account or giving your wife an ‘allowance’ to take care of the home (or your share of it), allowing your wife to control most of the family’s money is a concept which is prevalent in many Eastern countries such as Thailand.

9. Learning the Thai language can help

Being able to communicate properly with your Thai girlfriend or wife is very important. If your partner’s English skills aren’t great, then most major cities in Thailand have a number of different language schools which can help your partner to hone and perfect her English-speaking abilities. Language schools are cheap and prevalent in most areas of Thailand.

If your partner is not located in a major city then online learning is another option which can be cheap or free in many cases.

However, you shouldn’t place the full burden of learning another language onto your partner! Learning to speak some Thai can go a long way and shows that you are willing to make an effort to accommodate your Thai wife, her in-laws will likely appreciate it too.

10. Cleanliness is important to Thai women

Cleanliness is very important in Thai culture. In a hot climate such as Thailand, showering multiple times every day is needed in order to cool off and prevent the smell of body odour. Most Thai people take pride in keeping their homes spotlessly clean, sweeping the floor of their home every day is a must for many Thai people.

Thai women in general do not like dirty people. If you are dating or getting married to a Thai lady then take good care of your personal hygiene and the cleanliness of your home.

Check your Thai girlfriend before getting married

Are you making the right decision to marry your Thai girlfriend or even continue in a relationship with her? Our detectives can help to check your Thai girlfriend before you get married to her. Running a pre-marital background check on your Thai partner can be a wise decision and help you to avoid making costly mistakes.

If you are interested in using our services to check your Thai girlfriend then please contact one of our experienced team members for a free quote. Please include as much information as possible with your inquiry and we will do our best to offer advice on how best we can help. All contact with us is strictly private and confidential.

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How to tell if a Thai girl is good

December 8, 2021 - Reading time: 10 minutes

We have all heard of so-called horror stories involving relationships between Western men and Thai ladies… Stories where ladies have scammed their boyfriends for money, or cases where ladies have carried on relationships with several different men at the same time. If you met your girlfriend in a place such as Pattaya, or through internet dating, then the odds that you might fall victim to a romance scam will be significantly higher.

However, not all Thai women are bad or looking to scam their foreign boyfriends for money. Many are genuine and seek out genuine relationships with foreigners. 

So, how can you tell a good Thai girl from a bad one? The truth is that spotting the difference is often very difficult. However, there are some subtle clues which you can look for in your Thai girlfriend. We have put together the following list which might help to offer some tips.

1. She does not sleep with you on the first date

Some foreigners that visit Thailand spend their time almost exclusively in nightlife areas, where it’s easy to develop the wrong perception of Thai ladies and Thai culture. Don’t allow your perception of Thailand to be formed by ladies that work in red light areas.

Thai woman in bed with her boyfriend

Thai culture is traditionally very reserved and a ‘good’ Thai girl is not likely to sleep with you on your first date or before she has gotten to know you.

If a Thai girl does sleep with you after your first date, then chances are it is not the first time she has done so, and she might not be a ‘good’ Thai girl.

2. She does not smoke cigarettes

Females smoking cigarettes is somewhat taboo in Thai culture, and most (if not all) of the Thai ladies that you will find puffing on cigarettes will be working in red light areas.

If your Thai girlfriend smokes cigarettes, this should act as a red flag that she is possibly not a ‘good girl’, and might have a history in the Thai nightlife scene.

3. She wants you to get married to her

In Thai culture, many do not perceive a relationship as legitimate until a wedding has taken place and the couple are married. A good Thai girl will look to formally ratify your relationship with her through marriage as soon as things start to become serious between you.

Thai woman wearing a wedding dress

It should be mentioned however that this point is somewhat of a double-edged sword… When getting married to a Thai lady, the groom will usually be obliged to provide a dowry (or ‘sin sod’) payment to the lady’s parents, which can range anywhere from 300,000 THB up to several millions of baht in some cases.

There have been documented cases where ladies will use this payment to their advantage, and will split-up with their partner soon after receiving wedding gifts or a large dowry. The payment is a gift and once paid is usually non-refundable. Bear this in mind and think carefully before tying the knot or handing over wads of cash.

4. She does not have tattoos

This point is slowly changing in recent times with influence from Western culture, however, it can still be said that many Thai ladies that sport ink have previously worked in Thailand’s adult entertainment industry.

We are not suggesting all Thai women that have tattoos are necessarily ‘bad’, however, this is one point to consider when assessing your Thai girlfriend. ‘Good Thai girls’ tend not to have tattoos.

5. She does not ask you for money

Is your girlfriend constantly asking you for money and/or lavish gifts? This could be a clear sign that she is more interested in using you as a walking ATM machine rather than cultivating a romantic relationship between you.

Some romance scammers are fully aware that asking for money early on in a relationship will be seen as a red flag – we have seen numerous cases where a lady will not ask for anything until she has an ‘accident’ or an urgent need for money. Could she be playing a long game instead?

6. She does not wear revealing clothes

Thai culture is traditionally quite modest and reserved. Outside of Thailand’s red-light areas, you might struggle to find ladies that are comfortable wearing clothes which reveal too much of their bodies.

Thai bar girl

If a Thai lady is comfortable being seen in public with very revealing clothes, this could provide a clue that she is perhaps not a ‘good Thai girl’.

7. She makes plans for the long term with you

Is your girlfriend only interested in talking about which restaurants you are taking her to, or where you can go shopping? Does your girlfriend make long term plans for her career and your relationship with her in general?

If your girlfriend regularly talks about her plans for your relationship with her in the long term, this could be a sign that she sees your romance as genuine and that she has good intentions.

8. She does not hang around with working girls

You may have heard the phrase ‘you can learn a lot about a person by the company they keep’… We think this adage also applies to Thai ladies. If a large portion of your girlfriend’s friend group includes ‘working girls’ (especially bar girls, dancers, and similar), you should really question how she has accumulated friends in these places. If your girlfriend currently works, or previously worked in a bar, then she is definitely not a ‘good Thai girl’.

Thai bar girls

If your girlfriend walks into a nightclub for example, and everyone there knows her by name, then it’s safe to assume she has spent a considerable amount of time there. Even if your girlfriend does not work in a club, many ‘freelancers’ visit such places in order to meet and hook up with customers. If you are leaving your girlfriend alone in Thailand, then be wary about this behaviour continuing while you are not around.

If your girlfriend only has professional friends with respectable careers, this is a signal that she might indeed be a ‘good Thai girl’.

9. She only drinks in moderation

Drinking is tolerated in Thai culture, but reasonably so. If your girlfriend insists on going out to the bar every night and getting sloppy drunk, this should act as a definite red flag. If your girlfriend only drinks in moderation on the other hand, this is a good sign and reflection of her character.

10. She has a career

The minimum wage in Thailand is very meager and barely enough to survive on. In order to earn a decent, liveable salary most Thais will need to pursue qualifications, or a university degree in their chosen profession. Choosing a career and earning a relevant degree is one way for Thais to earn themselves a decent amount of money.

If your Thai girlfriend has no career, no education, and possibly children or a family to support financially, then she will probably look for you to help with money, or to help her gain the relevant training so that she is able to earn enough money to support herself. A ‘good Thai girl’ should already have a clear path planned out before seeking a foreign boyfriend.

A word of caution

Do not underestimate the intelligence and determination of romance scammers! If your Thai girlfriend is looking purely to extract money from you or take advantage of you in some way, then she will likely be aware of how to do so without drawing suspicion from you.

For ladies that are involved in the profession of romance scamming, their activities are very much seen as a job. Romance scammers will typically hone their craft over many relationships with different men. They learn the things to say and topics to avoid.

Detecting a romance scammer or determining whether a Thai lady is ‘bad’ is often quite difficult. Many of our clients never suspected they were being taken advantage of until they were presented with evidence gathered by us. 

Check your Thai girlfriend

If you have concerns that your Thai girlfriend might be cheating on you, then we can help. Our private detectives cover all areas of Thailand. We can help to check your girlfriend’s activities while you are not around and find out if she truly is a ‘good Thai girl’. Please feel free to get in touch with one of our experience team members for a free quote. We will need to know all of the information and details in order to assess your case – please remember to let us know where in Thailand your girlfriend is based.

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Another Thai wife horror story

November 2, 2021 - Reading time: 13 minutes

There are many horror stories posted online which relate to Thai wives and Thai girlfriends. Many will attribute this to a percentage of foreign men meeting their partners in Thailand’s notorious nightlife industry. Although relationships with ladies from all different walks of life can still end badly, if you form a serious relationship with a lady that previously worked at a beer bar, a go-go bar, massage parlour, disco, or club, then the potential for this to happen might be considerably higher.

Quite simply, if your partner has decided that they are going to try and extract as much money from you as possible, then you might find yourself falling vulnerable to a romance scam.  

What follows is a story that was sent to us by a previous client. Mike, as we will call him here, has asked us to publish this story as a warning to others.

Please note that all contact with us is 100% private and confidential. Mike has asked us to share the following story on our blog in order to try and prevent other people from having similar experiences. We never publish any information from our clients without their clear written permission.

A Thai wife horror story

Ian, thanks for giving me a platform to detail my plight, I hope that it can serve as a warning to any other guys that find themselves in a similar position.

I originally met my Thai wife through an internet dating site. She was 9 years younger than me, had a slim figure and I found her very attractive. 

After we met through the dating site, we hit it off and were texting/calling each other every day. This continued for 7 months until I had the opportunity to fly out to Thailand and meet her.

May had told me that she worked in a restaurant and shared a room with another lady. After arriving in Thailand, it became clear that she was working at a bar which also served food. As it was my first visit to Thailand, I was quite naive and did not realize that she was a bar girl and effectively working as a prostitute.

Anyway, I had a great time with her and stayed in Thailand for 4 weeks. On my last week there I proposed to her and we got engaged. I started to send her money so that she could stop working in the bar, and she found a job at a café instead.

I visited Thailand every year while we went through the process of planning our wedding and applying for a visa for her to live in the United States. I would spend at least one or two months with her every year in Thailand.

During my second trip to Thailand, I visited her family’s house which was very basic and in some ways primitive. Her family had no electric shower for example, they used a bowl to throw cold water over themselves.

Her family home had a rusty tin roof that leaked when it rained and a concrete floor covered by odd pieces of ripped linoleum.

Old tractor in a field

I felt sorry for her family and while we were there I paid for them to have a new aluminium roof, new tiled floor, new wash room, and rewired it completely. Later on, that year I would give her father 360,000 THB to purchase a tractor so that he could earn money working on the rice fields. We also bought a pickup truck.

After returning from this trip to Thailand it became apparent to me that I was not going to be able to get her a visa to live with me in the States. I decided that I would give up my job and move to Thailand instead.

Some months passed, and I went back to Thailand to spend more time with her. While I was there I decided to purchase a plot of land in her village. This land cost 430,000 THB and was to be the site of a house that I would build for us to live in. As I was not allowed to own the land, it was put in May’s name, of course I trusted her totally at this point.

May’s family farmed cattle and she had convinced me to build a large barn where we would raise pigs. We had planned to keep 40-50 pigs within this barn which would produce an income for us to live on.

I returned back to the States and within 3 weeks May had sent me architect drawings for our new house. I started to send her money, first it was $14,000 as a deposit for the builders and to start constructing the foundations and the concrete shell of the building.

The concrete posts were quickly erected and I sent more money for the roof and brickwork to get underway.

Building houses in Thailand is much cheaper than in the United States, however it still costs a reasonable amount if you are looking for a good Western style building.

Within 8 months the house was completely finished and I was getting ready to return back to Thailand and make preparations for my move over there. 

Just 5 days before the flight, May asked me to send her an extra $10,000 for furniture and finishing touches on the house. I sent it. Including land, the house cost me approximately $86,000 US dollars, or around 2.9 million baht.

Everything was great at this point. My house was finished and I was finally going back to Thailand to see it and get married to May. 

Soon enough I found myself in the arrivals hall of Bangkok airport once again. However, this time May was not there to greet me. I walked around the airport for over an hour and could not find her anywhere.

In the end I left the airport and got a hotel room close to the airport. I tried to call May and each time her phone would hang up after one ring. I sent her messages; they were unopened and she never responded to me.

I had spoken to her just before the flight and I was becoming more and more worried. I stayed in the hotel for 6 nights and could not get a hold of her during that time. I thought, what if she has had an accident? What if she is dead or in hospital?

Eventually I booked a taxi to drive me from Bangkok up to her village. It was a 6 hour drive and the taxi could not drive down the rutted dirt track to her parent’s house. 

After I had walked down the track, I discovered that a new brick wall had been erected around the property which was topped with barbed wire. The gate was locked. I could see lights on at the house and shouted to get their attention but no-one came out.

I thought maybe May was at our house instead. We drove across the village to the plot of land that I had purchased, where our house now stood.

I remember the location vividly as the land was directly opposite the village school and had a view over the local water reservoir.

We arrived at the land I had purchased and there was nothing besides a pile of dirt. I walked around the area and there was no sign of construction anywhere. 

May had sent me photos of the house as it was being built. She sent me photos of the foundations being poured, the concrete posts and cross beams being installed, the floors, roof, everything. But I was standing in the middle of this field and there was no house to be seen.

Asian lady smiling

I thought that there must be some type of misunderstanding. I found a ‘resort’ close to the village to stay at overnight. In the morning I would come back to the village and find May.

The next day I revisited her parent’s house, the gate was locked again. I shouted to get their attention but didn’t see anyone.

Eventually I made my way to the local village shop where I sat down and bought a bottle of Thai whiskey. I was drinking to myself when a woman approached me speaking broken English. She told me that May had gone to work in Pattaya, and that she was previously living in her parent’s house with a man from Holland called Thomas.

I couldn’t, and didn’t want to believe what she was telling me. She showed me a Facebook profile belonging to May which was filled with photos of her and this young dutchman. 

She told me that May had been living in the village with this dutchman for many years, that May would go off to Pattaya every few months and leave her boyfriend in the village. She told me that May worked as a ‘nanny’ in Pattaya. The only reason for May to visit Pattaya every few months was to stay with me when I came to Thailand to visit her.

She had been living with a different man the entire time. The house that I was building did not exist. She was just pocketing the money and sending me photos of someone else’s house being built.

I will admit that I was foolish to fall for this, but I need to make clear that she was extremely convincing. I believed that she loved me and never had any doubt through the time that I was sending her money. That’s how good she was.

To cut a long story short, I made many attempts to contact her but I never did hear from May again. Her last message was wishing me a safe flight over.

Before leaving Thailand I spoke to a lawyer about my situation and he basically told me that as I was not married to her, that I was simply giving May gifts for her to spend as she saw fit. I am not going to get even one penny back from her.

I am not a wealthy man, and most of the money I had in savings were spend on May. I am so much worse off now and will probably never recover from the financial impact this has had on me.

I have lost so much money and years of my life dating a complete scam artist and a manipulator.

She was so professional and had an answer for everything. I think most men could find themselves being convinced by her or someone like her.

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