Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beijing Tea Scam (Beware of Female Strangers)

A simple advice to guys who travel in China. Tip which can save you a lot of money.

Be careful and be afraid of ANY Chinese woman (that you don't know) who approaches you on her own initiative - especially if her English is good - and wants to help you, walks along with you under excuse of practicing her English etc.

Because at some point she will offer you to go to drink tea or eat some food at the nice place that she knows: and then you have to know - you are being scammed!

In any case, if you are adventurous and don't believe the first part of my warning - then at least remember to NEVER EVER go to the place that she offers and always choose the place YOURSELF!  

The classic Beijing tea scam almost happened to my boyfriend on his visit to China. After he finished walking around the Forbidden City in Beijing, a normally looking girl suddenly approached him and asked - "How are you?"

For some reason he immediately felt uncomfortable and - as he later told me - he thought that she was prostitute. So - although it sounded quite awkward - he answered: "I am sorry but I have a girlfriend".

"Oh", - laughed the girl - "It's OK. I just wanted to practice English. Can I walk with you?" He didn't mind and actually they walked for a while talking about his trip in China and her studies. Then she offered to go and drink some tea. 

She invited him to some teahouse but - and, gosh! how lucky he was! - for some reason he didn't like the teahouse and immediately went out. Then he said - "Let's go to another place", walked just few meters further and entered a little restaurant. The girl followed him. He occupied the table and began exploring the menu. But the girl "suddenly" got the telephone call and after finishing the conversation said "I am sorry, I got a phone form my friend - she wants to meet me. So I have to leave. Thank you very much. Bye bye".  

After that my boyfriend called me and told about what happened. He was quite sure that he ran into prostitute or scammer, and boasted how clever and cautious he was to get rid of her without any "damage". To say the truth, I was very naive - and reassured him that he was too suspicious and possibly it was just a friendly student who indeed wanted to practice her English.

And only today I stumbled upon this forum talking about Beijing "tea scam". It was like "WOW". 

For a more picturesque description watch this instructional video


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