Written By Bryan Flowers – Night Wish Group | The Pattaya News | Pattaya Addicts | Pattaya Unplugged
It’s no surprise that there are scammers here, I wrote “does Pattaya breed scammers?” a while back because I see so many first hand and second hand.
From my experience, no one wants to pay me for consulting because people always know best, but its only professionals that know they need to pay more to prevent less downside later, so people come to me for help with disputes once it’s too late and they have no money left. I have helped tons of people because I hate scammers, they make problems for everyone. But the majority of people are just here to have a good time and don’t care about all the shit going on daily at the business level. I’m just trying to say, that’s why I have witnessed so much, people contacting me all the time for advice.
I don’t want to attack or name scammers that are active or still in dispute, its none of my business, but I wanted to write about one example years ago that involved my wife.
I brought a massage place once, (around 5 years ago I think) we posted online a job advert for a manager. A very nice lady came to see us, she said she was very wealthy and she was bored. She wanted to work and help manage the massage, said it was a challenge, then she said she wanted to invest in some renovation work.
But this lady was different, she seemed hard working, Thai but married to an Australian and she had two kids. She said her husband made movies in Australia and there was some info on imdb.com about him, the company and the movies they were meant to be involved in. I couldn’t believe how such a rich lady wanted to help, but she had just moved to Pattaya with her two daughters and put them in askorn school near Pattaya Thai, which I didn’t understand, she told us she had a house which my wife went to see. I had mixed feelings, I felt like we had won the lottery with such a person around, but things didn’t add up.
Then she said that her husband wanted to invest 300m now then 1000m baht in Pattaya and wanted to look at land and property. She already had army guys helping her occasionally, (they turned up at soi 6 once when a neighbouring bar had Thai guys turn up to intimidate our girls and threaten to rape them because she lost face one night) she knew some police and by using highly connected people, more highly connected people believe in her, she got the confidence of the others and used the large numbers to get people greedy enough to fall for her lies of being rich without showing funds or backing.
By now I had a bad feeling about this lady, but with the children at a local school and others running around after her, I thought there is no harm in it yet and it helps my wife learn and meet more connections. (which helped her but lost her face) It’s easy to get one important person to believe in you and then you have more following you, then everyone believes everything you say. I have encountered this with two different guys myself, they pretended they were very wealthy, promised me huge deals and they never came though, one tried to destroy everything I had, that’s the problem when you start making good money for the first time, you get tricked easily, but you soon learn. What that guy did to me was worst than any enemy could have. He became a friend and tried to destroy everyone because he’s some sort of sociopath, but I will talk about him one day, I am still angry at the damage he almost did.
Back to the scammer, she was looking at big land, asking people to make village plans for her with the promises of huge deals and purchases. She became a good friend for my wife and they were working on stuff sometimes 12 hours a day for around 3 months, she had a lawyer following her around and an accountant. There were all sorts of “important” people hanging around, my wife used our connections to get this lady viewings at large hotels with the owners. (The hotel/luxury house owners don’t meet potential buyers in Pattaya because you get so many guys asking for viewings just to impress their barfines, I have had it happen to me also, should always ask proof of funds straight away)
No one was getting paid, but the money was coming she kept saying, her husband flew into town and we went to a hotel viewing with him, he was well dressed and well-spoken and said he wanted to come do some muay thai with me, but never did.
The scammer lady opened up a massage shop on Sukhumvit near her house, she was doing massages sometimes, I said to my wife, if she’s that rich why is she working for such small money? but I also admire business owners that get their hands dirty sometimes. Something wasn’t adding up.
There was a new Japanese style movie coming out that her husband was doing, the information she had was very convincing, I think they do tricks with imdb.com website to get them looking like directors in movies or investors.
She’s either been in the business before or shes a very sophisticated scammer. She said to my wife because she liked her so much, she would let her invest a fraction of money and she would have some skin in the game and offered ridiculous figures of return, that’s another scam alarm (silly promises of large amounts of return) . I discussed it with my wife and said I have a bad feeling about this, but if you want to do it, its 90k THB and surely she doesn’t want problems from us for such a small amount? So she just gave it her with some contract that problem meant nothing really. But I was happy as Anthony was going to school and Dun went back into her career mood and this was exciting her.
The greed I witnessed was eye-opening, people arguing over percents that were never going to happen, people buying her food, chasing after her like a celebrity, one thing that made me laugh is one of her entourage thought he was going to be rich and started talking down to the lawyer, I couldn’t see the scam yet as this scams were new to me. How can she steal if she’s just pretending to buy?
Months went by and every large land, hotel or luxury home she looked at had too many problems for her to commit, she didn’t like anything, it was frustrating and started to make people talk, we went to a hotel that was around 900m owned by chang, we went to the one by the police station, two in Jomtien and I don’t know the others as I only went to them. One of the hotel owners said I want 5m refundable deposit if you want to see the books because he was fed up of time wasters. They acted disgusted and all the entourage jumped in, to assure the hotel owner that she’s real. What a beautiful scam, getting everyone greedy and desperate enough and they will do everything for you.
She was talking about all her arguments with her husband and opening her heart about many things, its easy to see a scammer from a distance but when you are close it’s more difficult. I actually think her talking about her problems made my wife think she’s honest and more trustworthy, but I think they were genuine problems but told intentionally to win confidence for the scam. My wife doesn’t care much about money, but we both wanted her to have more business experience and if there was a job or a per cent going in a project, then so be it. She wasn’t greedy like the others, but she was proud of her work and what she could be getting into.
After 3 months of my wife working long hours, going to meetings/viewings all day, and she was enjoying doing some higher-level meetings/work but often paying for the food/drink. (not expensive places) This scammer lady asked my wife if she could borrow 300k for 2 days because her husband is arriving in 2 days and she needs to buy some things for him. But he has lots of cash when he arrives. We both felt with the potential later, and the fact it was only 2 days, why not. (another scammer tactic, just ask to borrow for a small amount of time) but it makes no odds if it’s not coming back, but it feels safer for people. According to popular belief, 300k was nothing to this lady, so it felt less risky, but that’s all part of the scam, act rich so you can borrow money.
I don’t remember what happened next and I don’t want to ask my wife because shes wants to forget it. But after handing over the 300k we were suspicious still and we quickly realised she had done a runner, we went to the house and it was empty. The landlord said she rented the house for 3 months. (scammer had told us she brought it) she also took the kids out of the school, so back to Australia. Why would you do that to your children? why would you risk getting caught? why would a middle-aged well-spoken woman be doing scams like this? I had many questions.
I am not sure how much she stole, but the lawyer didn’t get paid, the accountant never got paid, ok they were speculating with their time, but they were promised business at some point. One of them had lent her 100k. If she had 390k off us and 100k off another guy, then she’s done ok. No doubt she “borrowed” off many others.
There were many confidence tricks to this scam, but even though I watch The Real Hustle, this was a different type of longer scam, another 2 guys tried to do the same as this to me but tried to use me as a pawn to open doors, then tried to destroy everything I had, (hence why I don’t trust people much these days and stay at home, just got sick of scammers, people asking for jobs, borrow money and anything else that doesn’t benefit me and trying to drag me into problems.) And it was another reason why I stopped posting for so long because of a guy’s elaborate plan to try to scam me, but neither of them got cash off me because I was very careful.
We never saw or heard from this lady again. We had a police report but she has gone and my wife just wanted to forget it. She was more hurt than anything else, it was a good lesson for us, we’d never had much money before and we were new money, ripe for scammers. And I have never met these types before, some just do it to look and feel good for a few days.
However, she left us a cheap laptop as security for the 300k THB lol, but it had no charger, I asked on Facebook who had a spare charger for that laptop and Dany the builder said I could meet him at his restaurant and borrow one. I looked on the laptop and there were plans for a bridge in Australia, so no doubt she was getting investments for a fake bridge or someone else’s bridge, that’s some high-level scam shit. Its turns out that Dany has been a builder in Pattaya for 20 years and he did bars and gogos, so he got around 20 bar renovations worth of work, for lending me a laptop charger for 30 minutes. A great karma story. But I am pretty sure that Danys work and planning has made us more than enough to pay for our personal losses. Not that the company had anything to do with it, but Danys bar plans would increase profits, better layout and less closure time and would filter back through my division of profits.
If I come across their details again one day, I might pursue it.