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Con-Artists Scam Tourists in Asia With a Clever Blackjack Hustle
Jun 22, 2011
Gangs of professional con-men are still targeting tourists in South East Asia by exploiting their inexperience with the clever Blackjack hustle.
Summer is almost upon us as well as the start of the vacation season when a good portion of Americans, Canadians, Brits, Europeans, Australians and New Zealanders venture forth into the great unknown to explore faraway lands, gape at new cultures and meet interesting people.
It is also the perfect time for organized gangs of con-artists and hustler to ply their trade and target the naïve, the inexperienced and the greedy with a variety of scams. Most con-artists employ the same old adaptations of scams which were used since the beginning of history.
The most widely used scam practiced in South and South East Asia including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines is the Blackjack Card Games Hustle. The scam is surprisingly simple and requires a group of five hustlers with sincere and kind faces.
The scam begins when a tourist is approached by a kindly looking, well dressed Asian lady or elderly man who is fluent in English. In less than a minute, the tourist will mention his home city and country. Lo and behold, the world is indeed a small place.
It just so happens that the granddaughter/sister/twin of the kind lady (who is virtually glowing with good will and sincerity) will be leaving in two days to begin working at a University/hospital right close to the tourist’s home town.
The tourist is invited for a traditional local meal in his/her honor and usually agrees because the hustler will know which buttons to press and besides, the tourist came to that country to see how the locals live, and what better opportunity will they have. To further disarm the victim, the hustler will even pay for a taxi.
The taxi doesn’t go far, and stops at a very attractive traditionally decorated clean house. The tourist will begin to feel even more secure since it is obvious that these are wealthy people. The children, infant and friendly people inside will disarm the tourist even further. However the granddaughter/sister/twin will not be there since she was just called to the embassy for the final round of paperwork.
After a delicious meal (which is lightly spiked with an anti-anxiety medicine). The tourist will be introduced to another guest at the house – a completely drunk businessman from Hong Kong, Tokyo or Singapore. A ‘traditional’ game of blackjack will be started for $1-$2.
At this point it will become obvious that the drunken businessman is losing thousands. The kind lady will encourage the tourist to play, and after witnessing the businessman so drunk that every hand is lost, the tourist’s greed will take over. The kind lady will even loan the tourist a hundred dollars. All of a sudden the dealer will raise the ante to $1000 just as the tourist happens to see he has a natural blackjack (21).
The kind lady lends the tourist the money and s/he wins! The tourist begins winning at blackjack.
The tourist continues to play until at some point, the drunk Singaporean raises (since it’s not a casino , blackjack players at the table play against each other). The Singaporean may raise $20,000 which neither the old lady nor the tourist can cover, and even if somehow could, the drunk Singaporean will always have 21 (natural blackjack.)
At this point the ‘mark’ is asked to leave collateral while half of the family escort him/her to the bank to cover the money lost which was borrowed from the old lady.
Every single person in that house including the old lady and the drunk Singaporean are in on the hustle and are well versed in their roles.
In the past month alone one Korean tourist lost $15,000, an American lost $8,000 and an Brit lost $2000 to this very same scam not counting hundreds of others unaware that they have been scammed.
Always be aware that when you are in a foreign country and are not an experienced world traveller, to always avoid striking up conversations with strangers met on the street. If it’s obvious that there are too many coincidences for this to be reality, chances are it is not reality but a staged play.
The world may be small but the cell in a debtor’s prison in a 3rd world country is even smaller. If you want to play blackjack, we suggest for you to play at a reputable Blackjack casino online.
Tags: 21, bank, Blackjack, Cambodia, completely drunk businessman, Confidence trick, dealer, drunken businessman, Fraud, Games, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tokyo, USD, Vietnam