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#1 reader

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 06:17 PM

NOTE -- I've only been successfully pickpocketed once (Buenos Aires, 2003) and never in Krung Thep. The trade, however, was common practice when I was visiting the suck cinema in Saphan Kwai 16 years ago. Fortunately, those who practiced it weren't the smoothest of operators and most movie goers seemed to quickly spot the telltale moves. And if you were a regular you began to recognize them by sight, even in the dark. This was the wonderful time before apps and this particular location would attract huge crowds of young Thais after work and on weekends.

 

Outside of that, it's never been one of my concerns. Now, however, it seems on the rise in the target-rich environment of the Chit Lom BTS stop. And it is foreigners who have taken it up.

 

From Khaosod English

 

BANGKOK — Three Mongolian men were charged with pickpocketing and credit card fraud Thursday after being arrested at BTS Chit Lom.

 

Okhinsuren Bayarsaikhan, Tseddenbal Oyunbold and Indermaa Ganbold, all in their 30s, were accused of stealing 300,000 baht in various currencies from tourist areas last month, much of which allegedly went to purchasing iPhone Xs. They have been charged with pickpocketing and credit card fraud.

 

Police arrested the trio near BTS Chit Lom on Wednesday and seized US dollars, Euros, Thai baht, Australian dollars and Korean Won worth about 100,000 baht.

 

Tourist Police Deputy Commissioner Maj. Gen. Surachet Hakpal said Thursday that the gang consisted of five Mongolians who entered the country July 18. Two returned home July 26 with the iPhone Xs.

 

Credit card fraud is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of 100,000 baht.

 

http://www.khaosoden...ngkok-tourists/

 

 

 



#2 Vessey

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 10:41 PM

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I don't carry my passport with me when out and about, instead I have two laminated credit-card sized reductions that I had made in the Big C a few years ago - one for each wallet.

 

I usually have two wallets/purses, one smaller, thinner one deep in a front pocket where hopefully I could feel anyone (who shouldn't be) fishing around in there.

 

I keep an older, fatter purse, with my coins and smalle notes (100 baht and below), always looks a lot but rarely more than 1k baht in total. That I put in a back pocket looking deliberately 'visible'. If anyone is out to pickpocket me I would be hoping that pick on this one first - if I loose it then its inconveneient but minimal financial loss.

 

I only take bank cards with me when I go to the ATM, and then I usually bring it straight back to the hotel where I stash it, and much of the cash in the room safe.

 

During the day I might have 5-6k baht on me, but I might up that to 10k at night - not that I have the intention of spending that much at all, but you never know, for good or bad, if you might need it.

 

If I have room in a pocket, I try and take a small plastic bag, bank coin bag size, with a couple of condoms and a couple of sachets of lube inside, again, you never knw if you might need it LOL

 

Oh yes and a couple of hotel cards - if anything happens to me they will at least know where to take me LOL.

 

Last, but oh so important, and taking up no room at all, I take my smile! Always appreciated and its surprising just how many farang seem to forget theirs LOL



#3 z909

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 11:48 PM

I usually wear trousers with zip pockets, with wallet, cards & phone inside.

I have an additional inner pocket sewn in for the passport & when I have to carry larger sums of cash (>>£1000).

#4 Travellerdave

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 12:37 PM

I never take my passport with me when I go out and about in Pattaya. It stays in the room safe together with the bulk,of my money, baht and pounds. Instead I carry a copy of the photo page and of the visa waiver in my wallet. I’m told that this normally satisfies the police,if necessary. In the wallet I also carry a condom and sachet of lube, and around 5000 baht.
I have an iPhone with a UK SIM card and also a small compact old phone with an Thai SIM card that I carry around. This number I will give sometimes to boys rather than the former. It cost me 500 baht so no great loss if I loose it, which is always possible as I’m getting more absent minded as I grow older.

#5 z909

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 01:52 PM

Considering the benefits of smartphone features like maps, Planet Romeo etc, my Thai SIM goes in the smartphone & the UK SIM in the cheap phone. Although, since friends and relatives have Whatsapp etc, the UK phone is often switched off & left in the hotel.

Regarding ID cards, I tried to order a convincing fake from a UK website, for those cases where a card has to be left (e.g. bicycle hire). This failed as my age was outside the range on their dropdown menu. 😒
I suspect the target market is under 18s & definitely not one where all the details are filled in correctly.

#6 reader

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Posted 03 August 2018 - 06:56 PM

From Bangkok Post

 

An Algerian man has been arrested for picking the pocket of a Hong Kong tourist inside a passenger carriage at the Makkasan Airport Link train station.

 

The passenger reported his wallet missing on Wednesday.

 

Tourist police then examined recordings from closed-circuit cameras, which showed a man stealing the wallet from the tourist on board a train at Makkasan station on Aug 1.

 

Police found the stolen black wallet in his possession, along with the 1,020 baht cash and US$2,680 it contained.

 

A police investigation revealed the suspect had entered Thailand 12 times. Police believed he entered the country to commit similar offences each time as he had three passports he took turns using.

 

https://www.bangkokp...ort-link-trains



#7 vinapu

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 12:45 AM

good job , Thai police !

 

l now I know even better why I don't carry wallet at all,  preferring to have money loosely distributed in predetermined amounts among various pockets. ( I prefer velcro over zip which we can forget to use - see recent report on the forum about phone theft during BJ ).

 

 

This makes controlling spending easier and probability of me having 2680 USD in  one place other than safety box in my room is zero.

 

If I really need to carry that much i.e. on my way from airport on day of arrival or when moving hotels, money would be in money belt inside of my undies.

 

I do carry some ID as well as hotel's business card with me and usually carry  lightweight daypack  with small bottle of mouthwash, pack of condoms , tube of KY, Bangkok bus map  and in rainy season , umbrella.



#8 fedssocr

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 06:31 AM

I always carry my passport with me. I don't worry about it much. My pants also have a zippered inner pocket which is where I keep it and since I almost never need it for anything on a normal day the zipper is never opened. I have a leather passport cover which keeps it from getting soggy and bent up in the tropics.

 

I just have one phone, but I might consider taking a slightly older smartphone with me next time. I briefly lost my phone on a recent trip to Australia. It fell out of my (unzipped) jacket pocket on my Uber ride from the airport to the hotel on arrival after traveling for about 36 hours all together. Luckily the hotel staff were able to help me contact the driver and he brought it back to me. It was a bit of an order for sure and I get a much tighter grip on it for the rest of the trip. Gave the driver a generous tip and praised the hotel staff who helped me to their manager and in several online reviews. I started using Flexiroam last year. It's a little chip you affix to your regular SIM card and when you are traveling abroad you only need to activate their app and it using the SIM overlay to access the network. It's a bit more expensive than a local SIM but more convenient especially if you are traveling between countries a lot. The biggest drawback is that you can't use it for calls or SMS but internet based message apps work.

 

I carry a little daypack too. It's a place to keep the umbrella, hat when I'm indoors, bottle of water, sometimes a small camera...



#9 ChristianPFC

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 09:49 PM

A Farang friend reported he had his wallet stolen on BTS Siam by another Farang. He knew it was another Farang because he noticed the theft and then approached the thief saying "Wallet!" whereupon the thief dropped it on the floor.

 

I once had a vision of someone spilling a drink over my trousers, therefore I put my passport in a plastic bag. In addition, I have a card with my name in Thai and phone number in my passport.



#10 vinapu

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 11:10 PM

A Farang friend reported he had his wallet stolen on BTS Siam by another Farang.

is not unknown to the science that some long term travelers are financing their trips that way. Others may be , more nobly, even keen to share bed with others for  a  consideration.

 

In my travels  I learned to be vary of overly friendly fellow travelers as much as overly friendly locals.

 

But I haste to say in my 17 trips to Thailand  I only once had an instance of missing money which could but necessarily was stolen (  either was stolen from my pocket on BTS or I dropped it when reaching for money to buy  a ticket )



#11 anddy

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:07 PM

I NEVER carry my passport, except when going to/from the airport to travel abroad. For domestic flights I just use my Thai drivers license which obviously I carry at all times. It's useful for any other ID purposes, too, like at DJ station where they sometimes ask for ID. 

As most here, I do carry a color copy of the picture page of the passport plus b/w copy of visa extension+reentry permit plus latest entry stamp along with arrival card. I really don't understand why anyone would carry the original passport, especially when on a temporary holiday. A copy will suffice for police, and even if it doesn't you can always go to the hotel with them to show it. That's an inconvenience, yes, but incomparably smaller than losing the original passport (through theft or otherwise). 

 

Otherwise, I'm not really concerned about pickpocketing, I do carry my wallet (with said copies, drivers license and Thai ATM card) with me at all times, in the "unsafe" back pocket, and only very rarely move it to the front pocket for safety. I believe if it went missing I would notice it immediately due to the lack of the feeling of a filled back pocket. But then again, being more safe than that is better than being sorry and it doesn't cost much effort, so advice given by others here is probably more prudent than mine lol ;)

 

As for carrying two phones: if you are an Android user, that is entirely unecessary.  Just get a model with 2 SIM cards and off you go as normal. It elides me why the hyped and oh-so-perfect iPhone doesn't have that.... There are superb dual-SIM Android phones in the market that easily equal to iPhone quality. I personally currently have the Oneplus 3T, a little  known highh-end brand with no bloatware like the mainstream brands have. But I guess iPhone vs. Android is a matter of personal habits, preferences and sometimes near-religious beliefs LOL ;)



#12 z909

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 12:29 AM

As for carrying two phones: if you are an Android user, that is entirely unecessary.  Just get a model with 2 SIM cards and off you go as normal.


This is just a choice. For anyone fully intending to have 2 sims on the go permanently, your option looks good.

Some of us have already laid out several hundred pounds on a top Android phone and intend to get several years out of it.
The UK SIM is only really needed for special cases, like incoming texts, so the phone with that SIM lives in the hotel for most of the time. Also, it is one of the smallest Nokia non-smart phones, so it's not adding significantly to the luggage.

More importantly, when I am in a gogo bar with my Thai SIM in the Samsung phone, the UK SIM is in a switched off Nokia back in the hotel. So no need to field calls from close relatives when in a noisy gogo bar.



#13 vinapu

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 04:37 AM

This is just a choice......

....... when I am in a gogo bar with my Thai SIM in the Samsung phone, the UK SIM is in a switched off Nokia back in the hotel. So no need to field calls from close relatives when in a noisy gogo bar.

don't we make are lives more complex than they need to be ?

 

For me beauty of vacations, not necessarily just Thailand ones,  is getting away from it all and coming back home 2-3 weeks later just to discover that nothing important really changed, other than flower pots need water urgently.

 

Unless there was an accident and somebody close needs my kidney for transplant I don't want any calls from anybody and they know it very well. Checking e-mails once a day and responding 'still alive ' if need arises  is all I found necessary  to keep in touch with folks back home.

 

Sure, when in LOS I communicate a lot with our members but even  that is done outside of my gogo bar time unless of course we are bar hopping together - but that's face to face conversation



#14 thaiophilus

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 02:39 AM

 

Unless there was an accident and somebody close needs my kidney for transplant I don't want any calls from anybody and they know it very well.

 

I agree with the sentiment, but there's another reason you might need (not want) to receive some calls: two-factor authentication...

 

If my bank spots "unusual" activity on my credit card, quite likely when I'm abroad with different spending patterns, they send a text message to my home number. If I don't respond they are likely to block the card.



#15 vinapu

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 11:13 AM

 

 

If my bank spots "unusual" activity on my credit card, quite likely when I'm abroad with different spending patterns, they send a text message to my home number. If I don't respond they are likely to block the card.

this is precisely why I almost never  use credit cards when I'm travelling. Learned my lesson many years ago when I was stuck in Montreal,  Canada  without cash and with blocked credit card and only kindness of strangers took me to the airport and even treated me with some sandwich. Never again. Cash is the king and my best friend when travelling.

 

What is better than wad of banknotes ? Two wads  of banknotes



#16 spoon

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 02:07 PM

i am more of cash person too. i usually will try to not use my cc when travelling except for hotel bookings. I usually only use cc for emergency, and also carry atm for such case that i needed extra money for shopping. I am in the camp of always paying off my cc as well, and use it to get points locally but have not use cc overseas due to bank fee, and poorer exchange rate. Also, i have two wallets when travelling. I put the money i needed to use for the day plus some extra in one wallet that i carry around and the rest of my money on a different wallet that have most of my cards and my local currency money as well, which i store in the safe back at hotel.

#17 TMax

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 04:38 PM

Cash for me, although I do take a credit card I leave it in the safe in the room, only use it for paying hotel or in case of emergency. Never had the displeasure of pick pocketing but know several people that have, mostly in the Philippines.

#18 paborn

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 08:39 PM

this is precisely why I almost never  use credit cards when I'm travelling. Learned my lesson many years ago when I was stuck in Montreal,  Canada  without cash and with blocked credit card and only kindness of strangers took me to the airport and even treated me with some sandwich. Never again. Cash is the king and my best friend when travelling.

 

What is better than wad of banknotes ? Two wads  of banknotes

Vinapu, you are very lucky to meet such kind strangers. But, if you properly notify your banks that you are traveling they will not be blocked. An American Express card can be replaced very quickly in most countries at corresponding banks such as Bangkok Bank. Cash can be stolen and it is truly gone. Thus, while more places in Asia take visa/ MasterCard, AMEX is my reserve foolproof security.



#19 vinapu

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Posted 23 November 2018 - 05:46 AM

Vinapu, you are very lucky to meet such kind strangers.

 

But, if you properly notify your banks that you are traveling they will not be blocked. An American Express card can be replaced very quickly in most countries at corresponding banks such as Bangkok Bank. Cash can be stolen and it is truly gone. 

My card was blocked not because I was travelling but because bank's system  "thought"  that I made purchase qualifying as  ' unusual activity ' in their opinion. Not that easy to straighten out in the days before smartphones at 10 p.m. in relatively unknown place when one couldn't phone because did not have a cash and couldn't pay with card because she was blocked. 

 

No , I'm not leaving my vacation fun to decision of some cold algorithm or malfunction  of power supply while I'm thousands kilometers away.

 

Yes cash can be stolen . As strong believer of not keeping all eggs in one basket I'm happy to take a risk. 



#20 paborn

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Posted 23 November 2018 - 05:50 AM

Must have been a long time ago, the purchase algorithms are very good today.






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