Gem Scam

#16 Aug 9th, 2011, 01:31
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#16
My suggestion to all those who smell a scam is to distance yourself from the assumed scammers as quickly as possible. This is because they might reveal themselves to be violent criminals too.
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#17 Aug 9th, 2011, 01:36
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#17
This is good advice. I thought that since I knew what would happen and I wouldn't be parting with money, I could have some fun with it. But, I really didn't know what would happen for sure because I didn't know this person. It's really not a good idea to have fun with scammers. I was lucky because I was able to leave without buying anything, but who knows? If he had been violent, who knows what could have happened? You're right.
#18 Aug 9th, 2011, 01:43
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#18

Wink

geez, what a scam! I'm thinking that Kali's eyes tattooed on my upper arm might hold some back from giving me trouble!

last year in Haridwar two pushy shawl salesmen were trying to give me the business, i.e., a run around (AS IF I don't know how to negotiate after all this time), and I lifted my sleeve, pointed to Kali's eyes, and said very seriously, "you don't want to get her angry."

end of discussion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post I couldn't have paid 150 USD for gems.
what a rip! I was in a good jewelry store in Chennai and paid $10 for a 2.5 caret citrine! it's been appraised here for over 10X that amount.

and capt. is right. one would think after five trips I'd feel more secure than a first-timer, but I still would not go anywhere with anyone who sets off my radar, whether it's inside a store or down a lane. and I have damn good radar.
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#19 Aug 9th, 2011, 01:53
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#19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sama View Post I was in a good jewelry store in Chennai and paid $10 for a 2.5 caret citrine! it's been appraised here for over 10X that amount.

and capt. is right. one would think after five trips I'd feel more secure than a first-timer, but I still would not go anywhere with anyone who sets off my radar, whether it's inside a store or down a lane. and I have damn good radar.
Being in a good jewelry store is the key. You knew that you were getting a genuine gem. I wouldn't know how to tell a real gem from a fake one, so I have no business buying gems from anyone I wouldn't completely trust.

Yes, capt. is right - the minute you smell a scam, you should leave. I didn't, and I really should have.

I like your solution to the pushy shawl salesmen! I would never have thought of that. What a great idea!
#20 Aug 9th, 2011, 02:20
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#20
Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post My suggestion to all those who smell a scam is to distance yourself from the assumed scammers as quickly as possible. This is because they might reveal themselves to be violent criminals too.
It's good in theory & for the seasoned visitor.... but the reality is that the taxi/rickshaw drivers often commandeer/kidnap the unsuspecting, uninitiated newbies towards/into these types. These drivers/operators are in turn allowed to enter rail carriages, unchallenged, for first dibs on new arrivals.

Visits to these scammers &/or over-priced merchants are often the hidden intangible to any fare negotiation.

Until that nasty little cycle of the Indian tourism industry is addressed - the monkeys will continue to romp & roam & undoubtedly profit.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

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#21 Aug 9th, 2011, 02:26
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#21
Daisy, you tell the story well! And I'm so glad you had the strength of character to dismiss all that emotional blackmailing he was trying to put on you.

But the capt is right - while we love stories here it really is better to avoid these situations altogether if possible.

I hope the rest of your travels go well and that you will come back here with some good stories for us. You are one of Indiamike's gems yourself .
#22 Aug 9th, 2011, 02:35
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#22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post Daisy, you tell the story well! And I'm so glad you had the strength of character to dismiss all that emotional blackmailing he was trying to put on you.

But the capt is right - while we love stories here it really is better to avoid these situations altogether if possible.

I hope the rest of your travels go well and that you will come back here with some good stories for us. You are one of Indiamike's gems yourself .
Thanks Julia!

Actually, most of the things that happened in India were good. I love India, and I'm dreaming of my next trip there already. I do give talks in my community to tell everyone how wonderful India is and to hopefully get them to thinking of taking a vacation there some day.

It is because of IndiaMike, because others have shared their stories of this scam, that I recognized what was going on. I can't even imagine what my trips to India would have been like without the knowledge I've gained from IM.
#23 Aug 9th, 2011, 10:02
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#23
Quote:
It's good in theory & for the seasoned visitor.
Which is why I said that people who smell the scam should disengage. DaisyL here certainly did smell it, but felt (rightly, as it fortunately turned out), that is was just an attempted scam.

For those who don't smell them- or are willing to leave common sense aside, risks obviously escalate.
#24 Aug 9th, 2011, 10:42
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#24
Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post Which is why I said that people who smell the scam should disengage. For those who don't, risks escalate.
Sure easy for some, but because it's a 'ring' & in cahoots with the auto & taxi drivers - you often don't have a choice but to, at the very least, meetup & intermingle with these types(violent criminal ?) as you get literally driven/funneled right to their frickin front showroom door. That's bad news.

I've also been taken to the Gem shops while on the way to a destination in Jaipur. "Just five minutes, sir - It's my uncle's shop - just go in and have a friendly cup of tea - it means a lot to me (big friendly smile, head wobble)."

Most newbies will oblige when in 'vacation mode' ... rather than saying no & coming off as an 'unfriendly prick'.


How you discern & handle the situation from that point onwards depends on your Indian experience, street smarts & interpersonal skills.

Some fair much better than others ......
#25 Aug 9th, 2011, 12:10
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#25
Gut feeling doesn't count against a good scammer. It is their job to appeal to your gut feeling!

Experience counts, or (as Daisy says) information taken in from others counts --- but you still have to manage to keep it at the front of your mind while your heart strings are being tugged.

The usual visit-my-uncle's-shop isn't really a scam, anyway. Many travellers are going to buy gifts and souvenirs. Most of these shop visits are not unpleasant, and do not involve more than the usual special-price-just-for-you-because-I-love-your-eyes sort of selling techniques. Most of the shops I was taken to by drivers and guides were actually experiences that I enjoyed. I did not necessarily buy anything: when I did, I didn't really mind that the driver was getting his cut, it all helps to make the world go round.

There's nothing to be worried, or afraid, about the visit-a-shop routine. Just remember that you can say yes or no, and that you don't have to buy.

Daisy's experience moves away from salesmanship and into the area of extortion, but, as I said before, even that is a game some people want to play. All over the world, people are going to dodgy counsellors, practitioners, psychics etc and paying ridiculous prices for their trinkets, charms, jewels potions and bad advice: the more they pay the happier they are. I've seen friends do it, and shaken my head in disbelief at them, but they don't care --- and heard the worst stories from decent and professional members of those trades, who often have to deal with the aftermath and fallout from the unprofessional ones.
#26 Aug 9th, 2011, 12:46
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#26
stay safe, daisy.
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:brishti
#27 Aug 9th, 2011, 13:21
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#27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post What a shame you didn't manage to get a photo of him. You could have posted that too!
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#28 Aug 9th, 2011, 18:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jituyadav View Post In place of Shahrukh
Well, I won't be excited about a photo with my driver....

Thank you brishti, the journey was very happy!
#29 Aug 9th, 2011, 19:58
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#29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post
The usual visit-my-uncle's-shop isn't really a scam, anyway. Many travellers are going to buy gifts and souvenirs. Most of these shop visits are not unpleasant, and do not involve more than the usual special-price-just-for-you-because-I-love-your-eyes sort of selling techniques.
Yes & no.

The situation can vary greatly and depends on how forceful/desperate/smooth-talking the auto/taxi drivers are in taking you to these places & the high pressure tactics of the salesmen you are eventually faced with.

It's one thing for two males to get casually dropped off at a shop that has a single, friendly no pressure proprietor & quite another for a single female to get dropped off at an out-of-the-way showroom and suddenly find herself outnumbered 6-1 by professional, hospitable yet increasingly intimidating males.

Both scenarios (& many in between) can easily happen in India - especially @ Jaipur, Agra & Delhi!!!

Harmless buying opportunity, necessary inconvenience, high pressure sales or outright scam attempt ? - it all depends on the chemistry/atmosphere of the parties that are 'brought' together.

One thing is certain - the scammers are experts at picking out who to prey on based on the demeanor & supporting cast (or lack thereof) of the client.
#30 Aug 9th, 2011, 22:26
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#30
yes and yes.

Anyone who can handle a double-glazing salesman or a jehova's witness at the door can handle a rug salesman. And if they fail, they get a rug, and it costs some money.
Quote:
suddenly find herself outnumbered 6-1 by professional, hospitable yet increasingly intimidating males.
Women, generally, are good at that. It is adults I'm talking about!

Anyway, the chances of any tourist not being dragged or persuaded into some shop by almost every driver they encounter, if they don't resist it, are minimal, so it just has to be handled.

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