Some General Scams Example Happened in Shanghai

Shanghai is actually one of most fashionable and modern cities in the world which has attracted a lot of people from all over the world to visit, Although Shanghai is generally an extremely safe city in terms of violent crime in China, but when you are staying in this special city, there still will be some bad people with an intention to scam you, mostly these scams can be happened around areas commonly frequented by unsuspecting tourists, such as East Nanjing Road or People’s Square.


In Shanghai, there are many similar scams and they all start with a tout taking you to his ‘secret’ place full of the things you may be interested in. As for scams, there are many foreigners have shared some of their experiences of being scammed in this city. Generally speaking, it’s like anywhere else in the world – if something seems too good to be true, it usually is! The following are some scam examples you can have a look which may help you avoid a lot of troubles during your trip in Shanghai.

1. The Nightclub/KTV Scam

When night falls, there are a lot of scammers appearing in East Nanjing Road if you are walking alone. For example, there will be a strange boys or girls invite you to a nearby club or KTVs where there are beautiful Asian women, it could possibly be a scam, These guys are out to scam tourists by overcharging for drinks. Then they will run up a huge bill and then leave you to foot it. and if you can’t pay, they will take you to a nearby ATM to withdraw money. Avoid these guys at all costs and just walk by them. The first warning sign you should see coming is that they speak fluent English. Generally speaking, any time when you are going to a bar with strangers, you should always pay for drinks as you go. Running up a bar tab with people you don’t know can be a dangerous exercise.


2. The Tea Ceremony Scam

Chinese tea is certainly a popular beverage, and there are plenty of tea houses around the city where you can sample many different kinds of tea. Those bad people will approach the tourist and invite them to a traditional Chinese teashop or ceremony, If you agree, they’ll take you into a room where some old Chinese man or woman will serve you a few couple of different teas, then later hand you an extortionate bill totalling several hundred even thousands of RMB and many foreign people end up paying the bill in full, even though the tea is probably worth a handful of RMB at most. The first warning sign: Someone approaches you on the street. The second warning sign: They speak fluent English. Basically they will try and make small talk and in the end, they will invite you to a Tea Ceremony at a traditional Tea House.

3. English Leaning Scam

When you are walking in a street and there may be someone want to take you somewhere so they can practice their English, you should refuse and walk away. Many western travelers are friendly and they may agree, it is a wrong begin, they will take you to a small room and ask some money from you, and you may have no other choices. It’s no bad thing to want to make new friends, but be wary of those who would take advantage of your gregarious nature.


4. The Massage Scam

Massage parlors are all over Shanghai, Basically, the girls are all dressed up in the lobby with low cut blouses and high heels, these are prostitution, but it is actually safe and won’t scam you. The real scam is where someone approaches you from the street in front of the establishment. it’s a scam. If no one approaches you and you freely walk into the massage parlor, it is not a scam.

5. The Taxi Scam

There are a lot of illegal taxis or cars in Shanghai. You may first encounter them at the airport upon your arrival, where many men will approach you asking you “where are you going” or saying “taxi” to you. You should refuse them and try to take the bus, light rail, or metro. A common Taxi scam is for dishonest taxi drivers to take your legitimate 100 RMB note, subtly exchange it for a fake one and pocket yours. He will then make a show of ‘checking’ it, before telling you that he can’t accept the note because it’s a fake, and hand it back to you. Not all taxis are scams, but as a rule of thumb, you need to know if you’re being long hauled. You canyou’re your GPS on your Phone to see if the Taxi driver is taking the shortest and fastest route.


6. The Counterfeit Goods Scam

If you’re buying brand name merchandise from the streets of Qipu Lu, Nanjing Road, or anywhere in Shanghai, it is most likely counterfeit. So you should not listen what those shop owners said. If you want the real stuff, you can visit the IFC Mall where you can purchase from the luxury retailer’s own retail store.


7. The Uyghur nut cake scam

In some shopping or snack street, you may find a stall selling what looks to be a huge cake made of fruits and nuts, wrapped in cling film, it is called as cut cake(切糕 qiē gāo). First the seller will generally show a price list – for example, showing prices for 1kg, 5kg and 10kg. If a foreigner wants to buy some of the cake, they generally just want a little piece to try it. However, no matter what you ask for, they will always cut off a huge slice and the cake is very densely packed, meaning that even a thin slice will invariably weigh far more than you’d expect just from looking at it. So, it is becoming scam.

8. Cheap Tours Scam

These tour prices are really cheap, but they will take you to shopping places that are not listed on your itinerary, and you may spend more time at these places than at the places that you intended to visit. for example, and you will stop on the way there at a very touristy shopping stop for 45 minutes to an hour. There is nothing really wrong with taking these types of “join-in” tours as long as you know what you are getting yourself into.


The above is a list of some of common scams which often happened in Shanghai – generally, scams are best avoided simply by ignoring the scammer and moving on. To avoid these scams, you may need to see the following general tips for to be safe.

1 Never carry more the enough money that you need for your day.

2. Do not trust the strangers.

3. Do not take the credit card with you.

4. Tell them you are waiting for a Chinese friend.

5. Only one form of ID(such as passport, licence).

6. Keep your bag in front of you, and don’t keep your wallet in a loose, outside pocket.

7. Never give anyone you don’t know your real name and address

8. Always call your hotel to calla cab for you.

9. If you have aware that you are in a scam, you can answer a fake call on your mobile and walk away.
You should be cautious when going out during night time.

11. Don’t carry all your valuables around with you, or at least do not keep them all in the same bag or pocket.

12. If you want a massage you can often get this at a proper and safe massage center in your hotel or if not, at a regular massage parlor with published price lists.

13. Do not tell them your real name or where you are from and where you are staying.

14. If something happen, Report it to Shanghai police. Call 110 24/7 and ask for the English speaking operator.



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About Ai

Amy Ai is a freelance writer who enjoys the challenges of creativity and attention to detail. She graduated from Jilin University with a major in English and has been an excellent professional with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She is the author of many excellent blog articles and has been writing on the blog article for several years. Her research interests include many aspects.

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