The Thai Embassy in Turkey has warned Thai nationals of possible fraud scams, particularly overcharging for meals, after the number of cases have increased.
The Embassy said on its Facebook page that there has been a recent hike in the number of tourists, including Thais visiting Istanbul, who have been cheated in many ways by local people.
Most of the cases happened in crowded tourist sites like Sultanahmet and Taksim Square, where local people befriended foreigners and persuaded them to have joined them for a restaurant meal or to visit a bar.
Food and drinks are then ordered in the restaurants, but the resulting bill is highly inflated over the expected charge. The tourists have been allowed to leave the restaurants only after paying the bill.
Some tourists have been lured to spend the evening in nightclubs, and then overcharged on the bill.
The Thai Embassy in Ankara recommended that Thai tourists be cautious while travelling in Turkey, particularly when local people try to befriend them.
They should exercise utmost caution when in crowded places, tourist attractions and when using public transportation and trains.
Tourists should keep their passports in a safe place. When using a yellow taxi in Istanbul, they should check regularly that the meter is working.
In the event of problems during their visit, they could contact the embassy at +90 312 437 4318 (Monday to Friday at 9am5pm). In an emergency, they could contact the embassy at +90 533 641 5698 around the clock.
The Embassy also noted that most people in Turkey are friendly, helpful and welcoming to tourists.