What Scams Should Punters Avoid When Visiting Manila?

Now that Manila has become a gambling mecca, there are plenty of scams that punters have to watch out for. This bustling metropolis boasts 13 casinos that range from average size to larger than life integrated resorts. Over 4,741 pokies and gaming machines allow visitors to bet a staggering amount of money each day. In Resorts World Manila alone, over 1,5000 gaming machines and 300 tables occupy a 323,000 sq. ft. game floor. This staggering amount of business is popular amongst punters from around the world, and also among scammers. Let’s find out what scams should punters avoid when visiting Manila?

Thanks to the massive influx of international visitors, Manila has been awash in tourist scams for years. The fact that corruption runs rampant in law enforcement and immigration makes the Philippines a scammer’s paradise. From planting contraband to drugging unsuspecting victims, there’s no shortage of ways crooks can rob tourists. Even though many of these schemes have gained international notoriety, they still need to be reviewed to promote public safety.

The Philippines is an amazing place to visit, which is why prospective punters need to be on their toes. By knowing what to look out for, visitors get to experience the beauty of the culture. To help preserve this undeniably welcoming country’s reputation, we compiled a list of scams to avoid in Manila. This city is impossible to ignore for any respectable punter, so don’t ruin your trip by falling for a scam! Here are the list of scams should punters avoid when Visiting Manila?

Top Scams in Manila

Scam #1: Fake Travel Agents

Manila -Boasting a vibrant mix of casinos,
Fake travel agencies run rampant in the Philippines.

This scheme is exceptionally devious, since nefarious travel agencies can rob tourists before they even arrive in the Philippines. When planning a trip in advance, it’s essential to check the credentials of travel agents. Many Filipinos speak decent English, but not all of them have visitors’ best interests in mind.

This phenomenon allows criminals to create websites that feature lower deals than the competition. Once everything is arranged, the agency will ask for payments upfront and not deliver when the tourist arrives. There’s little to no recourse for this sort of scam, so avoid falling into the trap. If a tour agency offers deals that are noticeably lower than the rest, check their reviews. Avoid it like the plague if there are no external references and their presence is exclusively online.

Scam #2: Overly Friendly Strangers

Remain vigilant when interacting with strangers.

Even though Filipinos are known for being friendly, not all of them are saints. Countless scams involve overly generous strangers approaching tourists. From unsolicited invitations to going on family trips to claiming to know a great bar filled with girls, be very careful who you associate with. Family trips with strangers lead to tourists getting drugged and bars filled with working girls inflate prices on drinks.

If someone is overly friendly to you, they are probably trying to run a scam. This mantra is especially true at the airport since crooks have planted bullets and given drug-laced necklaces to unsuspecting tourists. Some scammers will rush up and accuse well-intentioned visitors of being a pedophile for responding to begging children. For this reason, don’t engage with someone who is aggressively trying to interact with you. Common sense is the best way to avoid 99% of scams, so don’t participate in anything you wouldn’t do in your home country!

Scam #3: Public Transportation

Avoid this form of transportation altogether.

From taxis to romantic looking horses and buggies, there’s no shortage of ways to get ripped off with public transportation. Horse and buggies are notorious for baiting and switching, so avoid this form of transportation completely. Taxis are unavoidable, which makes them an appealing avenue for scammers. From drugging passengers through tainted air conditioning to rigging meters, Filipino taxi scams are just as creative as they are common. For this reason, be vigilant when picking a cab. If the meter appears to be tampered with or the driver’s credentials aren’t properly displayed, get another cab.

About the author

Nathaniel Mansfield