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Conor Woodman travels around the world hoping to be ripped off by hustlers for his TV show Scam City televised on the National Geographic Channel - (RhondanClive Photo)

 

 

Our dutiful Bangkok hustling tour guide Hai reporting in ready to do his duty and earn some money - www.nationalradio.com - photo

In Bangkok some Tuk Tuk drivers search for tourists to take them on a FREE SCAM RIDE to make some money - www.nationalradio.com - photo

 

 

Video Beat & Travel Tips SPECIAL - Part 1 - SCAM CITY REVEALS TOURIST SCAMS

James Loving - National Radio Text Service

 

 

 

Scam City is a TV program where television meets the real world of scams that a tourist should be aware of when traveling. Host Conor Woodman walks on the wild side and sometimes puts his life in danger. In Prague he was slapped around by a huge bully gangster and had to pay $300 to get out of the backroom of a club a prostitute led him to. The gangster informed Woodmen that he pays money to leave or he will die. Woodman PAID... - Recommended TV Listings

 

Monday November 12, 2012

SCAM CITY GETS CLOSE TO THE BONE

Scam City is a program that host Conor Woodman travels around the world with his undercover camera crew to reveal the types of scams a tourist should be aware of. In the process he falls for the scams loses money then befriends the scammer to see how they do it given that he has agreed that he will not call the police and they can keep the money. In each country Woodman and his crew visit they have an interpreter to negotiate the terms and also reveal that the scammer has been filmed by several cameras from different angles during the process of the perpetrator's scam.

From our past experience covering this type of show we are suspicious of the integrity of the programs. Our most memorable is our infamous CNN Rhinestone Rambo who had a Dick Tracy type video watch which he proudly displayed when he (by his definition) walked into a dangerous situation. His objective was to save children being trafficked into prostitution in Cambodia. His problem was he was working with the police which indicated that he didn't have a clue what is really going on in the region regarding the problem. During one of his busts he advised the police to assist him the following day to bust the bad guys.

When he and the police arrived at the location that he staked out the previous day the property was deserted. He became frightened since he realized everyone knew his identity and fled to America ASAP to raise more money at a Beverly Hills fund raising event to fund his next adventure and TV show.

The Rhinestone Rambo was with his young and pretty girlfriend. Scam City has several people involved in the crew. The number is not revealed but we guess there are at least five in the traveling crew as well as the interpreter they hire in each country. Woodman's undercover camera of choice is a BUTTON CAMERA among others. His crew are scattered around in various locations to film the action from different angles.

The Rhinestone Rambo program was an obvious attempt by CNN to sensationalize a sad situation that NGO's feed off of in raising millions of dollars to save children from being sold into prostitution with little to no results while the NGO staff members make outrageous salaries and live a colonialist life style. CNN fails to report that story.

Woodman identifies himself as a writer. His background includes being an economist and television presenter. In 2009, Woodman wrote and presented the Channel 4 travel and adventure series Around the World in 80 Trades chronicling his experiences trading his way around the globe. The trip is covered in detail in his book The Adventure Capitalist.

His bio notes that as being a London based online stock trader quits his job to understand how trade takes place on the ground. He travels to 16 countries, trading in various goods based on the principle of buy low and sell high. He faces both profits and losses. He is astonished to find that though the rules of the game are same everywhere, actual trade in the markets is far different from trading in the cyber world.

After viewing several of the Sam City episodes we opined that there is some value in the program given that we have experienced some of the same incidents in our travels and journalism work. As a result we are incorporating some of those experiences, information and advice from former Bangkok Post columnist Bernard Trink. In addition this column will be included in our Travel Tips section.

Scam City's first episode was a visit to Bangkok followed by Delhi, India, Rio, Prague, Buenos Aires and Barcelona. Of all of the segments only one we found to be exploitive and unnecessary that being in Delhi where poor families and virtually homeless trimmed flowers that were thrown out which they clipped off the droopy leaves and their children sold them on the streets. This is survival not a rip off scam. These people are trying to make enough money to eat a meal for their families. The children and families were accommodating to the program in revealing what they did but the piece was given too much time and not worthy. Those who bought the flowers got something for their money and weren't ripping off the public.

What they do is similar to the children in Tijuana, Mexico where they sell package of 4 Chicklets (chewing gum) for a then nickel. They are trying to make money to eat not buy an SUV. The bottom line is these people are trying to survive by doing what they can in a positive manner. They are not begging for money, robbing or stealing.

There was more to Scam City's report on Delhi regarding falsification of documents which we will reveal in a later column.

Bangkok was the first segment. It is a city which we have 24 years of experience dealing with their hustles and scams. Scam City touched on the most obvious being the Tuk Tuk driver hustle of offering a tourist a FREE RIDE to see the city but taking them to jewelry and tailor shops where they receive a commission from what you buy. Scam City didn't reveal how much they received but from our experience we were informed that they receive as much as 20% of the purchases made by a tourist at a tailor shop.

Tuk Tuk drivers ride around searching for a tourist and yell out to them. On Sukhumvit Boulevard there are a number of touts or scammers on foot that will offer to show you around and take you to a good tailor or jewelry shop. We befriended a tout after several visits to the city of Angels and we went on a trip with him as did Scam City. We will refer to him as Hai.

The Scam City segment revealed that the Tuk Tuks are owned by the jewelry shop and the drivers work for them. Scam City interviewed one of the drivers who feared for his life if it was found out that he revealed how the operation worked. Woodman was attacked by the jewelry shop owner when his objective was revealed. He asked too many questions. The shop owner also threatened to call the police who are in on the scam.

Scam City airs on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights in the East Asian Region. Check your local listing for the time in your area. The program is a WORTH WATCH.

Part 2 - MORE BANGKOK SCAMS


NATIONAL RADIO PUBLISHED IN 5 LANGUAGES

National Radio text is published in five languages, Thai, French, Russian, Khmer (Cambodian language) and English, Any of our foreign language material and our Roman Wanderaugh columns is legally available ONLY on our National Radio site. Our sports, entertainment and feature programming has been broadcast on over 1000 radio stations.


TV SCHEDULE

Note: The shows listed are for the Cambodia/Thailand time zone. Check our chart or your local listings for time in your area.

NOTE TIMES OF THE SAME TELECAST IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES

8 PM Cambodia/Thailand =
9 PM Hong Kong/Singapore =
10 PM Malaysia


MONDAY

3:30 AM - NFL Game - (America's National Football League) - True Sport 3

7:30 AM - NFL Game - (America's National Football League) -- True Sport 3

7:10 PM - THE VOICE - AXN

9:00 AMAZING RACE 21 - (NEW TIME) - AXN

10:00 PM - LOCKED UP ABROAD - National Geographic - New season repeat episode

10:50 AMAZING RACE 21 - (NEW SEASON) - AXN


TUESDAY

7:30 AM - NFL Game - (America's National Football League) -- True Sport 3

5:15 AMAZING RACE 21 - (NEW SEASON) - AXN

9:00 PM - Scam City - National Geographic - New season

10:00 PM - LOCKED UP ABROAD - National Geographic - New season


WEDNESDAY

8:00 AM - LOCKED UP ABROAD - National Geographic - New season


THURSDAY

3:00 PM - LOCKED UP ABROAD - National Geographic - New season repeat episode

11:00 PM - LOCKED UP ABROAD - National Geographic - New season repeat episode


FRIDAY

7:30 AM - NFL Game - (America's National Football League) -- True Sport 3

7:00 PM - SPLASH TV - paparazzi video footage & stories of Hollywood celebrities - Star World


SATURDAY

11:00 AM - Scam City - National Geographic - New season

4:00 PM - LOCKED UP ABROAD - National Geographic

7:00 PM - Scam City - National Geographic - New season

11:00 PM - LOCKED UP ABROAD - National Geographic - New season repeat episode


SUNDAY

7:10 PM - THE VOICE - AXN

12 Midnight - 1 AM - Singapore/Hong Kong - NFL Game - (America's National Football League) -- True Sport 3


© Copyright: National Radio. Any use of these materials, whole or in part, is prohibited unless authorized in writing by National Radio. Contact: nationalradio@yahoo.com All rights reserved.

 

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