Tea House Scam

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Tea house scam should get mentioned for the foreigners. It really happens from time to time in Beijing and other cities. I do not want to see that your wonderful trip in Beijing soured by these scams, so I post this kind of thing again to alert you guys.

“ Beijing tea house scam ”

Jun 03, 2010, 8:35 PM, Posted by Ikhnaton in TA

Well, just like the others, I fell for this scam. She came up to me to practice her English. I was on my guard….I rattled off that I didn’t want to see any art, didn’t want a massage, or buy anything. She told me she was in town for the week visiting her friend who was in school. She was a teacher and wanted to practice her English with an American. I should have kept my guard up, but we walked and talk for about 20 min and slowly I let my guard down. Then as we seemed about to part ways she told me how much she was enjoying our talk and suggested we sit down for a cup of coffee or tea. I went to a tea house with her and of course was slapped with a huge 5,180 bill. My first thought was to call the police, but I didn’t want to deal with the issue of them not speaking English. All the police i had seen thus far could not speak any English when I asked them anything. I agreed to a much lower bill and got out of there. To help others, I just happened to take a picture while things seemed to be going nicely. So the link below is to a photo I posted on Flickr of the scam artist girl Zimeng Li and her friend from “school” who joined us later.

I hope this helps others protect themselves.

Tea House Scam

This is the picture taken by Ikhnaton: Beijing tea house scam artist Zimeng Li and her partner in crime

How do you avoid these scams?

  1. Basically, remember one rule: ignore those people who approach you actively and purposefully. Just keep doing what you do and pretend you are not hearing him or her. Never say a word to them, even say that you are not interested. Do not feel that you are disrespect to them, because there is no need to feel in that way. They are cheaters.
  2. If you are aware of being cheated until you have been taken to the tea house, café, or other places, do not panic, and just calm down. You can chuck a Y100 down and go through the huge fuss and yelling of walking away. If it is necessary, call the police 110. Sometimes, even faking to call the police usually works.