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Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

London, United...
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Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

The chances are if you are reading this you have just been scammed too and have just paid £££s for nothing.

The scam is a clever way to get you to part with money for tea a cereomony that you get invited to by friendly student types. This just happened to me, the scam worked by getting me to first take a picture of a group, secondly by keeping me talking and making me feel like I was being unfriendly by not following them to the tea ceremony and thirdly by also seeming to pay the same huge price at the end of drinking 6 thimbles of tea. I was with a colleague (both of us seasoned travellers) and they managed to keep us apart until we had paid.

If this just happened to you then

1) you are not an idiot this is a very clever and professionally worked scam and you are not the first and won't be the last

2) you can get your money back and do try to do this as soon as you can

I knew I had been done as soon as we were shown the door and a quick google searched confirmed it. I walked around for a bit feeling stupid and resigning myself to the loss of £180. It then occured to me that I should get my money back.

The fear is that in doing so it will get ugly, i didnt find this, just a some what grumpy girl who refunded us in 5 minutes. We were lucky as when we found the tea shop in there were 2 police men on hand to assist with a quick word. If the police had not been there I am sure we would have got at least some money back.

Being scammed is horrible, the best way out is to get your money back, or at least try. The important lesson here is dont follow strangers no matter how freindly! It's sad but a reality that if you do you leave yourself open....

Shanghai, China
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11. Re: Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

I think you are on the right path.For a local we don't simply walk up to a stranger and ask them where they are going or what's their business.

But we can be quite generous in expressing ourselves to friends but definitely not to strangers.Its quite unbecoming for a local friiend not to pay for your drink in China.Something like its losing face if we don't pay.The idea of going dutch is not popular yet if distant friends come calling.Its realy not necessary to be extra nice to strangers here.

Dublin, California
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12. Re: Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

People come to this part of the world and expect everyone to be like a Singapore Airlines stewardess.


That's funny.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
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13. Re: Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

It can happen to all of us, including myself, a seasoned traveler, that is why I was interested. Not just tourist scam, but all sorts of frauds in business and daily life. I don't know how I would react if 2 cute ladies ask me for a drink, maybe it is really love at first sight? maybe this is my lucky day?

Tea doesn't work for me, not to mention tea ceremony, I don't have any ceremony with my Lipton black tea bag, I only use Lipton and I travel with my own tea bags, I don't think they sell Lipton at these ceremony. But if they have cute girls dress up in giant Lipton tea bags, all bets are off, I may fall victim too. .

Beijing, China
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14. Re: Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

The most beautiful word in the English language: "No" I use it liberally and without guilt.

The second and third most beautiful words: "Go Away."

I think Laowai's observation is right on. But you can't fix stupid, and others just have to learn the hard way.....

I feel fortunate that as a woman, I am not condemned to using an anatomical appendage to judge the worthiness of product/service offered by the cuteness of the female offering it.

Edited: 22 May 2013, 22:37
Shanghai, China
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5,716 posts
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15. Re: Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

its true that its much easy for a female to use those NO and GO AWAY words but as for guys the itch is much more powerful and the words YES sounds nicer.hehe.Anyway not all silk air girls are extremely nice too wonder what goes on in their heads when serving you???Besides its unlikely for you to get scammed in midair than at Nanjing road.

sydney traveller
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16. Re: Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

OK so I thought I was an experienced traveller- 50 plus countries- never had a real scam until today- but luckily I read your post and went back to Hectometer Champs Elysees- not hard to find, and got most of the money back- after all, the tea was excellent, and the small amount finally paid well worth it. What I would really like is to contact the " student" scammers, as they would make excellent wine salespeople, and that's what I make... wine! So if by any chance, one of you lovely young kids read this, please contact me for a real opportunity...nathan@kilikanoon.com.au... as per my business card.

BTW, read all of the above before you go out with young students in China, or caveat emptor!!

Shanghai, China
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17. Re: Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

I've just have been scammed, what's the address of the tea shop, so I can go with the police to get my money back.

18. Re: Tea Ceremony Scam - People's Square

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