Phuket Bar Touts Scam
There is apparently a new system in Phuket to separate even more money from the foreign visitors who decide to visit go-go bars. The bar presents the patrons with an inflated bill, then the tout collects a fee.
What's more, this questionable practice is condoned by local officials. They are issued vests similar to licensed motorcycle taxis and carry laminated I. D. cards identifying them as "Bar Representatives". So essentially, they are "official".
How the Bar Tout Scam Works
The touts invite, suggest or entice people into a go-go establishment and then that person's bill is padded. Some suggestions put the amount as high as Bt 500 per drink!
The customer seldom know that they have been marked for the scam. In many cases, the routs sneak in with of behind the customers and "claim" them to the bar operator.
Rumors of violence toward bar owners who have refused to cooperate include intimidation and violence.