Phnom Penh Travel Scams and How to Defend Against Them

Be cautious and keep an eye out for Phnom Penh Travel Scams, also known as Pnom Penh scams, such as the Fake Visa Offices and Officials, Tuk-Tuk Troubles, encounters with The Helpful Stranger, Begging Children and Milk Scam, Monk Impersonators, and various others.

Nevertheless, in this article, we aim to keep you protected by exposing Phnom Penh Travel Scams as well as offering tips to avoid them.


In Phnom Penh, also known as Pnom Penh, the vibrant and bustling heart of Cambodia, you'll discover a treasure trove of experiences for travelers. However, just like many tourist destinations around the world, it's not immune to scams, which unfortunately can put a damper on your visit.

We've put together a simple and straightforward guide to assist you in avoiding Phnom Penh travel scams. Therefore, by staying vigilant, well-informed, and attentive, you can relish a hassle-free visit to this charming city.

About Phnom Penh Travel Scams | De Reviews

Phnom Penh Travel Scams:

Below are the list of Phnom Penh Travel Scams:

1. Fake Visa Offices and Officials

The Scam: Scammers often pose as immigration officials, aiming to overcharge you for visas or falsely claiming that you require additional documents.

Stay Safe:

  • Don't deal with anyone except official immigration officers.
  • Have U.S. dollars and a passport photo ready.
  • Arriving by air can help you avoid this scam.

2. Tuk-Tuk Troubles

The Scam: Tuk-tuk drivers frequently overcharge or receive commissions from the places they take you to.

Stay Safe:

  • Choose tuk-tuks recommended by your accommodation.
  • Set the fare before you start your journey.
  • Research local transport rates for better negotiation.

3. The Helpful Stranger

The Scam: Locals pretend to offer help with directions, later demanding a hefty tip.

Stay Safe:

  • Politely decline unsolicited help.
  • Use maps or your phone for directions.

4. Begging Children and Milk Scam

The Scam: A woman with children asks you to buy essentials at an overpriced store.

Stay Safe:

  • Politely decline and donate to trusted charities.
  • Support organizations instead of direct purchases.

5. Street Vendor Scams

The Scam: Street vendors inflate prices, especially near tourist spots.

Stay Safe:

  • Shop and dine at local places.
  • Always ask for prices before buying.

6. Monk Impersonators

The Scam: Individuals dressed as monks sell goods. Genuine monks don't do this, and your money supports scams.

Stay Safe:

  • Politely decline their offers.
  • Respect real religious figures.

7. Motorbike Rentals and Theft

The Scam: Some rental agencies follow you and steal the bike when you leave it unattended.

Stay Safe:

  • Rent from reputable sources associated with hotels.
  • Get your padlock for added security.
  • Keep the bike locked and in view when not in use.

8. Tuk-Tuk Thieves

The Scam: Thieves on motorbikes grab bags from tourists in tuk-tuks or snatch items in traffic.

Stay Safe:

  • Keep your belongings secure and use bags with zippers.
  • Be vigilant for thieves on the road.

9. Beach Theft Scams

The Scam: Criminals target tourists on the beach, swiping valuables when left unattended.

Stay Safe:

  • Don't take valuable items to the beach.
  • Secure your belongings in lockers or with a trusted person.
  • Keep an eye on your things.

10. ATM Assistance Scam

The Scam: When someone at the ATM offers to assist you, be cautious, as they might be covertly scanning your card with a skimmer.

Stay Safe:

  • Always cover the number pad while entering your PIN.
  • Don't let anyone near you at the ATM.
  • If someone gets close, cancel the transaction and find another ATM.

11. The Closed Accommodation Ruse

The Scam: Taxi drivers may falsely claim that your booked accommodation is closed or overbooked, and as a result, they redirect you to another hotel where they earn a commission.

Stay Safe:

  • Call your hotel to confirm its status.
  • Arrange a hotel shuttle or taxi pickup.

12. Just Met a Girl Scams

The Scam: Tourists meet locals, often of the opposite gender, who later drug them and steal their belongings.

Stay Safe:

  • Be cautious about taking strangers to your accommodations.
  • Verify the background of anyone you meet.

13. Invitations to Nightclubs and Bars

The Scam: Attractive locals invite tourists to nightclubs or bars, only to present a hefty bill or, in some cases, drug and rob them.

Stay Safe:

  • Be cautious when approached aggressively.
  • Limit spending at nightlife venues to avoid high bills.

14. Traffic Police Bribes

The Scam: Corrupt traffic police invent reasons to impose fines until money is handed over.

Stay Safe:

  • Avoid stopping immediately; consider alternatives like u-turns or side streets.
  • Follow local traffic laws to minimize encounters with police.

15. Orphanages Scam

The Scam: Some orphanages attract tourists under false pretenses and misuse donations.

Stay Safe:

  • Support reputable, well-established charities or NGOs.
  • Refrain from visiting or donating to unverified orphanages.

FAQs on Phnom Penh Travel Scams:

What are the Phnom Penh Travel Scams?

In Phnom Penh, you might encounter the scams like Fake Visa Offices and Officials, Tuk-Tuk Troubles, The Helpful Stranger, Begging Children and Milk Scam, Monk Impersonators rentals, etc.

How can I avoid Phnom Penh Travel Scams like falling victim to visa?

To steer clear of visa scams, only deal with official immigration officers, make sure you have the right documents, further, be ready with the correct visa fee.

What should I do if I come across a fake traffic fine situation in Phnom Penh?

If someone pretending to be a traffic officer stops you, don't pay on the spot. Furthermore, ask for their identification, request to go to the police station, and know how to tell real traffic police from scammers.

How can I keep my belongings safe from pickpocketing in Phnom Penh?

Keep your things close and secure. Moreover, avoid showing off valuable items, and think about using a money belt or hidden pouch.

Are there precautions for renting a motorbike to prevent Phnom Penh Travel Scams?

When renting a motorbike, go for a trustworthy rental place, bring your padlock. Additionally, be careful about where you leave your bike when unattended.

What's the best way to avoid scams involving locals you meet in Phnom Penh bars?

To avoid falling victim to scams involving locals from bars, exercise caution when considering going home with someone you've just met. Additionally, it's a wise move to confirm their identity with the bar staff, and for added security, consider taking a photo together as evidence.

What precautions should I take to prevent beach theft while in Phnom Penh?

Don't bring valuable items to the beach. However, secure your belongings, as well as use safe parking when available.

How can I stay safe and avoid Phnom Penh Travel Scams when buying goods?

Always ask for the price before making a purchase and try bargaining. In addition, be cautious if you're taken to specific stores.

What should I know about child-begging scams in Phnom Penh, and how can I help if I want to make a positive contribution?

It's best to donate directly to reputable charities instead of giving money on the street. Moreover, be careful about being led to shops where you're asked to buy items at inflated prices.

What's the deal with Phnom Penh Travel Scams related to motorbike rentals?

To avoid motorbike rental scams, consider renting from established hotels, use a trusted source. Furthermore, insist on having your padlock for extra security.

Conclusion About Phnom Penh Travel Scams:

When you visit Phnom Penh, endeavor to turn it into a remarkable journey of incredible experiences and profound cultural discovery. Equipped with the knowledge needed to avoid common scams, you can confidently navigate this extraordinary city. In doing so, you'll ensure your safety and protect yourself from unscrupulous individuals.

Indeed, staying watchful and well-informed is the key to savoring the genuine warmth and wonders that Phnom Penh has to offer during your visit.

Share Your Phnom Penh Travel Scams Experiences

If you've encountered any additional Phnom Penh travel scams or if you have captivating travel stories to share, we'd be truly eager to hear from you. Furthermore, please don't hesitate to leave a comment below, as doing so will allow others to benefit from your valuable experiences and insights.

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Assist your friends and family in staying well-informed about Phnom Penh Travel Scams by sharing this article on your social media. Furthermore, it's important to note that awareness is the key to prevention.

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Travel smart and savor all that Phnom Penh has to offer!

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De Roka Author
I am De Roka, also known as Suman Roka. I'm the Author, Editor, Researcher, and Founder of I've been working online since 2009. Since 2014, I've been researching scams to protect people from falling for them. I've saved many folks from scams by exposing their true nature before they can trick anyone. Until now, we have saved 20M+ people from 40K+ scams. If you want to learn more about me and my team, you can visit our About Us page. You can find more about me on my Facebook profile as well.

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