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WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

London, United...
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WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

This really should be published in Lonely Planet and other relevant guides under the scam section as after spending the evening overlooking the street I saw it happen at least 5 times in 2 hours.

Basically you are approached on the road just after pub street by a young child holding a baby and an empty bottle, the line is usually something like "I dont want Money I just want milk for the baby" you will be harassed about 10-20 metres and the young girl will keep shouting the same thing.

At this point, if you agree then the young girl will guide you across the road to the mini mart which sits under X bar.

The Milk formula which the girl claims she needs for the baby is unpriced (The only item in the shop with no price), and then when you take it to the till it costs anywhere between $10-$25.

At this point the person being scammed feels pressured into completing the purchase and the Milk is bought and handed to the young Girl.

The Tourist then goes on there way thinking that they have helped a poor baby who has no Milk, the reality is very different.

Once the tourist is out of site the child returns back to the shop and returns the formula and in returns receives 50% back.

This means that assuming the milk costs $10 then the child is making $5 every time one of these tourists falls for the scam.

Given that in a 2 hour period I witnessed 5 tourists fall for this, the girl is pocketing at least $25 a day, probably more like $50-$60,

when you keep ion mind the average wage in Cambodia is $2 a day then you can see how astounding this really is.

Having watched this over a two hour period whilst sitting at the top of Molly Mallones and eventually making me curious enough to follow the girl and an unsuspecting tourist into the shop, I witnessed the whole scam start to finish first hand.

Searching the net I can see this has been bought up countless times over the past few years but obviously no one has put a stop to it.

Its a shame witnessing things like this, as a tourist it makes you not want to trust anyone and creates an immediate barrier of distrust and the fact this is so well known yet the authorities obviously turn a blind eye makes you think twice about making a return visit.

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

Its a well publicised scam, been on the go for years. A real shame but i don't see it ending anytime soon. Shopkeeper must be minted!

London, United...
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2. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

There was a table hidden by the entrance of the mini mart with about 7tubs of this milk, couldn't believe it. Its sad to play on peoples emotions like that, deception of that kind, no matter what the cause, is unpleasant.

I must admit I was motivated to write the post because the previous night I had been approached and felt pretty bad for assuming it was some kind of scam and not giving the child the benefit of the doubt, now I realise my guilt was misplaced and I was right to trust my instincts.

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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3. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

Easy to fix, Tourists just need to know what the deal is and stop funding it. So thanks for your post, so that more visitors can understand what is going on. Maybe we should ask Molly Malone's to put a sign up or something, it all happens right there in front of their place....

sydney
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4. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

Unpleasant experience no doubt but it still amazes me that people can find TA to post about getting stung by a scam but never find it before they travel and so be armed with info to avoid the scams.

London, United...
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5. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

In all honesty I have heavily relied on the likes of lonely planet and Rough guides which usually have a "Danger and Annoyances" section or "Common scams" highlighted....I tend to use TA mainly as a tool for getting a heads up about the general feeling of a particular Hostel or Restaurant rather than for info about the area and potential scams....

Even now (I have only been using TA a few weeks) I would be unsure where to find information about scams such as this on TA, perhaps you could help point this section out for me as I am heading to Vietnam and then Laos in the next few weeks so any info like that will come in handy.

sydney
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for Cambodia
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6. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

The search box (directly above your original post and directly above the list of posts on the forum front page) will take you to all threads on a given topic - use it like a google search - same phrasing as you might use for google, use key words eg "scam" or "Khmer New Year" etc to get the 'broadest capture' of relevant posts

You can then read through the list to see if any are appropriate, and you can filter for date (upper right) to get the most recent.

On the front page of every forum (and for each city too) are a series of 'top questions' ... these cover the topics that are most commonly asked and are a fantastic source of 'beginning' reading/research.

"Things to do" and "travel guides" in the upper left side bar are also great reading.

Lots of scams in Vietnam that trap the unwary and un-prepared, much lass of a problem in Laos.

hope this helps

helen

Manchester, United...
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7. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

Watch those cyclo drivers in HCMC they are brutal.

Sheffield, United...
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8. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

So this is still happening.......I saw this happen 8 years ago when I was in Phnom penh!

Italy
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9. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

The problem is Lonely Planet and other guides can't keep up with all the scams.

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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10. Re: WARNING- Mini-mart in Pub Street and the Milk Formula Scam

that mini mart,is a horrible place,stopped going there years ago when they constantly gave me the wrong change always in there favor of course,