The crime rate in Bangkok is fairly moderate when compared to other cities around the globe. In general, the city is a safe place for people who want to do business and for people who wish to experience the various activities Bangkok has to offer.
While the danger of crime in Bangkok is lower than in several cities in the U.S., non-confrontational felonies of opportunity, like credit card scam, pickpocketing, and purse snatching happen with regularity. Travelers should be particularly cautious when walking in tourist spots and crowded markets and when in underground subways and train or bus stations. Many U.S. citizens have reported their wallets, passports, and other valuable belongings being stolen. Backpacks, wallets, and purses must be placed in the front when going into crowded places.
A method that is becoming more and more widespread is the snatch and grab with the aid of a motorcycle, wherein the culprit is positioned on the passenger seat of a scooter or motorcycle, drives by their target, snatches the victim’s purse or bag, and then speeds off.
Although areas outside the city have lower crime rates, travelers should still stay vigilant about supposed crimes that are non-confrontational in nature. Violent crimes against foreign nationals are uncommon; however, they do happen when individuals don’t follow practical procedures for safety and protection.
Accounts of serious crimes that involve tuk tuks (a 3-wheeled public transportation common all around Thailand) or taxis are quite uncommon as well, although it regularly happens that drivers charge extremely high fares. Travelers should not hesitate in demanding to get off the vehicle right away if something is wrong, like erratic driving or suspicious act of the driver. When riding a taxi, be sure the meter is turned on. Passengers should get off the taxi the moment the driver stops and attempts to get more passengers. It is highly advisable that travelers don’t get on a taxi that has a person sitting in the front passenger seat. When arriving at any of the airports in Bangkok, travelers should only ride taxis from the official taxi stand of the airport, airport buses, or airport limo counters’ vehicles. Travelers can request hotels arrange to have them picked up.
Visitors should also be familiar with some merchant- and commercial-based tricks. These cons involve entertainment events, tours, and precious jewelry. They should be cautious of any fantastic sale that features expensive jewelry and/or gems. Frequently, commissions or kickbacks are involved, or worse, the gems are counterfeit. A number of dishonest sellers may increase the prices of their products or services simply because they are making transactions with foreigners. These sellers usually have accomplices who hang out at popular tourist spots, such a Wat Phro and Grand Palace. Their job is to persuade victims that the place is closed and then recommend the business of their accomplice as a substitute. These people will, on occasion, wear an ID to make them appear more “legitimate”.