Kuala Lumpur, for the most part, is a very welcoming city and a safe place for travellers. While petty theft and scams on tourists are few and far between in the city, it’s important to keep yourself, your money, and your possessions safe during your travels. To avoid falling victim to opportunistic locals, get to know these 4 known scams in Kuala Lumpur and a few ‘travel safe’ tips to keep in mind.
Child Flower Sellers
A common sight in Changkat Bukit Bintang, children approach strangers, mostly couples, and plead with them to buy flowers for RM10 a stalk. These child flower sellers are often refugee girls between the ages of nine and twelve who sell flowers until the clubs close and the last of the customers leave at about 03:00 during weekends. More often than not, they are ignored or rebuffed but those who feel pity for these children will buy a stalk or two. After selling a few stalks, the children head back to their mother or caretaker (often seated in an alley in Changkat Bukit Bintang) to replenish their stock.
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How to Avoid It: Politely decline and walk away when being approached.
Fake Monks or Donation Seekers
There is a very high chance of travellers and locals encountering a monk or individuals claiming to be from a charity organisation at least once on a day walking around the city centre of Kuala Lumpur. Actively to ask for donations, these individuals have shaved heads and are dressed in monks’ robes, and sometimes thrust small medallions or cards into the hands of victims before asking for cash in return. Meanwhile, fake donation seekers often prowl open areas in Kuala Lumpur such as Jalan Alor and Chinatown. They often claim that they represent an orphanage, showing their ID and carrying a book that’s filled with detailed information and photographs of children as legitimacy.
How to Avoid It: Politely decline. Most can get pretty persistent so be patient until they leave.
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