A group of teenagers from Lancashire claim they got scammed into a fake snorkelling trip in Thailand and left for dead on an island infested with snakes.
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Emily Ince, 19, from Preston, was on holiday with 17 friends when they were approached by three men offering a discount snorkelling tour in the seaside resort of Hua Hin, south of Bangkok. That might have been the first red flag.
They paid 700 baht (around £20) each to join the tour but it turned out to be a scam that nearly turned their trip into something out of Lord of the Flies.
Emily (third from right) explains:
Whilst we were at the beach, three Thai men told us they sold snorkelling trips.
Being gullible, we said ‘yeah, OK’ because it was about 700 baht each — around £18 ($23) to £20 ($26) — so we thought it was a good deal.
I was in the first group and we were really excited, but as we came close to the island, they stopped the boat about 32 feet away and made us swim from the boat to the island.”
When we eventually got on the island, the three men just chucked us two snorkeling masks, which looked like they were from Poundland or something, and advised we keep away from the snakes.
Understandably we were confused and a bit concerned about that, and then my friend got stung by a jellyfish whilst swimming over because the waters were infested with them.
We were terrified when he mentioned the snakes. I was genuinely concerned we were going to be trafficked or something.
The island they were stranded on was so secluded it’s not even on the map.
So after being left without food, water or sunscreen for hours, the friends found a local fisherman who called for help. The crazy thing is that the people that showed up to rescue them were the SAME GUYS who scammed them and left them stranded in the first place:
We were there for hours; in the end, we saw a fisherman and he helped us contact the people who worked on the beach. It took a lot of effort and persuasion but the three men came and got us and the journey back to Thailand was very quiet because everyone was so angry.
Not one person spoke up? Well I guess you don’t want to get murdered out at sea at Thailand in addition to being scammed and left on a snake-infested island for hours.
The worst part? They didn’t even get a refund:
The icing on the cake was they refused to refund us — which we half expected.
Well at least they’re all OK, that’s the important thing. Best of luck to this crew on their future travels. Try not to get kidnapped and put up for sale on the deep web like this girl did.