Scam 9: Cruise Line Onshore Stores Excursions

As with all the scams mentioned in this series of gem scam posts, scammers look to take advantage of tourists hunting for a bargain and their lack of knowledge when doing so. This is no more prevelant than those shopping for diamond rings or colourful gemstone jewellery, whether they're taking advantage of duty free prices, or good exchange rates. Please take care when bargain hunting and read on to find out where the traps lie.

As a gemstone dealer with over 15 years of experience buying gems and diamonds around the world, I am constantly amazed when when I hear stories from friends (and in some cases family), or read in the press about people being ripped off when attempting to buy gemstones or diamonds on holiday.

If you're seriously thinking about buying a ruby or sapphire of this kind on your next holiday, please read this series of guides. It is written with the holiday maker in mind and isn't full of jargon or technical information, just straight forward advice.

How the Scam works

Many cruise line excursions are centered around shopping experiences in the ports that they dock at.

On disembarking from the cruise ship for the local shopping excursion, every passenger is given a map of the best shops in the port, and most of all where bargain luxury goods can be found. But what the passengers are not made aware of is that these stores have paid the cruise line to be included on those maps, moreover, these stores are then required to pay the cruise line a percentage of their revenue when the passengers successfully made a purchase on their gems. Customers are asked whether they came from a cruise ship and their cruise line name is then printed on the receipt which is used in later time to calculate how much is owed to the cruise line. With shopping bags in hand, passengers are completely clueless that they are being tricked.     


The Best Way to Avoid this Scam

There is nothing wrong with stopping at the suggested stores as everybody has to make money, just don't forget that there are other stores out there and might offer you a better deal. Do your own research and find out where it is safe to go and where isn't.

If you've had first hand experience of this gem scam or you know of any more gem scams you can warn people of, leave a comment below and we'll spread the word.. Thanks

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