Below follows a list of scams reported by travelers: dodgy ‘friends’, scammy tour operators, scummy hostel owners and officials with sticky fingers.
Have a look at the travel advice of your foreign ministry, they are likely to have some good general tips to stay safe during your travel. Here we deal with specifics.
And please let us know if you had a bad experience somewhere in Central Asia!
Kyrgyzstan scams and dangers
Police in Bishkek and Osh
Police are dangerous everywhere, but they are specifically on the prowl for foreigners in Bishkek and Osh. Keep a low profile. If they find you, cry for help, don’t take too much money with you, don’t give them your documents. Fake (former) police men patrol the Osh bazaar in Bishkek and try to rob you. Osh bazaar in general is a magnet for pickpockets and other small criminals.
Jailoo Turism Community, Kochkor
September 2013: Asipa Jumabaeva, from tour company Jailoo Turism Community in Kochkor, is not to be trusted according to at least one report.
Osh Guesthouse, Osh
Cheating with taxi services is common. They overprice everything and hand out fines if you bring pork or alcohol.
Tajikistan scams and dangers
Airport border control
Watch out which visa you have and don’t get intimidated when leaving Tajikistan by airplane. Full details here.
Land border guards
Some travellers have reported that on crossing the border into Tajikistan the officials on the Tajik side try to make some extra money by asking for a fee for the health declaration and customs forms. Just smile and pretend that it’s all a joke, but don’t pay the fee.
Police in Dushanbe
Is known to hustle; especially Indians and Japanese are targeted. See Bishkek and Osh for tips.
Iran scams and dangers
Iranianvisa.com is not a good place to get your authorisation number following many reports of bad to no service (for instance here).
Did you hear of or experience other scams yourself? Please send us a message through the contact form or leave a comment. Thank you!