Name
Beijing Tea Scam

Aka
High price tea ceremony

Crew
Four or five

Victims
Tourists

The Scam
Con artists in Beijing befriend tourists and, after a small chat, offer to take them to a traditional tea ceremony. This is not presented as a sales pitch by a tourism. Instead, the con artists act as if the ceremony is a regualr part of their daily lives and the victim is being invited along.
The tourists feel as if they are been allowed to participant in a very authentic experience that everyday Chinese people do.

Once they arrive at the ceremony, they drink a small amount of tea but are not shown a menu. At the end of the ceremony, the tea house owner presents the group with a large bill, perhaps $50 per head. Each of the con artists takes out the equivilant of $50 and pays the bill. The victim, not wanting to look cheap or stupid, does the same thing.

The con artists then share the money with the tea house owner.

Variations
Similar scams have be reported involving art galleries, lectures and special shows. In western countries, beautiful women will strike up conversation with men in bars. The woman will order champagne, the most expensive drink on the menu. In actual fact, the woman works for the bar and is paid to order champagne.

Take
$50+ per victim

Keywords
Short con

Created by Nicholas J. Johnson
Australia's Honest Con Man
www.conman.com.au