Two scams have been identified as becoming more and more common in Angeles City these days. The Underage Girl scam represents a significant con that can cost you plenty. The Bar bill padding scam is an annoyance that unfortunately can get you beat up and in the hospital. Here’s how they work:
1) The Underage Girl Scam: For lots of reasons, western men caught in the Underage Girl scam won’t discuss their experiences, but it has surfaced that a con game involving underage women and police appears to be in effect in Angeles City. This confidence game is similar to the scam being run by police and NGOs out of Cambodia. In the Philippine scam, the western male victims have no idea that the woman in question is under age. Nevertheless, it costs them 500,000 pesos ($11,000 USD) to get out of this phony sting operation.
Here’s how it works. The westerner meets an obviously of-age woman on the street, and they arrange to go to his room. On the way, the woman suggests inviting a girlfriend as well. The man agrees, and when they reach his room, the woman calls her girlfriend. The girlfriend arrives, and soon there’s a knock on the door, and it’s the police. IDs are checked, and the recent arrival is found to be under age. The police say that the man can either be arrested for having sex with a minor, or buy his way out for 500,000 pesos. And buy out he does.
Since this scam is only run on the streets, men are advised to be safer by meeting women in bars instead. If picking up street girls, be wary of adding unknown people as room guests. If it is at all suspected that a woman is underage, it is advisable to ask for ID while still in a public place. If the woman you’re choosing is underage, there’s a very good chance you’re being set up. Unless you’ve got $11,000 USD to invest in a scam, keep to the clubs, or check IDs.
2) The Bar bill padding scam: In December 2009, it was reported that a western man was beaten up by personnel employed by the Dollhouse nightclub on Fields Avenue. Pictures showed a severely beaten Swedish gentleman who’d been clubbed by a bouncer for refusing to pay his bill. Parties who know the Swede state that he visited the club accompanied by a girl not employed by the club. His drinks bill was presented to him, and he was charged for a lady drink for her, even though she was not an employee. He refused to pay the more expensive lady drink prices, and insisted on the drink price for an ordinary guest. As the discussion ensued, he was allegedly attacked by two bouncers as well as the mamasan, and was taken to a hospital, badly injured. Others have alleged that bill padding is a not uncommon occurrence at the Dollhouse, and have recommended that all who visit this establishment check their bills vigorously before paying. One outsider familiar with the details in these stories declares that management may not even be aware of these practices, and that the scams may be perpetrated by mamasans and bouncers in collusion. This outsider suggests extreme caution when visiting the Dollhouse.
There has been some discussion on the internet regarding this situation, including rebuttals by Dollhouse management. Regardless of the rebuttals, bars are in the business of serving drinks, and people do get drunk. Dollhouse management has insisted that the patrons under discussion were drunk, which may or may not have been the case. In any case, bar personnel should not be beating up people who are drinking their beverages. While accusations are flung back and forth, the bill padding issue won’t go away, and some observers have stated that this is a classic situation of bar personnel taking the initiative to promote dishonest practices under the nose of unaware ownership.