Singapore Travel Scams: What You Must Not Do In Singapore (Unless You Want To Be Caned)

Singapore travel scams

Picture by William Cho/Flickr CC

Did you know that Singapore has an “outrage of modesty” law?  This is defined as an assault or use of criminal force on any person with the intent to, or the knowledge that it may, outrage the modesty of that person. If you break this law, you can be put into prison for up to two years, caned, or fined.  Men have even been fined under this law for kissing a woman’s hand.

The problem is many women have used this to their advantage to scam male tourists and expats, especially in nightclubs.  She will start by flirting with a man, and he may touch her in some innocent way, even just on the shoulders.  Most tourists are completely unaware that this law even exists.  She will then alert the bouncers of the nightclub.  The bouncers, who are in on the scam, will then tell the tourist that they owe thousands of dollars.  The bouncers will threaten to call the police if the tourist doesn’t coöperate.  They will tell the tourist that they could be caned or put in jail.  The fine by the police for these incidents is usually between $5,000-$10,000 dollars, so this is no joke.  When traveling in Singapore, do not touch another woman for any reason.

No chewing gum, no jay walking, remember to flush the toilet in Singapore…

There are many other laws to watch out for in Singapore such as the banning of chewing gum, littering, writing on walls, jaywalking, spitting, not flushing toilets, eating on trains, and all other kinds of strict laws.  You should always have your passport with you in Singapore, as you can be taken to the police station if you are stopped by the police and don’t have it.  Just make sure you are on your best behavior and look at the posters that have the rules on them that you will see on the walls in different areas of Singapore, and your trip there should be a good one.

The bright side of this is there are usually no crimes against tourists with the heavy penalties that Singapore has for breaking the rules.



  1. Jennifer