I discovered quite early on in my travels that the first people you tend to meet as a tourist or backpacker are the dodgy ones that want to rip you off.
This happened to me in Turkey, India and in Nepal (but not in Thailand, and in Nepal I was also helped out by two of the nicest guys I could hope to meet). As these were all countries where I could afford to be ripped off it didn’t matter too much and all three of these countries were places where you could negotiate prices, so being ripped off was often just a case of poor bargaining skills.
Similar has happened in Australia (and to be fair I know people who have had similar problems in England and America), when I first arrived I was warned not to go to the nearest corner shop because they tended to make up their prices.
Later I tried working as a door to door salesman selling roof insulation that the government is giving away free. Naturally a large number of companies sprang up as soon as the government announced the initiative, one of them happened to be owned by the owner of the hostel I was staying in at the time (Home Backpackers). The guy who managed the insulation company (Free Ceiling Insulations) day to day was a right little tea leaf, and a terrible liar, from the first day I knew that every time he opened his mouth I would be covered in bullshit.
After a week I realised just how bad I am at sales, I only managed to sign up two houses, but when I left at the end of the second week, I was only been paid for one of them.
Fortunately, not long after that, and just in time to avoid the mistake of trying my hand at business to business sales, I managed to find a real job working for CBA (Commonwealth Bank of Australia). So I was able to look for and move into a flat just before the hostel prices went up for the peak summer season.
A combination of laziness and lack of alternatives meant that my choice of flats wasn’t the best and I ended up somewhere with no contract and no receipt for my deposit. I knew that this would come back to bite me, and so it proved.