The Pattaya Jet Ski Scam in Pictures

The Pattaya Jet Ski Scam

The Pattaya Jet Ski Scam

I’ve written this exact post about the Pattaya Jet ski scam at least 12 times in the past six months and each time as I’ve gotten to the end I’ve hit the delete button.  I was worried that writing about this may come back to haunt me as there is a lot of money changing hands and it wouldn’t be good to disrupt this profitable business. Today I have had a change of heart and don’t care anymore as the jet ski scam continues and is hurting not only tourists but Thailand, and more to the point, Pattaya tourism.

As I walked along Beach Road snapping pictures I saw the old Pattaya jet ski scam play out not once, not twice but three times. So, I decided to take a few pictures of the scam in action. After an accommodating young Thai man threatened to take my life as I took pictures of the jet ski scam, I decided today was the day I would hit the publish button and dedicate this post to him.

Pattaya beach isn’t the nicest beach in Thailand but it does have a certain charm to it. The beach is a gathering point for falang and Thai alike during the day to relax, have a bit to eat or just enjoy a nice cold drink as you watch the waves tumble in. It’s also a place of business for many Thai’s accommodating the many tourists that frequent the beach. From full massages and pedicures to para sailing and boat rides to Koh Larn this is a very important economic area for Pattaya.

If you like you can also rent a jet ski for 1200-1500 baht for half hour and have a little fun. There are many jet ski operations along Pattaya beach and while you think it small money for a little bit of fun, think again as that half hour will cost you much more than the agreed upon 1200-1500 baht.More like 40,000-50,000 baht.

Let me be very clear before I move on, Every jet ski operator on Pattaya beach is involved in the Pattaya jet ski scam, I have personally seen the Pattaya jet ski scam played out daily at every jet ski rental on Pattaya beach…You have been warned.

Pattaya Jet Ski Scam #1

As I sat by Soi 2 on Beach road in Pattaya the following jet ski scam took place. You can see all the players involved from the jet ski renters to the main boss ( wearing a gold Rolex ) and , of course the police officer. I came into the scene just as the police officer moved everyone over to the beach chairs for negotiations. At one point one of the middle eastern men left the discussions followed by one of the jet ski operators. He went across the street to an illegal money changer and exchanged some money. He was at all times watched over by the jet ski thug.

When the man went back to the negotiations this was obviously not enough money and more talk was needed. Eventually they all went with the police officer to get a baht bus. Whether they were heading to the hotel to get more money ( usually the case ) or heading to the police station I don’t know but the jet ski operator was clearly not happy. Photo’s follow the storyline.


The Jet Ski The supposed "new" damage to the jet ski The jet ski rental operators

The marks of the jet ski scam The 2 head bosses of the jet ski rental and the police officer called in Negotiations begin with the police and jet ski bosses

One of the marks leaves to go get money The mark is escorted across the street to an illegal money changer Jet ski thug standing guard over the mark

Returning from illegal money changer with money The mark being escorted back to the negotiation table The illegal money changer the mark was pointed to

Not enough money offered-negotiations break down All the parties involved head to beach road and wave down a baht bus Off to the hotel for more money? or the police station for more negotiation

While I am absolutely certain that the jet ski scam took place I don’t know whether they left for the hotel to get more money as the money offered was not sufficient or if they headed to the police station for more negotiation. 90% of the time the hotel is the destination to secure more funds. I had to be very careful taking these pictures as I didn’t want to be seen. The Thai motorcy taxi drivers near me as well as many beach vendors were all laughing and pointing at the falang being taken in the Pattaya jet ski scam, there were also openly talking about it.

The Anatomy of the Pattaya Jet Ski Scam

Jet ski Scam-Jet ski ready for use

You are walking along Pattaya beach and you see some jet ski’s moored in the water, you think, this could be great fun. You are then approached by the jet ski rental person and told that one half hour will be 1200-1500 baht. You agree to the price and then the trouble begins. Before you go out on the jet ski a rental agreement is produced for you to look over and sign. The rental agreement states, in very good English, that you, the renter, are responsible for any and all damage that occurs to the jet ski.

After you sign the rental agreement you are led to your respective jet ski and offered to take a good look at it before you take off. Here is where the jet ski scam begins. Being as the jet ski is moored in the water you can only visibly inspect the part of the jet ski that is above water. The jet ski operators know this and they also have a nasty little secret, the jet ski’s hull is already damaged but you can’t see it.

So, you look the jet ski over and it seems okay and they will probably have you sign something to this affect. You go out for your half hour of fun and then you head back in to the beach. You pull up short and stop the jet ski in the water where you originally boarded it. As you get off one of the jet ski operators assistants boards the jet ski and drives it right up onto the beach. Now the Pattaya jet ski scam is in full effect.

As soon as the jet ski hits the beach one of the rental assistants points to the hull and exclaims ” what did you hit” , of course you didn’t hit anything and you know it, they know it too but they are now looking at damage on the jet ski that you visually inspected before and probably signed off on only to see ” new damage” They may even produce pictures of the jet ski taken that day that proves the damage was not there.

The damage was always there, and as a matter of fact more than a handful of tourists have already paid for that same exact damage. The pictures of the undamaged jet ski are all part and parcel of the Pattaya jet ski scam. You see, the damage is usually slight hull damage that has the fiberglass chipped. The hull is usually a solid color, so,  in the morning they paint over the damaged area and take some pictures. As the day wears on the paint wears off and guess what, you are being blamed for the damage.

By now several of the other jet ski assistants are around and someone with repair knowledge is on hand or called to come have a look. It seems the damage is much more extensive than it looks and you are looking at 40-50,000 baht in repairs. You are now upset and frustrated as you know you did not cause any damage to the jet ski. You are also starting to notice more Thai guys hanging around and the main players are starting to get angry.

You continue to protest your innocence and probably have refused to pay, this only further angers the jet ski boys and they may at this point threaten you with physical harm. You think the only smart thing to do is call the police, the jet ski operator will probably agree and go get a police officer. This may make you feel better as the law is now going to be involved. Yes the law will now be involved but not to help you as they are just another player in the Pattaya jet ski scam.

The police officer will now move you and the jet ski operators away from the scene of the damage to someplace close to sit and talk. You will be told that you signed an agreement to pay for damage and he will help negotiate that price. If you don’t pay there is a chance you will have to go to the police station. They know this will scare you and it always plays to their advantage. Before you know it you are being escorted to an ATM and or your hotel room to get the money.

Pattaya Jet Ski Scam #2

As I walked back up Beach Road towards home I thought about the Pattaya jet ski scam I just encountered and wished I could have gotten pictures of the jet ski scam that I witnessed before that one. I also knew I was heading towards one of the most infamous Pattaya jet ski scam locations and just as I approached the jet ski scam was in full three ring circus mode with a crowd gathering.

Two youngish falang tourists apparently rented jet skis and when I approached they were in full confrontation mode exclaiming their innocence. The Main player in this scam is the Thai guy with blondish hair. He is well known for running the Pattaya jet ski scam daily and often resorts to violence when he thinks he can get away with it.

With a crowd around I decided to take a few pictures, as I did the main Thai thug yelled to me ” You don’t take pictures or you get hurt” I took a good look around and reasoned that he didn’t have enough back up so I shot back ” go fuck yourself”. At this point another Thai, of about 12 years, approached me and told me I can’t take pictures wherever I want and I could get hurt. I told the cute lad to fuck off and not to come back unless it was with his mother. Pictures below.

The Jet ski Inspecting the supposed damage pleading their case

The main scammer with before pictures of his supposedly undamaged jet ski getting heated Calling the tourist police

This Pattaya jet ski scam took place close to Mikes Shopping Mall and luckily for me a place on the beach where many tourists congregate. I shouldn’t have talked back to the Thai scumbags running the scam but the main thug in the flowered swim trunks and blondish hair was starting to threaten violence on the tourists and I gave them a nice diversion while they called the tourist police. There weren’t enough Thai’s around to help them so I was confident that if they did come after me I stood a good chance.

Pattaya Jet Ski Scam Reality

Pattaya City Hall, the police and everyone who lives in Pattaya knows about the jet ski scams and many people profit from it as well. The police most definitely pocket money for helping to facilitate the scam and I wouldn’t doubt Pattaya City Hall knows about other players in the scam as well. There is a lot of money being made and you can bet that that money flows uphill.

Pattaya city Hall and the Mayor of Pattaya,  Itthiphol Kunplome, may not be in on the Pattaya jet ski scam but they are just as complicit as the main players because they know all about the scam and let it continue on Pattaya Beaches.

The Mayor of Pattaya, Itthiphol Kunplome,  is always saying that he wants Pattaya to be a top tourist destination, Well, I have news for you Mayor; until you stop the Pattaya jet ski scam and other criminal activities played out around town against tourists, Pattaya will never be a top tourist destination.

Do you think it’s good publicity for Pattaya that tourists return home only to tell stories about how they were ripped off for 50,000 baht and how the police helped in the scam. Or worse yet how about when they return home beaten to a bloody pulp because they refused to bend to the will of the Thai thugs running these scams.

Shame on you Mayor and Pattaya City Hall, shame on you. You have all the tools in your power to stop these crimes immediately and yet they continue as you put together committee’s to look into the problem.

Talk is cheap Mayor, but it seems renting a jet ski in town is not!

Potential Pattaya Jet Ski Scam Tourists

DO NOT RENT A JET SKI IN PATTAYA if you do there is a greater than 80% chance that you will be targeted for the Pattaya jet ski scam. The jet ski operators look for the same marks all the time. They like young guys and young men & women in groups. They especially like to go after those of middle eastern decent with their jet ski scam.

The jet ski operators along with the police will try and tell you that not paying for the damage is a criminal matter. This is another lie in the jet ski scam to scare you. The agreement that you signed with a jet ski operator and any subsequent damage discovered is a civil matter and at most the only action a jet ski operator can take is to bring a law suit against you for damages. You can not be jailed or forced to pay for any jet ski damages.


Tell everyone you know to never rent jet skis in Pattaya because if you do you will run into trouble. Pattaya City Hall will not help you, the police will not help you, The  Pattaya jet ski scam is real and happens on a daily basis.

Further reading on the matter:

Followup to the Pattaya Jet Ski Scam

The Mayor of Pattaya is listening

Pattaya Jet Ski Scam Video

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140 Comment(s)

  1. I thought almost all Thai people followed Buddhism and Thailand was the world’s most Buddhist country. What happened?

    Nathan | Mar 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. Nathan, I’m not sure I would classify Thailand as the worlds most buddhist country although 95% of Thai’s do practice some form of Buddhism. I guess when it comes down to it the almighty dollar is much more important in most societies.

    Talen | Mar 2, 2011 | Reply

  3. Talen, it’s a wonderful and brave writeup. I hope you are careful walking around Pattaya from now on. I’ve heard nasty things about these guys.

    Catherine | Mar 2, 2011 | Reply

  4. Cat, probably more stupid than brave…I plan on steering clear of the beach for a bit just in case.

    Talen | Mar 2, 2011 | Reply

  5. … and just hope that they or their friends, wives, or girlfriends don’t cruise the Internet.

    One bit of nastiness convinced me to avoid sticking my neck out for Thailand a second time. Self-preservation to the rescue ;-)

    Catherine | Mar 2, 2011 | Reply

  6. Cat, if they are cruising the internet They will probably end up at Hi5 way before they find my lil ol blog. :)

    Talen | Mar 2, 2011 | Reply

  7. Nice report. Nice photo series adequately showing what is going on. Well done. I’ve already posted this to the mayor’s Facebook page. If anyone else wants to comment to the mayor his page is here:!/tik.kunplome

    John Le Fevre | Mar 2, 2011 | Reply

  8. Well written this is where similar topics are running

    Anonymous | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  9. These pieces of shite are nothing at all. I have had three confrontions up to now,the last one with that cop who started shoving me backwards out of a group getting scammed, I told him do it a third time and I would knock him to the ground. The others gathered ,but I would have taken them all on,but when it’s one against a few it gets difficult.
    Just need a few farangs to get together and defeat them.

    jb | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  10. i have seen and photographed this over 30 times. you are correct everyone is involved in this and the money involved is huge. the reason groups are targeted is between them they can raise more funds and some can be held hostage on the beach while others go to get cash from ATM’s or the hotel. most popular time to pull a scam 16.00 hrs onwards they are all at it.
    latest ploy is to take multiple pics of the falang on the ski then while he is out in the bay the SD memory chip is removed and photoshopped so when he gets back there are pics of himself on an apparently perfect ski.
    that and the signed damage form seal his fate

    arch stanton | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  11. I forgot to mention type jet ski scam into you tube and u can watch an 8 min video of a scam going down that somebody braver than me filmed. 62,000 hits and counting

    arch stanton | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  12. John, Hopefully it’s more evidence for the cause but for as long as the jet ski scam has been going on I doubt it will do much to make a difference.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  13. JB, maybe that’s the way to do it. Get a bunch of falangs to hang out at the beach and drive their business away.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  14. Arch, filming it does take some bravery. Hiding with a camera can be easy but if you are filming then they will definitely see you at some point.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  15. scam in action

    Anonymous | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  16. Nice post, thankyou.

    Please consider raising this with your Embassy. Insist that they take action. Give them time to act, then ask for a written response detailing steps taken.

    Our diplomats have special protection and legal privileges. They are also very well remunerated. The diplomatic community needs to do much more to expose these scams. Thailand will only act if loss of face or tourism revenue are at stake.

    Surfsailwaves | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  17. Of course the police support the scams.

    Jeff | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  18. We had a similar scam on Patong Beach back in the early 80′s only instead of jet ski’s (dregs of beach fun to me they are)the same type of scam involved MTX motorbikes (dirt bikes). Some kind of “damage” would happen and the repair bill would be horrendous…that is…until somebody got fed up with the scam & scammers & went completely sane with a 12 gauge and stopped the scam in its tracks. About 15 people, all Thais, were shotgunned to death & the local constabulary never caught the perp because the coppers couldn’t positively ID the victims. I hope Pattaya sorts out the jet ski scam before something like the Patong MTX massacre happens up there ’cause that’s very bad for tourism.

    gordo | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  19. Talen I find it somewhat ironic that only yesterday the Thai PM was calling for TAT to focus on quality(tourists) rather than quantity.

    Personally I agree with him but what chance of attracting high end tourists to Pattaya when stuff like you report goes on every day. Mind you its not just Pattaya is it….remember the Black Sheep documentary production you wrote about?

    If nothing else your report confirms to me that I certainly chose the right area of Thailand to call home.

    Mike | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  20. Much more on the scam here its been going on a long time

    Anonymous | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  21. Hi Talen,

    Great write up and a brave one to boost. I agree that these scammers probably won’t find your blog but better stay clear off the beach for a while, these guys don’t like to see their business getting interrupted, especially not by some Farang.

    Sorry for not having checked in more often, am just too busy and can rarely keep up with my own blogs at times.

    Camille | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  22. Thais are indeed for 95% Buddhists as Talen points out, but they must be the most flexible bunch of Buddhists around ;-)

    Camille | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  23. JB,

    With all due respect, violence will be the least effective way to go about this. All Thais around will gather up against you and whomever is with you and you just can’t win unless you’re good at martial arts. It will be a Phyrrus victory either way and you may well be targeted afterwards by these scammers. Definitely not the way to go in my opinion.

    Camille | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  24. Recently (about 6 months ago?) there was a UK based travel show on telly in the UK that filmed one of the scams. I think it was Phuket.

    Camille | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  25. Gordo,

    I would be extremely surprised if the scams in Phuket have ceased to exist! I think that they’re well alive and kicking!

    Camille | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  26. From what I’ve been told by diplomats, it is not a diplomats main job to go after scammers in any country.

    Their job is to clear the way for business between countries.

    What their countrymen get up to or have done to them in turn is a mere annoyance…

    Catherine | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  27. Excellent photos and reporting.

    These punks will not stop because they have FULL protection from the police. If you can call them police with a straight face.

    I have good reason to believe the Mayor and his brother are both in on this scam.

    Thai politicians are corrupt to the core and the Kunplome family is no exception. One brother runs Chonburi, the other Pattaya.

    Tell everyone you know to not rent jet skis in Pattaya.

    ThailandUndercover | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  28. Seems this will never get sorted unless some police from outside Pattaya step in or they replace the police there with a new chief. The tourist police number is 1155 if you ever feel you are getting scammed in Thailand.

    bangkoktimesonline | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  29. Martial arts ? don’t make me laugh. They like to think there true masters,told you they are nothing.
    Once got threatened by a trained Thai boxer,told him I’d rip his leg off for a start then I’d finish him off for my breakfast.
    60 Kg yeah ,don’t make me laff!!!

    jb | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  30. Not only is 1155 not answered 1/2 the times you call it, but the tourist police will not assist anyone with scams, especially the jet ski scam.

    In fact, foreign tourist police have been instructed by their superiors to NOT get involved with the jet ski scams in any manner.

    Do the math.

    ThailandUndercover | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  31. It’s quite amazing to find that a mayor in any country has created a FB page to get suggestions for his city. Kudos to Itthiphol Kunplome, the mayor of Pattaya City.

    Catherine | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  32. Camille I think you are talking about Big Trouble in Thailand…Although there have been other programs looking into the Phuket jet ski problems.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  33. The only time I have known any diplomats to get involved is when a tourist is injured or killed in Thailand. There have been many injuries due to the jet ski scam though.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  34. Gordo, that’s insane but I can definitely see it happening. The jet ski situation will come to a head…The second scam pictured above had a lot of onlookers unlike the first 2 and many people are getting fed up with the lies and threats of violence.

    The Mayor and city hall could end this today but so far they haven’t done a thing to stop this scam.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  35. Mike, Pattaya does have it’s problems but it’s not a bad place to live…for a tourist town anyway.

    The documentary did show various problems with Pattaya but unfortunately they doctored a lot of footage for tv appeal instead of filming the scam outright which they could have never done on the beach.

    Quality tourists are nice but any tourist town needs quantity as well and neither will come if they think think there is a chance they will get beaten or threatened or scammed out of their hard earned money.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  36. Camille, Like I told Cat, probably more stupid than brave. I plan on steering clear of the beach for a while…at least with my camera.

    I completely understand being busy and you definitely have some blogs to keep up with :)

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  37. Bangkoktimes,
    Excellent point. If you ever run into trouble in Pattaya the first call should be to the tourist police.

    I’m thinking they may need the Bangkok police to come into town as they do for other problems but there is never any rhyme or reason for their agendas either.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  38. Thailandundercover,
    I don’t believe that’s true, I have personally seen the tourist police get involved with the jet ski scam on Pattaya beach. Unfortunately most tourists never think to call them.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  39. looks like you got some good advice talen. isn’t it sad that you had to be fearless to post this?

    interestingly my friend and i were talking about thailand’s gem scams yesterday but this one?! horrible.

    Lani | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  40. Lani,
    it’s sad that it had to be posted at all. This scam has been going on forever and it lines so many pockets that no one wants to stop it…all it would take is the mayor saying
    ” that’s it, no more jet skis allowed on Pattaya beach.”

    I remember my first trip to Thailand leaving the airport for BKK the taxi driver asked me if I wanted to go look at gems :P

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  41. You’ve seen the scammers police get involved. That us who shows up, time and time and time again.

    It is also a fact that the foreign police have been instructed to not get involved. There was even a news release on this.

    IF you take the issue to the Soi 9 police station, your price increases, as those police now want a piece of the pie.

    But don’t take my word for it, follow every step of the scam for yourself and note the same police who show up every time. There is no shortage of evidence online to see who these players are.

    ThailandUndercover | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  42. Talen great story but do a bit more reading on the forums and news local online papers , there is currently an investigation going on regarding corrupt police being involved the mayor has stated that on this page.

    but as far as an assumption the Mayor is involved I don’t believe that.

    Anonymous | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  43. Anon, I don’t believe the mayor is involved or anyone from city hall but Pattaya City Hall and the mayor have let this scam go on far too long. I know there is an investigation into the police and discussions taking place about the jet ski scams but it doesn’t seem that these actions are actually going anywhere when you see the same police officers involved day in and day out and of course the jet ski scammers continue to ply their trade.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  44. More Scams here daily reports

    Anonymous | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  45. JB,

    Problem will be that they will never take you on one on one but always in a pack.

    Camille | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  46. That’s the one Talen.

    Looks like your hit counter is doing overtime on this one ;-)

    Good on you!

    Camille | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  47. The money is huge and the police chief wouldn’t let these beach thugs keep all that cash. Hundreds of cases a month for years.
    Now they may do the mayor a favor and take a break but that’s all we can expect.
    Evan the Prime Minister can’t tell the police what to do.
    They are a criminal organization that back crime for a fee.

    KK | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  48. Holy hell, absolutely amazing review of this ongoing criminal conspiracy and a perfect example of why Thai government is so full of BS. They don’t understand what reputation is, or investment, or side effects are. Thanks for having the courage to write this.

    Pete of Raiyai | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  49. Well done on reporting this Talen; is that why you were considering the Muay Thai lessons :-) It looks like this thread has got the attention of a lot of people and maybe it will make a difference. I think the problem is that locals can get away with ripping off tourists for a long time – it does come back to bite them but most will be too short-sighted to see this.

    Paul Garrigan | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  50. Paul, Th Muay Thai is more to get in shape but it may help in other areas :) This thread has gotten a lot of attention and the jet ski scam has gotten tons of attention for a long time now, unfortunately the powers that be ignore it and the Thai thugs scamming and thretening people were back at work today doing what they do best.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  51. Congratulations on this report! In order to stop those scams, where everyone is involved, especially police and local politicians, it needs people like you who expose it! BRAVE!

    freakingcat | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  52. I think that everybody who hang out there should warn any tourist when they are seen approaching the jet skis so that nobody will hire them. There should be information regarding this scam in every hotel foyer and everybody should continously talk about it so that the word gets around.

    David L | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  53. David, good idea but it can be dangerous to hang out in thed area and warn tourists as then the jet ski thugs will come after you. The hotels won’t say anything as they are too busy keeping up the appearance that Pattaya is safe in that regard and I’m sure if they did post something someone might come and have a talk with them.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  54. freakingcat, this scam has been exposed many times before by people much braver with video cameras. I’d love to rent space on the new walking street sign and play some of those videos all day long with full volume…I bet that would get the Thai goons running the scams upset.

    Talen | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  55. Another good article.

    Corruption is endemic in Thailand and there is very little chance anything will ever be done about the blatant criminal activities that a perpetrated on foreign tourists and residents. The best course of action is to continue to highlight the fact to tourists and hope that over time word will spread enough so that they start to loose business and dissapear.

    Lloyd | Mar 3, 2011 | Reply

  56. you could not warn tourists on the beach, quite simply it would be too dangerous to attempt.
    these guys cannot be outnumbered they have more than enough bodies up and down the beach to call on.
    they cannot be outrun they have their motorbikes parked nearby.
    the police will be of no help, the line is you signed you must for damage.
    there is also an old sikh guy and 2 eastern europeans who will often attempt to “help”. they won’t help cos they are in on it too.
    the answer is stay away from renting a jet ski.

    arch stanton | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  57. Best thing is we all go down there en-masse and rent all the jet ski’s and head of out to a waiting boat and give them a Viking burial before racing off around the headland. LoL

    John Le Fevre | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  58. John, I’m game for that one …it would be funny as hell. Would have to have someone on the beach filming them for the full effect.

    Talen | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  59. Talen an excellent report and a very brave one too. Now might be a good time to check out Chiang Mai for a week or so.

    I’d like to know what happens if the tourist hasn’t got 50,000 baht. Many people are down to their last couple of thousand baht as their holiday nears its end. I guess that’s when a good beating gets administered.

    Lie low sweet chariot or someone’s gonna carry you home.

    Great post.

    Martyn | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  60. Or, we could gather everyone we know with a camera (especially video) and position ourselves around each scam.

    There aren’t that many and everyone has a camera these days.

    Catherine | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  61. That would be BRILLIANT!

    Anyone have contact info for this? If it is reasonable, I will put our youtube video on there for a weekend.

    ThailandUndercover | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  62. Thanks Martyn, I am heading out of town soon enough for destinations unknown :P

    Talen | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  63. Cat, As I walked the Beach today there were probably 8-10 jet ski rental areas. I also noticed that the touts seem to work for all of them as I saw several today working in different areas. There are definitely more than enough people with cameras around so that might work well.

    Talen | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  64. Nice one, it shows that it’s ‘alive’ and that people are aware of it or want to know about it.
    Many people shared the link on FB, which helps as well!

    I don’t see this scam stop overnight but more attention like your post will slowly put an end to it.

    Camille | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  65. my family were visiting me in patts at Christmas 1st thing i said to them was do not rent jet skis.

    i would love to see these scum receive a good kicking maybe we need more of the British ibiza crowed to visit patts imagine what would happen if one those lads got scammed and they were mob handed like they usually are .mmmm, if only

    chokdeekap | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  66. A banner with a picture of a jet ski ,a red cross over it, with a few words of warning in 4 or 5 languages ,paraded along Beach Road,with a hefty gathering of farangs leading the show,newspapers invited as well as TV cameras.
    That would embarrass them no end,the police could do nothing but stand back as though doing their job

    jb | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

  67. i sent this message to the mayor yesterday
    Khun Kunplome
    when are you going to do something to resolve the problem of the jet ski scam operators this issue is generating a lot of Internet traffic and many people from around the world are aware of this scam this is not going to be beneficial to pattaya in the long run

    i am surprised i got a response

    thank you very much for your suggestion….a lot of things in progress…to solve this problem…sir

    chokdeekap | Mar 6, 2011 | Reply

  68. Chok, the Mayor responded to me as well. The Mayor is listening so hopefully he and City Hall can do something soon to resolve this problem.

    Talen | Mar 6, 2011 | Reply

  69. Same scam runs with motorbikes all over the country aspecialy in koh phangan .
    I dont know how can be the officals so shortsitet the little scambags make money but the c ountry loses more and more ravanues every year .

    Anonymous | Mar 6, 2011 | Reply

  70. I’m too bad at all Pattaya. I will say this, huh, when President d Pattaya and all parties involved. I apologize on behalf of the Thai people with offline.

    dang | Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

  71. Buddhism in Thailand, like everything else here, is merely superficial. LOS doesn’t mean the Land of Smiles anymore. It means, the Land of Superficiality, the Land of Scams, the Land of Stupidity, the land of Sneers, the Land of Sinners, the Land of……well, you get the picture, Thailand has become a very poor choice for tourists.

    The two-tier pricing system is getting out of hand here as money gets harder to earn honestly. I have been living and working here for many years, and the even at the market I go to regularly, vendors who treated me fairly are now starting to gouge for as much as they can. I’ve simply stopped buying from any vendors who don’t have their prices clearly displayed. The entry fee into national parks is many times higher for foreigners than it is for Thais, and perhaps that can be justified to some degree. Unfortunately, other (private) venues have decided that the government must be setting a proper example, so they also charge foreigners much more to gain entry. Do not support two-tier pricing.

    A good friend came to visit me a short time ago, and was disappointed with Thailand compared to Mexico, where he usually holidays. He said the beaches here were, for the most part, dirty and inferior to the ones in Mexico, prices for equal food and accommodation were higher, the people (especially in Phuket) were not as friendly, and although he generally enjoyed himself and was glad that he experienced it first-hand, he made it very clear that he would never pay the much greater airfare and endure the long flight to come to Thailand again when the much better alternative of Mexico is so much closer and better.

    Thais are victims of their own government, so I feel sorry for them. They are very undereducated in comparison to most other nations, but they’ve been brainwashed to believe they are superior to all other nationalities. An arrogantly huge ego together with a very low level of intelligence is a dangerous combination, and that’s exactly what’s happening in Thailand. Antiquated customs, like the importance of “saving face” means that one Thai can never criticize another Thai, so when a situation is obviously screwed up, nothing can be done to remedy it because pointing out a problem will inevitably mean that someone will lose face. This has caused Thailand to slip down form being a developing nation to a 3rd-world country, and there isn’t a snowball’s chance in Thailand that anything will be done to change the culture and advance forward — the problems are too deeply ingrained. Thailand will NEVER be a developed nation.

    I’m afraid I could go for a long time with more criticism about Thais, with things like how Thais are some of the most inconsiderate people I have ever seen, and contrary to the perception that they are quiet, demure, and respectful people, for the vast majority of them, the exact opposite is true.

    I’m sure people are questioning why I remain in Thailand if it’s so screwed up, and it comes down to my job and my hatred of winter. I live in a small village in a condo at the beach for a price that I could never find elsewhere, so the combination of employment, climate, economics (and the ability to insulate myself from most of the bullsh*t ) keeps me here. I suspect that someday I’ll decide that I’ve had enough of Thailand, but for now it still offers mostly what I want, so I’ll avoid the worst and enjoy the rest.

    George | Mar 11, 2011 | Reply

  72. George , I think there is a lot of wisdom in your words even though I don’t agree with all of them. You have the benefit of many more years on me in Thailand and who knows I may see it like you one day. The problems I have seen I think are directly related to one of your comments I disagree with “Thailand will NEVER be a developed nation” I think Thailand in many ways is feeling the growing pains as a developing nation and many of the problems seen in areas such as Bangkok and,Pattaya and Phuket are in direct relation to that. No place is perfect and for all the virtues you friend extols about Mexico I can list just as many reasons not to go. A friend of mine only goes to Jamaica and will tell you it’s the best place on earth, yet he stays in a private all inclusive compound guarded by armed guards and never actually goes anywhere in Jamaica.

    Winter is definitely one of the best reasons to stay in Thailand…last year I was digging out from 6 feet of snow and this year not a flake in sight :)

    Talen | Mar 11, 2011 | Reply

  73. I see the mayor is responding to your efforts. Good work. I hope the problem will be solved soon.

    InBKK | Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

  74. Great post. But even if the mayor feels motivated enough to do something this scam is relatively minor compared to some of the persumably police sanctioned attrocities that occur every night in Pattaya.
    Top of my list of outrageous Pattaya practices would be things like the widespread presence of child prostitution, illegal casinos, Russian mafia, drug lords etc. If you want to protect the tourists from the consequences of their own sleazy inclinations then perhaps you could focus on the regular defenestrations from high rise buildings and use of knockout drugs by prostitutes many of whom congregate on the same beach…
    But hey, its sin city. The tourist money is based on the availability of vice. Innocence is in very short supply amongst either the buyers or the sellers so many, if not most of those tourists you are trying to protect are in Pattaya to behave badly if not criminally. So lets call it what it is. These people are here to exploit the desperation of some of the locals. The fact that other locals are exploiting the tourists could only be a surprise to someone who thought Pattaya was a normal place and a person who has been there for longer than a few hours and still has that illusion… well this seems really unlikely to me.
    Its a risky place to visit and so long as it retains its traditional attractions its unlikely to change. We’ve all seen the t-shirt. Good guys go to heaven. Bad guys go to Pattaya.

    Jaded | Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

  75. Jaded, I have to disagree with a large part of your comment, not all tourists to Pattaya are looking for prostitution, in fact the majority are not. The Koreans, Chinese, Indian and Russian tourists are mostly here on tours and with family. While they may peruse walking street at night they don’t partake in the nightlife itself.

    I would be willing to bet you are a Bangkok resident and feed off the BKK expat hatred for Pattaya, sure Pattaya has problems but it isn’t the worlds cesspit. There is very little that is risky in Pattaya unless that is you are looking for risk, then you will find what you are looking for…same same in Bangkok or Chiang Mai.

    Talen | Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

  76. Hi
    I was very interested in reading your report on the jet ski scams.My husband and I have been frequent visiters to Thailand for aprox 15 years a few years ago we got caught in one of these scams on Patong beach, Pucket. It involved my husband ,2 sons and one of their friends. To cut a very long, tense story We walked away with out loosing any money and all in one piece, due to my husband being strong and sticking to his guns hhowever it could of ended a lot worse.

    Amanda | Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

  77. Amanda, you and your family were very lucky because it often does end worse and with the police involved in helping to facilitate the scam there is really no recourse.

    Talen | Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

  78. Well done, kudos on having the balls to stand up to them but do think of your own safety.

    How about this for a suggestion? Take up their offer to rent the jetski take the jetski up to the beach and do a real inspection. Take photos of the existing damage. See what their reactions is – do they still try and rent it to other customers?

    Dave | Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

  79. I would love to know where they store the jet skis at night and burn them.

    Pierre | Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

  80. Talen
    Actually I made the unfortunate error of purchasing property in Pattaya to weather the unpleasant winters just like yourself. I have three years of up close and personal experience of Pattaya expat life and on that basis I would not retract a word. But if you are unfortunate enough to be living in the cesspit I can understand your need to sustain a state of denial until such time as you are able to extract yourself. This sounds a little churlish so I will say that I have met some very nice decent people in the Pattaya morass. Nice Thai people and nice westerners do live in Pattaya but you are talking about the tourists. You can suggest that the non-western visitors are not there with the same agenda but I’d disagree strongly with that suggestion. Many of the Chinese come for the gambling (offshore if you know what I mean). If the Russians are not interested in the prositution then please explain the caucasian prostitution phenomenon. And the Indians have a very well known reputation for cheap low living in brothels which is surely deserved. Yes, there are many couples and even some families on holiday but these are a small if highly visible minority.
    Your other point is quite true of course. While Bangkok and Phuket (and Chang Mai on a tiny scale) have similar options to Pattaya they are not defined by prostitution in the same way. One night in Bangkok may make a hard man humble but one night in Pattaya stikes me as simple a euphemism for for degenerate behavior. There’s nothing else to do really apart from the odd magic show, tame transvestite cabaret or visit to the multiplex what other options does Pattaya have? Jazz club? The place is tiny and can barely make money most of the time. Hard rock cafe? Seriously? Live music? Well if you like bad cover bands then sure. Third road clubs? Watch out for the late night gunfights in the carpark. I could go on but what’s the point. The place is permeated with slease and inundated with criminality. Pattaya is a modern day Gomorrah with a raison d’etre to provide whatever vice seems profitable aided and abetted by local institutions who rely on the purveyors of vice for their funding. Good luck attempting to make an impact on that highly biddable mentality.

    Jaded | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  81. I seem to have a little difficulty commenting?

    Jaded | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  82. Talen
    Actually I made the unfortunate error of purchasing property in Pattaya to weather the unpleasant winters just like yourself. I have three years of up close and personal experience of Pattaya expat life and on that basis I would not retract a word. But if you are unfortunate enough to be living in the cesspit I can understand your need to sustain a state of denial until such time as you are able to extract yourself. This sounds a little churlish so I will say that I have met some very nice decent people in the Pattaya morass. Nice Thai people and nice westerners do live in Pattaya but you are talking about the tourists.

    Jaded | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  83. You can suggest that the non-western visitors are not there with the same agenda but I’d disagree strongly with that suggestion. Many of the Chinese come for the gambling (offshore if you know what I mean). If the Russians are not interested in the prositution then please explain the caucasian prostitution phenomenon. And the Indians have a very well known reputation for cheap low living in brothels which is surely deserved. Yes, there are many couples and even some families on holiday but these are a small if highly visible minority.

    Jaded | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  84. oops
    my original comment has miraculously appeared now. Its posted in full so you can disregard the split up truncated version that I have been labouring to post
    sorry about that
    glich in the wordpress I guess.

    Jaded | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  85. Jaded,
    I do see where you are coming from and I do agree to certain points. There is a lot of low life activity in Pattaya and it comes from all sides. Maybe I realized that early on and have chosen to see things from a different perspective. I don’t have many expat friends in Pattaya, as a matter of fact I can count them on one hand and still have 3 fingers left over. The majority of Thai’s I know and hang out with aren’t directly involved in the nightlife although everyone is indirectly impacted.

    I do agree with your assessment of The tourist segments to a large extent but I also see it changing. The majority of Chinese, Koreans and Indians I have been seeing are all on chartered vacations. The tour bus picks them up in the morning and ferries them around Chonburi all day, what little time they have to themselves in the evening is usually walking around town a bit and they are almost always in family groups. You are correct though that there are a lot of Chinese and Indian tourists coming here not in these group tours and behaving exactly as you stated.

    I see Pattaya changing and I know a lot of people disagree with my assessment but you have to admit there is a lot of money being spent on upscale hotels, eateries and shopping areas and this isn’t catering to the usual suspects. Will the unsavory side of Pattaya still exist among this change, absolutely…show me any town and I’ll show you it’s dark side.

    I have to admit that I sometimes walk around town and have all the same thoughts you laid out, and while there are aspects of this town I love more and more there are many that I don’t. Will I live here forever, no…Give me the quiet streets of Mukdahan or Nakhon Phanom anytime, but for now this is where I hang my hat.

    By the by…there is an awesome Jazz club way up third road about 2 miles from Center as well as some really great Thai restaurants with excellent acoustic bands.

    Talen | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  86. 7 years in Thailand full-time and 10 more part-time, and enough is enough. Unless you live like a Thai, you will be scammed over and over again. It is isn’t just the jet ski issue, it is everything. You might as well have a direct-line plugged into your pocket, your brain and your soul, because this Country wants all of it from you. Shopped at Foodland lately? Tops? Villa? Paid for school for your Thai children? Paid rent for somewhere decent to live with equal western amenities to your own Country? Everyone knows what the real attraction is here. And everyone knows what percentage of men verses woman travel here. What is the real cost of that young girl you are with that you swear loves you jing jing? Wake up people, live here and get scammed, visit here, get scammed double. This is the life in Thailand. If you think it can’t happen to you, just wait. Thai people hate you, especially if you are no use to them. Behind the bullshit smile, it is one the most racist places in the world.

    EnufUFThailand | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  87. Excellent post Talen! You did a great thing for Thailand’s tourism industry but please stay safe!

    Bangkokhooker | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  88. Talen,

    Thank you for this undertaking. This is not just a shame; it is a tragedy. You are so correct: if they want to improve tourism, they have to quit these types of shenanigins. I hope to be there for a long time someday: this is my dream. However, knowing about such things is important for a well-prepared visitor to the “Land of Smiles” will be forwarned and forearmed! This happens everywhere. I remember going into a camera shop and, before I could retract a sale of a camera, the guy told me I had to pay “or else” he would call the policde as it was legitimate. It turned out to be a great camera; however, it was not really something that I could affor when he finally added up all of the costs. I took a shellacking that time and learned from it. My money never leaves my pocket until the receipt is there and I am satisfied. I also know that these “papers” that they have tourist sign may be in Thai and would be illegal in most countries with tourism. Well, I hope that jet ski renters have to sit out wht remains of the “high” season as well as the “low.” It would serve them right. Actually, should you pursue this further: there should be a law stating that no jet ski may be rented when damaged in any way whatsoever and that the proprietor guarantees that the jet ski is in proper working order wihout any damages. Also, there should be a pamphlet telling tourists/renters exactly what to look for and that ANYTHING looking improper on the jet ski should be noted, just as they do on rental cars before one rents them in California. Also, the renter should be able to note any anomally of the jet ski on the diagram of it. Of course, the renters in the panphlet would be told what to look for and where! Not a single inch uninspected by the renter! This can become very timely and would cost proprietors a lot of time and less revenue until they give up on this scam.

    Good luck. Take care. I hope that I may come to Thailand and meet you there one day to give you a thenkful hug for your work. If you like beer, I would also buy whatever you would like!

    Anyse (pronounced “ah-niece” not “ah-nephew”)

    Anyse | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  89. Bangkokhooker, love your name and your website! Staying safe is #1 on the agenda although I have been camped at the beach the last 2 days I seem to be flying under the radar for now.

    Talen | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  90. Enuf, Pretty broad brush you are painting with there. Not all Thai’s are scam artists and all Thai’s most certainly don’t hate falang. I have had tons of positive experiences all over Thailand from wonderful Thai people. Yes, there are bad Thai people just as there are bad people all over the world but if I chose to think like you then I think my life would be rather sad and lonely.

    Talen | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  91. Glad to see your brave article and all the response you have received to it. Spreading the word is the solution as we know what Thailand will do about this: Nothing!

    Blade | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  92. The mayor and other dignitaries are probably not aware of how much this is costing Pattaya in general. They probably don’t care.

    I don’t go to Pattaya. I avoid it because of what goes on there. The jetski scam is for me the ultimate clincher.

    I also don’t invest in Pattaya. I was in negotiations with a school in Bangkok wishing to expand their operations. They wanted to set up a branch in Pattaya. I talked them out of it. I also declined to invest in a new shopping mall in Pattaya, and I refused to set up a shop there.

    But I’m only one guy. So why should anyone care.

    Well, it’s not just me. I know of several large factories and international corporations who purposely avoid anything to do with Pattaya for the same reasons. They’ll take their money and investment and development expertise and job opportunities to Hua Hin or Chiang Mai or Rayong or even just Rangsit or Samrong or Bang Yai, the outskirts of Bangkok, rather than have anything to do with Pattaya/Chonburi area.

    You’ll always get the big names setting up anywhere, regardless. They treat mafia activity and corruption as the ‘license’ cost of doing business. So you’ll always get Tescos and Big C and Central, and even smaller unscrupulous operators like Walen. But the rest of us will leave Pattaya to the criminals and will take our custom elsewhere. I’m not even sure the (expensive) resorts will do all that well either. It doesn’t matter how ‘family friendly’ they say it is, I’d take my family to a resort elsewhere – I’m not sure about Phuket (it doesn’t seem all that much different, but at least I haven’t heard of any potentially violent scams as a matter of routine) – and there are plenty of other nicer places to go to in Thailand. And EVEN if you’re the kind of guy that just wants a cheap slut and a string of bars to drink in all night, there are better places for this in Thailand too!

    As for tourism, my guess is (from people I know who had planned to come to Thailand on holiday) that about half decide not to come at all. The other half fly into Bangkok, but then go straight on to Laos or Cambodia or Malaysia, maybe spending only a few days in Bangkok (so the tourist numbers are misleading: the number of visitors appears to be unaffected, but many of the visitors are just passing through because of what they perceive to be a potentially corrupt/violent tourist trap).

    I think if residents, business people and politicians were aware of the true cost of these scams to their own livelihoods, they might not be so complacent about condoning this type of activity.

    gary | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  93. this is ridiculous. No evidence, no taped conversations. Why are the victims not western. Why does it look like the victims are thais. Maybe this is going on but it is sort of ridiculous. I think this guy talen is just a stickman wanna be he set this whole thing up so he could make a stupid video and get hits on his site. Show me a hidden camera tough guy journalist. What a dickhead……talen….hahahahahaha. You dont deserve this exposure.

    ron paul | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

  94. This is nothing new and not restricted to Pattaya and Phuket this happend to me in Koh Samui 2001 and I refused to pay and one of them took a swing at me…their problem was I was 102kg shredded with a background in boxing, mixed martial arts and american football…I beat the shit out of the 3 guys confronting me…and because of witnesses on the beach the police “arrested” them but two days later they where back in business a few hundred meters away from before.

    Swede | Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

  95. who was violently attacked. I would like to know that. You said that some tourists were “violently” attacked when they could not pay. I doubt that. Let us see the evidence.

    Anonymous | Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

  96. @ Ron paul you obviously have no knowledge of patts or you would know about these scams they have been going on for years most ex-pats and long time visitor to patts are very much aware of the jet ski scam do a google search before you start accusing people of being a dick head
    ya Muppet

    chokdeekap | Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

  97. Here you go

    chokdeekap | Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

  98. @Ron Paul and Anonymous
    I got attacked I was lucky they didnt have any knifes or so. I was down in there working as a divemaster for a few months and my encounter happend just a week after I had arrived…I later learned that almost everyone I worked with knew about the scam…and most locals hotel staff etc knew…but people dont tell you in advance!

    Swede | Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

  99. Read this mister Anonymous and Ron Paul


    Mac Oxley | Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

  100. I look forward to the day the so called ‘Big Man’ kicks the bucket and Thailand either goes into meltdown or it gets its act together.

    It is about time someone stuck a bit of lead behind the ear of these scam JetSki operators. Sooner the better!

    Me&MrsJones | Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

  101. I quit going to Pattaya for many reasons. Pattaya has too much crime. If the mayor were strong he could stop it and increase international investment probably 1,000% over the next 2 or 3 decades.. Developing the beach front would be a very worthwhile investment to attract more tourists. The city could become very rich off foreign investment and tourism instead they rather make small money.

    rocky | Mar 17, 2011 | Reply

  102. Rocky, the beach front is being developed in a big way ande there are many areas of Pattaya changing rapidly.

    Talen | Mar 17, 2011 | Reply

  103. Anon, you need to keep up with the news there have been several high profile stories on the attacks in just the last few months from beatings to out right stabbings. You can doubt whatever you like but it’s all out there.

    Talen | Mar 17, 2011 | Reply

  104. Ron, I have never aspired to be a stickman clone. The jet ski scam are real and they happen daily Obviously you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about but felt the need to say something anyway. Oh, and there are no hidden camera’s dumbass, it’s all out in the open.

    Talen | Mar 17, 2011 | Reply

  105. Gary, I find it hard to believe that international corps are turning away from Pattaya because of it’s reputation. Chonburi has all kinds of international companies represented there from oil and gas to manufacturing. Pattaya is a very small part of the chonburi equation. Thailand does have it’s problems but every tourist city in the world has similar problems. Unfortunately the bottom of the barrel will always show up to get what they can from the tourists.

    Talen | Mar 17, 2011 | Reply

  106. Blade, Although I keep hoping Thailand and Pattaya will resolve these problems it will take time and probably won’t be resolved to our liking…I keep hoping though.

    Talen | Mar 17, 2011 | Reply

  107. Just a week ago (7 March ’11) I stood on top of the steps of Beach Rd,looking on a scam involving Indians
    I was told to fuck off by one of the gang,I replied to him in the same terms as well,immediately set on by five of their group,dislocated jaw amongst other injuries suffered.
    Complained to police who asked me to view photos,even though the gang were operating virtually outside the police station. All so so very corrupt, I hate the place.

    jb | Mar 17, 2011 | Reply

  108. Talen, thank you for the post and standing up for what is right. we need more people like you in the world.

    I just want to add an additional comment and let people know I was involved in a similar scam on the island of Koh Phangan, only it involved motorbike rentals not jetskis. Essentially the scam works the same way, but when I protested I was knifed in the face by one of the thugs.

    This happened at the bike rental shop outside the Dream Hill Resort on Haad Yao Beach (Koh Phangan).

    Just be aware these guys are professional criminals and will not hesitate to use violence.

    I’m very sad to see Thailand going from the land of smiles to the land of switchblades.

    Matt | Mar 18, 2011 | Reply

  109. Thanks for this video. I will never contribute a penny to any business owned by a Thai male ever again. I will spend 100% of my money in businesses owned by other foreigners.

    JakeinKorea | Mar 20, 2011 | Reply

  110. Thats nice. Hopefully they will learn and take actions. Stupid to cause a rumour like this for tourist when they visit Thailand. Hopefully more scammers will go down.

    Anonymous | Mar 21, 2011 | Reply

  111. I saw these scams several times in pattaya dec-jan during this winter, last time it was a thai girlgroup from bankok that paid 15000 bath to the scammers. At the time i had a legmassage at the beach just a few meters from the scam and my massage girl told me what was happening – she told me that she see these scams every day at the beach and she feels wery bad about that this still going on day after day and noone stops it.

    Micke | Mar 26, 2011 | Reply

  112. I paid 600bt for 1/2 an hour, knowing about the scam. I didn’t think they’d try it on me (big and fit and experienced in Thailand).
    I’ve rented jetskis before from dodgy heavily tattooed Thai beach dudes before and they’ve never dared.
    Anyway I didn’t get my change from 1000bt, “get after”, not a good sign, but not a lot of money.
    Then came the digital camera with extensive photos of me on the jetski. Yes we all agreed there were extensive scratches etc.
    Went out for a spin, came back. The stage had been set. The jetski dudes wouldn’t look me in the eye when I handed the lifejacket back. Another bad sign.
    Then the commotion play started. The now sizeable pack of Thai guys started pointing and yelling.
    There was a piece of rub rail missing about 15cm long from the middle of the side.
    The other Ski Doos were missing the same piece.
    I don’t know if they blu tac the section on, or pop it between the screws, but it had fallen off by its own accord.
    The Thais were highly aggressive straight away. One was playing with a knife, one with a piece of wood.
    My heart sank, I knew what they were playing at.
    I denied any accident, then up came the old lady who gave false witness to say she had seen me in a big collision.
    I said to get the Police, and of course they agreed. So I knew someone was going to turn up either their uncle who was a cop, or someone dressed as one.
    The situation was escalating, and the chance of violence was very high.
    I knew my only option was to grab my pregnant wife and to escape the thugs. We crossed over to the “Ripley’s” Mall with security, and they dared not follow us in.
    When I stay in Thailand I spend a lot of money. I stayed on this occasion in the Sheraton’s best rooms. My Holiday would have cost over $10,000.00 AUD
    The fact that the Thai people allow these small time mafia thugs to operate is an absolute disgrace.
    Nobody should be put in this position, especially within the knowledge of the police and other authorities.
    I will never return to Thailand and I urge others not to as well.

    walker | Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

  113. I spoke to 2 young english guys yesterday after they left pattaya beach.
    they got done for 20,000 bht having started at 50,000. they both told me they had not hit anything, that they knew they were being turned over but were intimidated into paying. 1 of the russians who help in the scam was involved in the negotiations.
    and so it goes on….

    arch stanton | Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

  114. Seems all Thais know about the scams but they are too stupid to realize the damage to Thailands reputation (as a whorehouse)

    Bill | Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

  115. Finally some effort from the local authorities to clamp down on the jet-ski thugs. Now ALL claims must be settled by an arbitration panel. Not sure how it will work or if it will be enforced – this is Thailand after all. Time will tell.

    Bout_Time | Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

  116. the way things go with this, soon they won’t even bother with the renting scam, just pick some tourists and shake them down with force and intimidation.

    surangw | Apr 14, 2011 | Reply

  117. As of today, 28.04.2011, we’ve also just confronted with pattaya jetski scam. I do not recommend anyone to rent a jetsk in pattaya. police does not help and you are against a physical violence. they started with requesting 25000 baht and finally we agreed to pay 4000 baht. Never come to Pattaya and Thailand and they will see who will lose.

    Ahmet | Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

  118. It happened just three times within one afternoon in front of Central Garden..

    Anonymous | May 7, 2011 | Reply

  119. Well, how is that going to work? Will JJ hand over an info pamphlet to his customer and explain that he can handle everything in claims court? I think time has told already on this one. It’s been going on for years and they’re out there today doing it.

    wendella | May 8, 2011 | Reply

  120. So who are the higher ups that are bankrolling this? Names? I think the mayor is just going to do the usual tried and true “look I’m doing something” song and dance until this blows over, and the result will be the same as it has for years: zero effect. Now you might say, “If he wanted to do something about it, he could have it stopped in a day” and I’d say, that’s only if he’s a much bigger fish than whoever is running this operation (which I doubt), and even if he is it probably isn’t that simple, it may be that it’s a political favor he’s obligated to fulfill. (that’s not meant to legitimize this, but more to consider how things like this work behind the scenes) And even if the big fish itself gets knocked out somehow, I’d bet another would just swoop in to replace him. This is a problem of culture, not individuals. Look at the comments: it happens everywhere tourists go in Thailand. It means nowhere in Thailand is there any risk of Thais being disturbed by this. How many Thais go report these scams to the police when they see them? That image alone must seem comical to any expats reading here. And it also means that police country-wide can be expected to support it.

    wendella | May 8, 2011 | Reply

  121. First thanks for this post it can only help Thailand in the long run
    I have been to Thailand several times “not for sex” but for medical they have fantastic hospitals even in Pattaya.
    Thailand is very nice and very nice people but the were hit by the Tsunami and the bad world economy and they are hurting and trying to survive so I will still go back to Thailand but you have to do your homework.
    You have to deal or avoid the scams your whole life, Thailand is just a good training ground. I will tell you the first one you will encounter the Taxi ride out of airport ,always use the meter they will try and set a price instead and don’t prepay for ride. Learn a little Thai “Let me hold on to your passport” means give me all your money.
    This is a test what would do if you read a sign “Beware of pickpockets in area”
    A) Check to see if you still have your wallet or stash of money
    B) nothing
    C) Put you wallet in you front pocket

    How fast you check your money tells the robbers weather you have cash and where it is ,they put up the sign
    Learn street smarts. Life is a scam. Every baby needs a SS# sure your going to get your money back when you retire. Good luck your going to need it

    Bill | May 14, 2011 | Reply

  122. Wauw, I have been living on bangkok for 9 years and been in pattaya at least 40 times. Luckily, i have never ever had any issues but i also never rented any jet skis there. Your article about the jetski scam was really good – it is so simple scam yet I would definitely also have fallen prey to it if i encountered it. I only one time rented a motorcycle for 2 days and there i had to apy 150 baht in damages (and that was my fault, so that was fair enough).
    Yes, there are good and bad thai people and this scam will definitely not get stopped anytime soon.

    visa | May 14, 2011 | Reply

  123. Visa, you make a very important point…not all Thai’s are out to scam tourists they are just trying to make a living. I have seen many very honest Thai people working around town and I would hate for anyone to read what I’ve written and think all Thai’s are this way when they are clearly not.

    Talen | May 16, 2011 | Reply

  124. Bill, some very good points…always pays to have your wits about you especially while on holiday

    Talen | May 16, 2011 | Reply

  125. Understood. Still, as you mention then having people to come home and have been scammed for 50.000 baht is enough to make many people not come to Thailand. It is a lot of money even for farangs.

    Visa ed | May 22, 2011 | Reply

  126. I think the problem is not with the good people of Thailand but with the officials in charge the Mayor, Police, Thai Mob ect. Be careful dealing with them. Most people never know the most valuable thing you will ever own is your reputation ,Thailand doesn’t doesn’t want to get a bad one.

    Bill | May 30, 2011 | Reply

  127. This same thing happened to me yesterday across from pizza hut/mikes shopping mall in pattaya,
    we rented 2 jet skis and we actually did hit into each other, causing damage on the front right side, but some how there was a huge mark on the back left and they were saying that it was from us……we didn’t hit there. so they asked for 5000b and we were okay with that. well that was for one guy, sure enough a group of thais surrounded us and demanded we pay 45000b. we ended up talking them down to 28000b and left. while i was on the jet ski i didnt know that an ex pat came up and told the rest of my family that it was a scam.

    I cant believe how crooked they are.

    Brittany | Jun 22, 2011 | Reply

  128. Considering the Mayors father is literally Thailand’s #1 crime boss (Somchai “Kamnan Poh” Kunplome), does anyone actually need to try to figure out why this scam is happening and why it’s not being stopped?

    Why do you think NOTHING has been doing to even so much as question these guys, despite several bogus meetings with the mayor and local police claiming they will look into it.

    Gee, it’s only been over 1 YEAR since they started looking into it. Not a single person has been arrested or even questioned, including the foreigners who are now assisting them, and regardless of the punks on the beach pulling weapons on tourists. Instead, the public has been given nothing but limp wristed excuses from Pattaya’s mayor.

    JetSkied | Jun 22, 2011 | Reply

  129. I experienced it first hand yesterday on Koh Larn opposite Pattaya. But we really knocked into a boat so I am sure it was no scam. We paid six grand for a cracked piece of plastic side of the Jet Ski we broke. However, we saw another commotion with an Indian bloke taking place near us. He was asked to pay one hundred grand for knocking into three boats. They have moved from scam to extortion.

    Anonymous | Jul 3, 2011 | Reply

  130. Have seen this play in Pattaya. No doubt about it. Clearly the scam is run/protected by police. It would be easy to stop, but no one in power has any interest in doing so. Stay away from Pattaya…scams and criminals aall over the place, protected by people in power. Pataya is the arsehole of Thailand, and it always will be.

    Bluey | Jul 23, 2011 | Reply

  131. Bluey, You obviously haven’t been to Pattaya much…there most definitely aren’t scams everywhere or criminals and Pattaya is far from the areshole of Thailand.

    Talen | Jul 25, 2011 | Reply

  132. I have a hard time believing they would victimize a group of American’s this way. I think they would end up bleeding out of their mouth. They are rather small and weak looking, probably why they target Indians.

    oneirishpollack | Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

  133. @oneirishpollack,
    I’m a 6’2″ American (confident, fit, etc) and was involved in a similar scam with a moto-bike on the island of Koh Phanang. I called them out of their bullshit, and before I even thought it would escalate to violence, I got knifed in the face (just missed my eye). These guys dont give a shit if you european, american or asian. All they care about is money.

    Matt | Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

  134. I am 5’10″ and as mean as shit. I would poke their eyes out and bite their noses off. You on the other hand are the soft and weak lamb that the wolves love to corner. Go down like a man, with the intent of taking two lives for your own.

    oneirishpollack | Aug 8, 2011 | Reply

  135. oneirishpollock you have clearly never been to Thailand. these guys cannot be outnumbered, their rival renters will be by their side in a flash. however big and tough the falang weight of numbers will defeat him.
    Matt what u describe is a typical fight in LOS, when out of the blue it goes from near calm to WW 3 in an instant with the foreigner taken completely by the sneak sudden attack. stay away from the jet ski hire, it’s much safer.

    arch stanton | Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

  136. i had the same happen to me in thailand when i went to see my brother, and we had first hand proof this was going on coz i rented a ski to see if it happened,,and it did, but guess what they didn,t get a penny out of us. all the thai men and police are corrupt FULL STOP…

    bri | Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

  137. P.S HE HAS JUST BEEN STUNG FOR 70.000 ENGLISH POUND FROM BEEN IN A THAI RELATIONSHIP..dont be a mug thailand lovely country bad people..

    bri | Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

  138. Bri, There are bad people all over the world and not all Thai people are bad…besides it sounds like your brother was foolish with his money.

    Talen | Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

  139. Arch, truer words were never spoken…

    Talen | Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

  140. Oneirish…shit isn’t mean it just lays there and stinks…Don’t care how bad you think you are, even you can’t fend of 10-15 Thai men beating you with all manner of things or worse with knives and guns.

    Talen | Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

7 Trackback(s)

  1. Mar 4, 2011: from Followup to the Pattaya Jet Ski Scam | Thailand Land of Smiles
  2. Mar 11, 2011: from Pattaya Jet Ski Scams | Photography Of Thailand
  3. Mar 14, 2011: from Blogger prompts Pattaya Mayor’s jet ski scam investigation | Asian Correspondent
  4. Mar 17, 2011: from Jet Ski scammers taken-on by local ex-pat
  5. Mar 20, 2011: from NEXT 2 |
  6. Apr 20, 2011: from Family-friendly? The challenges facing Pattaya - - The Thailand Forum
  7. Jul 25, 2011: from Scams and dangers « Adventurizing

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