For the last few years, Thailand has been known for its jet ski scams. Reported about in news media all over the world, but particularly in the UK where many Brits are incensed that they’re being ripped off by Thai jet ski owners, the situation is now so bad that many foreigners now warn everyone — do not rent jet skis in Thailand.
The Thai jet ski scam is actually quite a simple one. A foreigner rents a jet ski in Pattaya or Phuket for an hour or two and goes off to have fun. When he returns the jet ski, the owner tells him it now has damage on it that it didn’t have before he rented it, and will often even produce photographs to prove it. Of course, the photographs have been photoshopped while the poor unsuspecting tourist is off having fun on his jet ski but now the Thai owner wants 40,000 baht ($1,300) to pay for the cost of the damage.
To make it worse, this is often done in an intimidating manner and with a group of Thai men hanging around looking threatening. If you say you’ll go to the police, they’ll often escalate the situation to frighten you even more.
Many foreign tourists that get scammed by jet ski owners in Thailand simply pay up just to avoid being harassed or threatened, as the owner will usually eventually drop the amount wanted until just a few hundred dollars is enough.
That’s why we, along with many other foreigners living in Thailand, now tell everyone we know do not rent jet skis in Thailand. Not unless you enjoy being scammed, that is.
If you want to see the Thai jet ski scam in action, watch this Thailand Undercover video showing it up close and personal.