There are cheaters in almost every traveling spots and Pattaya is not an exception. Although Thai locals are very friendly and hospitable, you still can be cheated if you are not cautious. Here are some common Pattaya scams that you might need to be warned about.
1. Jet ski scam
We all find the jet ski very interesting and it even gets more exciting to drive a jet ski on one of many amazing beaches of Pattaya. This experience might be very adventurous. Though, you need to be aware when renting a jet ski to drive if you don’t want to be fooled.
Once you rent a jet ski, the renter will make you sign some papers that say you will take responsibility for any damage happened to their jet ski. After having fun driving jet ski on the water, you bring it back and that’s when the trouble comes out. The renter will accuse you of making some damages on the jet ski and force you to compensate. The price for renting is only about 600 Baht but the damages need 5000 Baht to be fixed. This is one of many rip-offs in Pattaya that have cost innocent tourists a lot of money.
One way to prevent this trouble is to take photos of all visible damages and show them to the renter driving the jet ski. These pictures will be proofs showing that the damages already existed before you lay your hands on them, hence the renters can’t intentionally put the blame on you. Another good precaution is to find some reputable and official organizations for safely rental and avoid being tricked while relaxing on a holiday.
2. Adult show scam
Don’t believe any invitation that says you can enjoy a free adult show while enjoying a drink at only 100 Baht in Pattaya. Cheap as it may seem, you will be shocked upon seeing a bill that costs a thousand bath and the owner of the show will say that they don’t know whoever introduced you and the show is not free as you were told. If you go alone, it can get more serious since they may use force to make you pay the bill. Hance, better find yourself some healthy entertainment as Pattaya has a lot things to offer.
3. Pickpocket by groups of friends
This can happen at any crowded places such as stations, bus stops, busy streets, markets and many other places. The thieves act very fast and might already get far away with your stuffs before you realize yourself being robbed.
Be careful with any strangers who hang out as a group of friends on the street and try to approach you in an uncomfortable way. They may make you feel very annoying and want to get away as far as possible, but it’s the time you manage to do that you get to know your valuable things kept in your bag are stolen at the same time those people approach you.
Therefore, remember to keep an eye on your property while being at crowded places and try not to bring along expensive stuffs or too much cash that can catch the attention of the thieves.
In case you are unaware and are pickpocketed, you should call the local police or go to the nearest police station for some help. 4
4. Changing money scam
The best way is to change money in Pattaya is at the bank. Otherwise, there are chances that you may be tricked and receive less money than you are supposed to have. For instance, when giving 1000 Baht to a shopkeeper for smaller changes, you may end up receiving a change for 500 Baht instead. Something that you can do as a precaution is to hold up the 1000 Baht note and get the exchanger to acknowledge that it is a 1000 Baht, not 500 Baht. An even easier way is to carry smaller notes when you are out drinking.
A similar situation can also happen at the market. Sometimes the vendors can spot that you are not accustomed to using Thai Baht and take advantage of that to do some tricks. Hence, make sure you know well about the currency of Thailand before going shopping.
5. Pattaya bar girls
This is probably one of the most heart-breaking scams in Pattaya. Foreign gentlemen hang out at the bars to have fun might be approached by some beautiful girls with the innocent look and fall for her quickly. Interestingly, all these girls have sad stories about their lives to tell you or some fun stories that give them the opportunity to trick your money. This fact might be tough for the men with a crush on a pretty woman to accept, but be careful gentlemen! You can’t trust every word those girls say and don’t simply follow your heart because those bar girls may only follow you for your money!
6. Motorbike scam
It is much alike the jet ski scam. You can face the same trouble when renting a motorcycle and end up being forced to make a compensation for damages you don’t cause. Be careful and find a trustworthy agent for this service.
7. Bill padding
This scam often happens in the bar. In most bars of Pattaya, they have a check bin system that shows how much you have to pay by placing bits of paper in a small cup to record the drinks you order. When you are drunk enough to be unaware of the bin, the bartender or the server will slip in extra drinks that cost you a huge amount of money. As a result, you will receive a costly bill and have to pay it anyway.
To avoid this to happen, don’t over-drink and keep the bin in sight so that bartenders can’t have a chance to slip in more drinks and exaggerate the amount. Be wide awake, check your bin regularly and make a clear message to the cheaters that you know their trick.
8. Gemstone scam
Some tuk tuk drivers in Pattaya can co-operate with the gemstone store owners and trick you to buy one of their best gems which are said to bring you luck. Even worse, they may lure you to buy in bulk to sell them at your home country at higher prices to make big fortune. Stay away from it if you don’t know much about gems as you may end up being fooled no matter how much you pay for them.
9. The “freeing the birds” scam
People visiting Wat Phra Yai temple in Pattaya might notice some sparrows locked in wooden cages for sale. Some people will buy them and release them after they hear that it is a Buddhist ritual that release an animal can bring good luck. Unfortunately, the birds are put behind the bars for so long that they are not strong enough to fly far and the seller can easily recapture and sell them to other customers.
Therefore, buying a bird literally means encouraging those sellers to exploit the birds and making them suffer. All things considered, I think visitors should better say no to this kind of practise.