I have been reading Pattaya Mail for 12 years now and this is the first letter that I have felt the need to write in order to bring to the attention of everyone, an outright scam that takes place everyday on Pattaya Beach.
The scam is engineered by some jet ski operators, particularly in front of Mike Shopping Mall.
The scam works like this: A tourist will hire a jet ski for half an hour or so, returns the jet ski to the people hiring them out. These people, who form a group, then point out that the jet ski has been damaged. The damage is already existing and now the scam is pulled.
The tourist will obviously try to argue their case that they have not damaged the equipment not knowing if they have or not. Things turn for the worse now as more of the scam artists appear and intimidate the tourist. I have personally seen a jet ski operator physically attack a tourist who was not having anything to do with their daylight robbery.
Whilst a fee is being negotiated, a tourist police officer will turn up. It seems to be the same officer that attends the scam. He also enters into the negotiation and the tourist, who is in a foreign country after all, feels that they have no choice other than to pay up.
It is very obvious that this particular policeman is in on the scam; this is very concerning. As I believe, the police force is more of a business than a service, but to target tourists is very shameful. Further details of the scam can be followed on Thai Visa Forum through this link.
Ed’s Note: As sad as it is, the best solution for the time being is to warn all tourists: do not rent jet skis. Aside from the well documented scams, they are dangerous to both rider and anyone happening to be swimming in the area. One wonders how many more deaths need to be recorded, and tourists fleeced before City Hall passes an ordinance to ban them from the beaches here.