There are quite a few different scams in Pattaya that you will need to be aware of before visiting this area of Thailand. The more informed you are about the different types of scams some people try to run, the better your chances will be of avoiding them altogether.
Since you are going to be on holiday, it’s important not to be overly worried or paranoid, but rather just cautious. As long as you use common sense and keep your wits about you, you should be fine.
Jet Ski Scam
This particular scam has gotten a lot of attention in the local Pattaya media as well as abroad. This scam starts when a foreigner hires a jet ski. When the foreigner returns the jet ski, it is checked for damage. The damage to the jet ski may or may not have been caused by the person who hired it. The person who rents out the jet ski demands that the person who hired it pay a ridiculous amount to cover the “damages.” The person who hired the jet ski might even be threatened physically or intimidated into paying the fee.
The hirer will most likely not be able to contact the police, because the business owner will not let them. If you are planning on hiring a jet ski while you are in Thailand, it is very important to be aware of this scam. It’s really not worth the risk, so you should avoid doing this altogether.
Another big problem in Pattaya is bill padding. Most of the bars in this area use a check bin system in which bits of paper are placed in a small cup that records all of the drinks you order and therefore how much you owe overall.
There are some bars and even ladies that will purposely slip additional drinks into your bin to increase the total amount you owe the bar. Many foreigners who go to these bars are surprised to learn just how much they owe when it comes time to pay their bill.
If you want to avoid this scam altogether, you can simply pay your bin with each drink that you order. This is the most effective way to avoid becoming the victim of bill padding.
1000 Baht becomes 500
When you visit Pattaya, you might not always receive the correct amount of change when paying for something. This is a fairly common scam, and it’s important that you are able to spot it. While you might not be used to counting out the change your receive from store clerks, it is something that you’ll need to make a point of doing while visiting this area.
It can be difficult to prove to the store clerk that you gave them 1000 Baht when they short you on the change, but you can always ask to speak to the manager. The problem might not get resolved, but it is still worth trying.
Long Time becomes Short Time
One scam that is fairly common in Pattaya is when a man pays for the affections of a woman for a long time, but they end up cutting the encounter short. Usually ladies who run this scam pretend they need to go check on their children or do something else that is very urgent. Since you obviously cannot hold them against their will, you have no choice but to get ripped off. Unfortunately this particular scam can be very difficult to avoid.
Time shares are definitely the most prevalent scam in all of Pattaya, so you will need to be wary of them altogether. If someone comes up to you with a clipboard talking about time shares, the best possible thing you can do is to just say “No thank you,” and walk away. Be polite when rejecting these offers, as you don’t want to offend anyone during your visit.
Foreigners on the Scam
You may think that foreigners are safe to associate with in Thailand. While in general this is true you still need to be a little wary as there are foreigners looking for victims in Pattaya. Be particularly careful if somebody contacts you via the internet eg through forums.
One scam that I have seen a number of times involves a foreigner approaching you on the street asking you where a particular hotel is. They come across very friendly but the question will eventually come. Usually it will be a line about losing his wallet and needs some money to get home. Just smile and at most say no thinks and just walk away.
Bus station scam
A good and cheap way of getting between Pattaya and Bangkok is by bus. There are many departures in either direction all day. When you get to the bus station you buy a ticket.
Recently there have been many reports of what seems an organised scam. When you pay for the ticket they will short change you by 100 or so Baht. Just be aware of this and count your change carefully in full view of the ticket seller. People who have done this have got the scammed money back with no arguments.
New Years Compulsory Ball Fee
If you are going to be in Pattaya for New Years check with the hotel if there is a compulsory ball fee. Some of the hotels do this. If your chosen hotel does this then try to find another