Common Scams to Avoid in Pattaya

If you are planning to take a holiday to Pattaya and rent a short term property then you have to be careful of the various scams which target tourists. Ensuring you are aware of what can happen out on the streets is the best way to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of such a scam. Thailand is known as the land of smiles due the people being of a very friendly nature but unfortunately, when tourists are involved there is the nature for some people to want to take advantage of the situation. Let’s take a look at some of the common scams to avoid in Pattaya.

Renting a Jet ski
When renting a jet ski in Pattaya, everything may be sunny and the people may seem friendly when you initially show your interest. Take the jet ski out on the water and enjoy the time you have with it. It’s super fun and enjoyable right? Well, when you get back to dry land things may change quite dramatically. There are some people who will take advantage of the situation and claim that you have made some damage to the jet ski. This damage may have been there before (most likely) and will generally be only aesthetic.

If someone says you have damaged something then you are really in a position of arguing back or asking how much they want for the compensation. If you argue back then it is likely that they will use intimidation tactics and become aggressive and rather confrontational. It is also sometimes the case that they will threaten to call the police. The police will end up siding with the local operator and it will become more expensive for you. The best thing you can do if it gets to this stage is to negotiate a price, try and cut the price in half and pay and get away as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer and the best thing you can do if you are planning a trip to Pattaya is to avoid the jet ski rentals altogether.

Ringing a Bell in a Bar
You may think that this is quite trivial but in most cultures you would not think anything of it right? It appears that Thailand on the other hand takes bell ringing quite seriously. There is a custom that if you are the one to ring a bell in a bar then you will have to buy everyone in the bar a drink. Now if you are in a packed out bar then this can become quite an expensive experience. Bell ringing is taken quite seriously as earlier stated. If you ring the bell and then refuse to buy drinks for everyone you may find yourself in a spot of bother.

There have even been reports of people that have rung a bell in a bar without realizing the nature of what they have agreed to and then tried to backtrack out of it for the staff to become aggressive and even get the police involved. Of course, the police decide to side with the locals and say it is illegal to ring a bell and not buy drinks for everyone in the bar. To save yourself some bother, if you do see a bell in a bar and find it tempting to ring it, think of your wallet and heck, if you want to be the big man, go ahead and do it! If you don’t have plans for philanthropy and over the top generosity, best to ignore it!

Currency Tricks
Something which is becoming more regular is another foreigner will come up to you and want to see your wallet and your money because they have just arrived and they do not have any local money and are not sure how it looks like. Of course, your first nature when someone stops you wanting to help is hopefully to try and help them but when money is involved it is important to be cautious. If someone wants you to get out your wallet then you need to be super careful as anything could end up happening.

This trick is all about distraction and sleight of hand. You will end up losing some money if you go along with it and you may not even notice how it has disappeared. Best way to avoid this situation is to tell the person to go to a money changer or an ATM and withdraw some cash and then they will know what it looks like. We are all busy people so spending your time to end up being scammed is not a good way to spend your time.

Transport Prices
If you are fresh in Pattaya then you may not know how the transport systems work. There are taxis which will not use the meter so you need to agree a price with them before you get in. These taxis are a lot more expensive than Bangkok taxis so expect to spend over 100 baht per ride. Of course, because the taxi drivers are making prices up on the spot, feel free to bargain with them. If you do not and they sense you are fresh in the city then they will try and get an extortionate fee from you. Be aware of this.

There are also pickup trucks which act as buses in Pattaya. If you are seasoned in the art of these, you will know the routes they go and simply jump on and off and give the driver like 10 baht when you leave. If you are not seasoned then they may think that you want to hire them for a private trip. If this is the case then you may end up spending a lot more than just 10 baht for the ride and you are at the mercy of the driver to negotiate the rate. Remember, they will always go for a high price so try to half it!

If it sounds to good to be true…
Remember to have your wits about you and remember the common adage that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. There are ways to minimise your chance of getting scammed and being sensible and aware of your surroundings is one of the ways that you can do this. If you get money out then you need to know what you are getting for the money. If you find yourself with getting money out of your pocket and not knowing then that is a reason to walk away!

Thailand can be a lovely place and Pattaya is also a great place to spend some time. If you are staying in a vacation rental then you can experience things like a local would. Short term rentals are great for this. If you are looking to invest in property then Pattaya can be a good choice as it gets a steady flow of tourists year found who are looking for places to stay. If you are not there to manage the property then it is worth looking at companies which may be able to offer you help such as Roomfilla!