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How to avoid getting bitten by the Jet Ski Scam

The Jet Ski Scam in Thailand is an oldie to Thailand, most people have heard about it, a lot of people have been stung by the scam as well.The scam is most often played in resort cities of Phuket, Pattaya Beach, and Jomtien, though there is evidence by local expats that the scam also goes on in the Thai beach resort towns of Hua Hin as well.

How the Jet Ski Scam Works

Firstly what happens is you'll go to the beach and they have jet ski's you can rent, you haggle over a price but typical prices are about 500 baht for half an hour. Most people believe the scam involves charging foreigners way more than the 500 baht for half an hour but it's not. You'll take the Jet Ski out for a spin in the water and have a great time. You get back to the beach and then the owner of the Jet Ski claims that you damaged the Jet Ski, either it doesn't work, makes a noise or there is actual physical damage to the Jet Ski. He say's you are liable for the fixes and you have to pay him then and now or he'll call the police. In fact he can call the police and in the end you'll have to pay the owner.

How to Avoid getting ripped off by the Jet Ski Scam

It amazes me that people get ripped off by the Jet Ski Scam in Thailand because it's pretty simple to avoid. If you've ever rented a car in your own country before you'll know that you have to do an inspection on the vehicle before you can take out the car. This protects both parties, the owner so he doesn't have to pay for damage and the person renting the vehicle so he doesn't have to pay for damages that were pre-existing. In most cases in Thailand when you rent a motorbike or you rent a Jet Ski you don't enter into that sort of contract. And because there is no contract typically the vehicle owner is always right. It sucks but it's the truth. But the answer is simpler than you realise, all you need to do to avoid getting ripped off by the Jet Ski scam is to take photo's of the Jet Ski before you take it out, there is your evidence and if the police are called. Theoretically you could do this afterwards though don't go lying to the police because if you get caught lying they will lock you up for making their life difficult.

What the following video which exposes the entire Jet Ski scam in Pattaya.

So you heard it here, how to avoid getting done by the Jet Ski scam, if you have any information about how else people can get scammed by renting please let me know.

Disclaimer: Even though I've pointed out ways to avoid the Jet Ski scam there is still no way to determine if you will or will not get scammed. Always take caution and only use the methods described here as a guide to avoiding the scam.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

4 Responses to How to avoid getting bitten by the Jet Ski Scam

  1. Paul January 7, 2016 at 9:18 am #

    Not that I’ve been shafted but I’ve heard it is possible that they have preexisting hull damage that is “repaired” with water soluble filler that falls off with use so what you photographed before using wont look the same after.

  2. Eoin February 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    Happens everywhere in Thailand.
    Happened 3 french guys on chaweng beach koh samui. They had to pay 46k b for no damage.

    Happened to me in koh tao renting a scooter.

    Unless you have 20k b to spare don’t rent anything in Thailand.


  3. John Lee August 27, 2017 at 11:05 am #

    I see that there some rental agencies who claim they are fully insured.
    How about renting only if rental owner is fully insured ?

  4. sergio October 7, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

    Your tip is useless, they use something to cover the damage but it comes off once you are in the water. The best tip is DO NOT RENT A JET SKI in Thailand do it where the people are honest amd the police isn’t corrupt.

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