Top 10 most common scams in Pattaya

Pattaya is known for being one of the most famous resort towns in Thailand. When talking about Pattaya, one cannot avoid talking about its charming endless beaches, its sleepless night streets, and the sexy ladies of the walking streets. However, these scams below can totally ruin your experience while in the pearl of Pattaya Bay. So let’s arm yourself with knowledge and get ready for the best time of your life.

1. Jet Ski Scam


There are a lot of jet ski rentals throughout the beaches in Pattaya. The moment you see it, you will most likely want to jump on the nearest one and experience the freedom for yourself, especially given a reasonable price. However, before you rent one, you’ll have to sign a paper that makes you liable for any damage that happens to the jet ski. Most of the time, when you bring back the jet ski, it will have more damage than before and they will force you to pay a ridiculous fine. What to do: Always record or photograph all visible damages prior to renting the vehicle. Make them note the previous damage on the rental notice and sign it.

2. Extra Bills Scam

Flick: Richard

You decided to get couples of cold beers in a bar by the beach of Pattaya. Usually in Pattaya, the bill for each beverage is put in a small bucket by your table. As the night progresses, your bucket will be fill up with bills. The moment you do not pay attention, they will then insert bills that you didn’t even order in hoping that you would still end up paying the full amount. Sometimes, they will also have this trick while giving out change. For example, your bill is 70 baht and you give them a 200 baht bill expecting 130 back, but instead only get 30 baht back. What to do: Always pay upfront for your drinks and ask to remove the bucket from your table. When you are going to pay for your order, making sure to use smaller bills and count it in front of them.

3. Bird Release/Bird Food Scam

scam in pattaya
Flick: Shankar

In some of the temples in Pattaya, you have the option to buy birds in order release them. It is often the case that these birds are already weak, and will be caught again anyway. Sometimes, they will force bird food in your hand so that you can feed the birds. Once they are done with it, they will the demand a ridiculous amount of money. What to do: Refuse to participate and straight out reject if they keep pushing it.

4. Taxi Scam


Taxi drivers will ask you to pay upfront for your trip instead of using the meter, charge fee for your luggage, or claim that they don’t have change. What to do: Don’t use their services and threaten to call tourist police.

5. The Gem Stone Scam

pattaya scam
Flickr: Deidre Woollard

The store owner and the tuk tuk driver work together to lure you into their shop. Once you are inside, they will claim that they are running a promotion for 30% off their wholesale price on their “finest gems”. They will even tell you that you can make quite a good fortune by selling these gems at your home country. There are also going to be people pretending to be tourists buying these gems. What to do: Get out of those shops as fast as you can.

6. Tuk Tuk Scam

pattaya scams
Flickr: Colin Tsoi

A Tuk Tuk driver will give you a super low price but instead take you to one of their setup shops rather than your asked designation. Some of these shops can go as far as locking you inside until you buy something at an outrageous price. They can also drive you to one of the travel agency where you can be tricked into buying fake booking of hotel and bus tickets. Some will drop you in the middle of nowhere or out of town and demand more money or they will not take you back. What to do: Avoid Tuk Tuk at all cost.

7. Motorbike Scam

scams in pattaya
Flickr: Michael Kafka

They use the same damage liability trick as the jetskis mentioned above. In addition, they might give you a lock to use. However, once you park motorbike, they can track you down and have someone to open the lock using their key and steal it. What to do: Use your own lock, don’t use your passport as collateral but opt for a disposable ID or old passport.

8. Dating Scam

Flickr: clayirving

You are approached by a local girls and invited to a nearby café. By the time the bill comes, your date is long gone and leaves you with a ridiculous amount to pay. What to do: Sadly, you will have to be careful with overly friendly locals and don’t accept any invitation to any place.

9. Fake Money Scam

Flickr: Manuel Menal

The store owner gets your money and gives you a different note claiming that your note is fake. If you follow through with it, you will end up losing your money! What to do: Again, try to use smaller notes whenever possible. Never let anyone hold on to your money or better yet, take a picture with the serial number of your bigger note.

10. Laundry Scam


Your expensive items can go missing or they will intentionally rip your clothes and ask you for money to repair. What to do: Do the laundry yourself by packing light with synthetic clothes or go with provided laundry service within your hotel.