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Australian media has pointed its finger at Thailand less as the Land of Smiles and more as the Land of Scams. And public enemy number are jet ski operators.
The claims come after Thai officials said it was a good idea to promote jet-skis as a sport.
News.com Australia said Tuesday that Thailand was one of six countries listed by the Aussie Foreign and Trade Ministry as having a problem with fraud and scams Manager Online reported.
The six are among the ten most visited places by Australian tourists abroad.
Topping the list of problems in the kingdom was the familiar jet-ski scam where unsuspecting tourists are hassled for imaginary damage to jet-skis after rental.
Also high up the list are credit card and ATM fraud and the purchase of overpriced gems and other fake goods.
The Australian ministry was quoted as saying that they receive many complaints about jet-ski operators in Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Pangan.
The news outlet said that this kind of con was very dangerous as victims would come face to face with gangs. Many people had been threatened with physical violence.
The ministry recommends that people renting take a picture of the jet-ski beforehand to help with any possible trouble.
The other countries in the top ten visited nations where Australians were being conned the most were Indonesia, China, Singapore, Fiji and India, news.com said, saying that in all these countries unscrupulous people preyed on tourists’ lack of local knowledge.
Last week Thailand’s own ministry for tourism and sports suggested that the upcoming Jet-ski World Cup in Pattaya was a great way to highlight the attractions of the resort.