Beware of This Motorbike Rental SCAM in Thailand – Video

Beware of This Motorbike Rental SCAM in Thailand – Video

I was recently in Thailand and experienced a motorbike rental scam on the island of Ko Phangan. In this video, I walk through a mystery city while telling the story of the scam I encountered. I rented a motorbike for my time on Ko Phangan and when I returned it, I was charged an exorbitant amount for some minor scratches on the bike. I share my experience, including the initial rental process and the deposit I left, as well as how I used a trick with an old passport to avoid leaving my valid passport as collateral for the rental. The situation turned out to be a major hassle, but it’s important to be aware of potential scams while traveling. If you’re planning a budget travel trip, my guidebook “Gabe’s Guide to Budget Travel” is packed with practical travel info. For more information, check out my Amazon page. And remember to stay safe and vigilant while traveling. Thank you for watching!

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Video Transcript

[Applause] [Applause] [Applause] Hey there good afternoon so where am I I am not going to tell you feel free to guess down below there will be various hints along the way including the language what is going on with this I think this isn’t going to be an easy one to guess for most

People but uh if you have been here of course you will know I’m sure that a few people will get it right so the reason that I am not telling you where I am now is because as many of you will know I was just in

Thailand a few days ago I flew from kosui Island to Bangkok stayed there for the night and then caught a flight the next day here now in that video I decided to keep it a mystery where I was going and then yesterday I filmed two videos exploring around this city but I

Decided that I wanted to post this video after the Thailand series before the other videos because this video is about my last day in Thailand so the other videos will be coming soon so as you can see in the title scam in Thailand now I am not going to

Proclaim that this was 100% a scam the reason is because the motorbike that I returned did have some scratches on it but the scam part is how much they tried to charge me for that so I will get to that in a few minutes need to set things

Up I was on Copan Island a few days ago stayed there for 4 days rented a motorbike for the whole time and then at the end of my uh time there I had to return it and then catch a boat over to kosui but

First I want to go back to when I got the motorbike so I took a ferry from Kau to Copan arrive at the pier on Copan and there is somebody standing there with a sign motorbike for rent I walk up to them ask the price 300 tybot

That is about $88.50 I say okay great let’s do it and they say hop on this bike bike hello and we’ll go get the bike that I will be renting so I hop on the back of this uh other motorbike with my luggage and everything and we drive a few minutes

Away and then go to this kind of out of thee way house it’s like a really local like kind of a shack that is back behind this line of other shops nothing seemed suspicious about it at all they were just running their motorbike rental business out of their

Home and they parked the bikes there and so we sort of go down this little path and then get to their home in the back there and then uh there is the bike waiting there it is really new looking and so I uh ask about the passport

Situation do I have to leave my passport or can I leave a deposit on kotow island then I was able to leave a deposit of 5,000 bot about30 $140 instead of leaving my passport but on Copan or at least at this place and she said elsewhere as

Well then you have to leave your passport period and you need a bike to get around you can’t you know rely on taxis or whatever it was essential so I had to leave my passport but I have two valid passports so I take out my other passport now the

Deal with the two valid passports for those who know that I was born in Canada I am a Canadian citizen no I do not have a valid Canadian passport I got one way back in 1999 it was only valid for 5 years and expired in 2004

So that is not the passport that I am referring to instead in 2014 I got a new US Passport valid for 10 years but I made a little mistake in that I didn’t get the larger booklet you can get the regular passport or you can get the passport with twice as many

Pages 50 pages and so what happened with that passport is that I filled it up in I think 4 years and so I renewed that passport it’s valid through 2024 so it is still a valid passport they didn’t punch the holes in it like they do normally when you send

In your old passport and so I got a new passport in 2018 which is the one that I’m traveling with and so I travel with the other passport because my Indian visa is in there I have a 10-year Indian visa valid for 10 years you can use it for 6 months at a

Time and so previously then I had tried to do the little trick of of giving places demanding a passport for deposit giving them my older passport that I didn’t actually use to enter the country but I don’t think that it had ever worked in the past because they

Start flipping through the pages looking for the stamp for when you enter the country that I’m in and once they do that then you have to say well the stamp is in my other passport and then give it to them I tried that this time and it worked I gave her the old

Passport she didn’t look through it for the stamp she hides it away somewhere and so I’m stoked that I have my valid passport and that is less of a stress in case anything goes wrong which turned out to be very irrelevant with what happened later so I uh take off with the bike

Enjoy Copan for 4 days return 4 days later all packed up with all my stuff with just enough time to return the bike and then walk over or get a ride with them or whatever over to the pier and catch a boat to co I to then catch my

Flight the next day to Bangkok so I drive down that little Trail to their house and as I’m approaching then I see the lady sitting there and as I am driving in she like zeros in on the bike right away like before I stopped or anything and she’s like really focused

In on the bike and then I park it and she’s like looking all over the place and she’s like pointing to some scratches which I hadn’t even noticed I had never had any accident didn’t drop the bike didn’t scrape it as far as I knew against anything there had

Been no problems on my part but then she’s like going all over it and pointing at this and pointing at that and looking at like the edges where I can’t see anything and she’s saying like basically you scratch the bike and then she pulls out this uh sheet that has an image

Of the motorbike with numbers and stuff and it is basically saying how much a person has to pay if they damage a certain part of the bike so she points at one of the numbers and it says 3,200 3,200 bot that is $90 so she’s

Asking me to pay $90 because of a couple of scratches these scratches were like this long like this wide there was like two of them which I wasn’t even sure if they had been there before or not so an important tip when renting motorbikes cars Etc is take a video of

It going around showing the condition of the vehicle now I had done this when I had rented the bike in kotow I thought that I hadn’t done this when I rented the bike there on Copan so I didn’t think about checking the video that could have been on my phone

Partly it was just kind of a chaotic situation but as it turns out that video wouldn’t have helped me so it turns out I did actually make a video of the bike there on Copan which I found out later let’s head down this way when I saw it on my phone so I’m

Going to uh show the video now [Applause] [Applause] looks good it looks new so as you can see it is in very good condition and I even say in the video it looks new and I couldn’t see those scratches that were on the bike when I returned it so

Somehow it does seem that the bike got scratched Now parking a motorbike on Copan island or in Thailand in general they are not like this ooh got a little street Art so they Park them parallel all up next to each other very close and then when you tip the bike over to you know put it on the uh the stand you know it leans over then it can kind of rub up against another bike and so that is the only thing that

I can think of that uh might have caused this or who knows you know while it was parked there what somebody else might have accidentally done but anyways very very minor little scratches she was kind of pointing down at the bottom of the bike as well acting like

Well it looks like it you know fell over or was scraped all along the side or something and I just didn’t see anything there at all the only thing that was clear was these two little scratches this is why I’m not saying 100% this was a scam because there was

Some minor damage to the bike and she wanted 100 bucks now for those saying okay so what’s the big deal just pay the 100 bucks you know you damage the bike so all motorbikes that you rent in Thailand are going to have scratches on them like they all have scratches on it

That is just what happens you can look at this one you know scratch there this is like basically what it was it was like something like that I mean barely noticeable that is normal wear and tear and then the amount that she was asking for

Was kind of crazy so let’s do a little math on this because keep in mind this is Thailand not France or Canada or the United States or Australia it is Thailand where things are very cheap so the motorbike rental was 300 bot or $8.50 a day she wanted 3,200 bot which is $9

Us so basically she was asking me for 10 days worth of rental in comparison to how much it cost to rent the bike now I looked online I was curious like how much is a motorbike to rent in the United States so I looked online and found somewhere in I think it was

Miami and the motorbikes were 85 bucks a day and I’m not sure if that is the final price probably not I’m sure you can find motorbikes to rent somewhere in the United States for less than that but that’s what I found online so let’s just go with $85

Even 10 days rental is what she was asking me for to cover the cost of those scratches so do $85 by1 if I was in the United States I rent a bike for 85 bucks and then brought it back there’s a couple of scratches on it and they say

Okay you need to pay $850 when you put it in that perspective you realize how outrageous it is to ask for that much money for a couple of scratches and so basically I got in an argument with her I mean started off you know fairly calm just saying like you

Can just paint over keep in mind that uh you know her English is a little bit but not great you can just uh you know a little black paint will cover that up you know and cost you a couple cents and then she calls somebody and starts talking on the phone with them

And Tai and a few minutes later a guy shows up on a motorbike and pulls in there and this was probably who she was talking with and he’s kind of serious again limited English but then he’s saying like no I can’t just paint it I have to replace

The whole panel and so that’s why it’s going to cost 3,200 V okay let’s try to go inside here another uh clue here with the language look at that like there’s that and then there’s that now I know what language that is but not going to tell you and

So I am feeling like you know I’m fully being scammed ripped off taken advantage of and getting more and more frustrated about the thing especially considering that I have a boat to catch I don’t have time to be you know dealing with this situation if they wanted like 15 bucks okay fine

And so I offer like 500 bot and they aren’t going to go for that and then I say a thousand basically I got a little pissed off there shall we say and finally they come back and say 1,500 that is $42 us and so at that

Point I just say okay fine take it I have the uh bot in cash give it to them and then the lady says like do you want to ride over to the pier basically and I say no I’m out of here and I just walk out of there

They hand me my passport of course so I could have just you know left because as I said they didn’t have my passport that I needed to leave the country but that passport had has my Indian visa in it and it is still valid for another I forget at

Least a number of years anyways I forget but uh that is worth a lot more than $42 plus the hassle of having to leave my passport at an embassy and wait for it to come back Etc and then also just the passport has uh sentimental value it is a you know

Souvenir essentially of my travels I have all of my passports that I have gotten in the course of all of my travels then it would be a shame for one to be missing so it was worth paying the 42 bucks and also just to fully clear the

Situation if I just said screw you guys and walked out of there leaving the passport with them and not paying them anything then they might have gone to the police in fact they probably would have now the police would have looked to the passport and not found a

Stamp but still it has my name my birth date they could have filed a report and then I go to leave Thailand and I get flagged and they say okay you have a different passport number but same name you look the same same birth date you’re the guy so I could have still

Gotten you know pegged for that so you know 42 bucks is annoying but that is far from a big deal and fully worth uh resolving that and being able to get out of there not having something big to stress about being stopped trying to leave questioned by authorities possibly missing that

Flight Etc so that’s what happened and I’ll leave it up to you guys to uh tell me what do you think was that a full-on scam or you know a fair price to pay for some scratches on a motorbike in Thailand let me know what you think all right that is

It for this video and that is it for this trip more than 8 months of traveling to 22 or 23 countries I just booked a flight today flying back to the United States it was a tough decision because I will just tell you where I have a flight book to from

Here tonight in a few hours Manila Philippines I was seriously thinking of going to borai even though I know it’s super touristy but uh never seen it and it would have been nice to have spent 5 days or whatever just lounging on the beach there and uh catching up with the videos

That I now have to edit from here but I’m just done I just want to get back to the US I have things to do there and looking at the flight situation getting to Manila Philippines from there it’s a flight to orai from then aight flight back to Min and then

More flights to get back to the US I’m you know headed that direction I’ve been headed that direction for a while it was just a matter of where I was going to stop along the way and so it was a really tough one to decide to skip borai

But I just decided I’m ready to finish this trip so my flight tomorrow I’m taking the flight today to Manila from here a couple hours and then I have a flight in the morning back to Portland Oregon where I started this trip back in May and then I have plans in place for

What I’m doing from there so that is the end of the trip but not the end of the videos they’re actually let’s see I think four videos coming next about getting here and then exploring this very interesting City here a nice Square let’s finish it off with uh

Oh this actually might be a temple that I wanted to uh see look at this so a uh great way to end this video okay I can’t show you that sign right there because it has the name of the city all right let’s uh walk in Here wow really really interesting look at this carving on this Rock it appears to be a ship yeah definitely Fore All right that is all for now more coming from wherever I Am H

Video “Watch Out For This SCAM in Thailand (Motorbike Rental)” was uploaded on 01/21/2024. Watch all the latest Videos by Gabriel Traveler on Gretopia