AhFrom Chris, who saw this in a Reddit thread:
Thailand. They put water soluble paint on the bottom of the jet skis the tourists hire. It looks fine when you pick it up but then the paint comes off when your using it revealingly a bunch of scratches on the hull. When you return it they point to all the scratches, say you must have run over something, and keep your deposit.
The bottom gets painted again and they wait for the next sucker.
Different country, but that sounds exactly the same.
I don't think that's indicative of most people in Thailand (or anywhere else), but there are people everywhere who will seek every advantage, legal or not.