Bali is one of the most visited islands in Indonesia. After the half-dead half-life period due to COVID-19, Bali is starting to arise, especially in the tourism sector. Unfortunately, reciprocal with economic and tourism development, the crime and scams that became the public secret in Bali are also starting to arise again. Here are some common scams that often happen in Bali and how to avoid them:
1. Local Taxi Mafia Public transportation is very limited in Bali; online transportation, such as Uber/Grab/Gojek, is also forbidden in some places in Bali. The objective of this rule is good in the first place, to embrace and encourage local transportation. But then, some individuals take advantage of this rule. Many drivers will ask for additional money or crazy price for one trip. To avoid getting scammed by the local taxi, you should research the average transportation cost for that area and be brave to bargain whenever the drivers charge you an extra amount.
2. Money Changer Mafia As one of the most visited destinations in Bali or South East Asia, Bali has many tourists, including foreigners. To help the trade transaction in Bali, Money Changers are available almost in every corner of Bali. Unfortunately, some slicks individuals see this as a money field for them. A typical money charger scam in Bali is to count your exchange IDR in front of you and, just before handing it over to your palm, a few notes using sleight of hand. To avoid this money changer mafia, you should observe the count. Then, ensure you re-count the money in front of the worker and agree that you got the correct amount. You should also be careful with choosing the money changer place; the best money changers will our a form noting the amount of foreign currency, the exchange rate, and the amount of IDR you will receive.
3. Room Renewal Scams One of the common scams in Bali and other places worldwide is fake photos/videos of the accommodation. Sometimes, when looking for a villa/hotel, you usually check the images from the website or other e-commerce sites. Of course, the pictures shown on the website or other online platforms must be of good quality and fascinating, but when you arrive at the place, all you get is an improper place full of defects. To avoid getting a fake property, you should check on the reviews first, check their website or other social media, and see how the previous guests reviewed the property.
4. Fake Trave/Villa Agent Another common scam in Bali is fake travel agents/villa agents. As staying in villas instead of hotels became a new trend in Bali, it triggered scammers to sneak into the market. There are many cases in which guests have paid the down payment or even full payment, and the booking never existed. You should check the property website, social media, and other platforms to avoid these scammers. Besides checking the property profile, you should also check the agent/management platforms. Check their record, reviews, and the people behind the management/agents. You may also check their bank account and phone number.
5. Phone Rober Last but not least, phone Robber has been the most common scam in Bali. Most of the time, the tourists riding on the road in Bali and playing on their phones while in the vehicle become the target of these robbers. To avoid this, you should watch your belongings while riding in Bali. Besides, driving and playing on phones are also unsafe because they can cause many more accidents.
However, the Indonesian and Balinese governments always work together to increase the security level in Bali. And as time goes by, those scams start to decrease. The tourism sector also pays significant attention to these issues aiming to give the best paradise experience for tourists and all people in Bali