Dont get conned in Bali
Replies: 78 - Last Post: Jan 13, 2012 11:16 PM Last Post By: dougv
Jan 9, 2012 7:46 PM
30thanks for that, but Bali is still a wonderful place and we are planing another trip in easter, and this time i will be on Guard.
Jan 9, 2012 8:14 PM
Jan 9, 2012 8:27 PM
32Some further points to suggestions in #23. Keep any large amounts of cash/credit cards safely tucked away in your money belt. Have just enough small notes in your wallet to get you on your way if you get pulled over and it appears obvious that you are going to be shaken down. Hang on to your documents if you possibly can. Have photocopies on hand to show alongside the original. If this sounds a tad paranoid I know of a first timer to Bali who, when it came time to leave, had his passport consficated because he had "overstayed'. He hadn't but the immigration officer walked off with his passport only to return minutes before boarding closed claiming 'My boss says you must pay IDR 250,000." The guy paid up and got his passport back. To balance the ledger, last year I was riding in Praya, Lombok. Looking for an office I innocently went the wrong way down a one way. There were no signs and the traffic was very light at the time. A policeman on motorbike saw me and quickly pulled up alongside. He asked me where I wanted to go, then escorted me there. Upon parting he warned me to be careful in Praya because the signage was bad!
Jan 9, 2012 8:33 PM
33The money changer located in the post office in Ubud had a good reputation for honesty.
...not sure if it is still there?
Jan 9, 2012 8:44 PM
34#34 three years ago I had my credit card "skimmed" at an ATM in Jalan Legian. It was just before I returned home and, upon getting home, I did not use the card for a month or so. When I did try to withdraw $100 I got a receipt saying "Insufficient funds." I rang the bank to be told there was only $4 in the account. Over the preceeding 3 weeks multiple withdrawls had been made in Montreal. The account was drawn down to practically zero. Then a few days later inquiries were made at an ATM in Singapore. By this stage I had gone back to work and my salary had been paid into the account. So the withdrawls in Montreal began again. I managed to get my money ($5800) back after about a six week wait. Always cover your pin when entering it. Avoid ant ATMs that look as if the front has been tampered with, alert your bank as to where you are travelling how you will be using your card (ATMs/purchase airline tickets/pay a specific hotel bill whatever). Why do you think your bank fees are so high? Is it because thieves are stealing millions each day due to weak links in bank security which banks are not coming clean about.? My card was skimmed at an ATM in Jalan Legian. I wonder how many other people fell victim that day? - probably plenty.
Jan 9, 2012 8:48 PM
35@ post #32:
Steve, your assumption that I’m only “out there” with my Balinese wife is incorrect. The fact is she is tied up most days with taking the kids to school and collecting them later, as head of the women’s gamelan in our village, doing offerings and shopping at the markets, etc.
Please stop making assumptions about my life in Bali, as you know absolutely nothing about it.
I get to "play tourist" a lot, a whole lot as each year we get many visitors and friends who either stay with us at our new compound, or stay in our old house or a nearby hotel.
"So many of the victims who report here are foreign tourists who are alone when they are scammed or defrauded."
And many of the tourists that have reported scams here in the past have been proven to be scams themselves...on an agenda, OR, at the least, their accusations have been proven to be suspect.
Steve, I vividly recall that just over a year ago the message that followed each and every one of your posts used to read, “Indonesia is my favorite country.” Then it changed to “Indonesia is no longer my favorite country.” I also recall that I once asked you why the change, knowing full well that a trip over here hadn’t taken place in the intervening time.
You never answered that question. So, may I ask it again?
Jan 9, 2012 8:53 PM
36merantau's post @23 is the most worthwhile one on the thread; good, solid advice.
I've not heard of "fake" policemen targeting foreign tourists in Bali but there have been two cases in the last month of bogus policemen being caught extorting cash and valuables from local youths in Bali in the last few weeks, so sadly the concept is already out there, and all it will need is a scamster with the requisite language skills to carry it out.
The slightly surreal aspect of this thread, inadvertently highlighted by merantau's post, is that there seems to be an element of debate over whether the OP's claims are true - the large elephant on the thread being that if the people involved were real policemen, then nobody would be raising such questions!
But to echo merantau's comments, in my experience enough foreigners driving in Bali do commit offenses (lack of license being the commonest) that the local police generally do prefer to have at least some excuse for extracting a "fine".
I've been stopped dozens and dozens of times while biking in Bali. Only twice have I been fined - once for a genuinely imaginary offense (my passenger's helmet was "not standard", allegedly). The second time I actually had run a red light in Sanur.
Some people will tell you that when you're flagged down in these incidents you need to haggle, play dumb, put your foot down, demand to be taken to the police station etc. This is not true, and this is not how local people play it in their encounters with the police. The trick is to act like this has happened to you a million times before, and to move things along as quickly as possible. Brush off any requests for huge sums of money, make the exchange and get going.
Rp50,000 is absolutely enough, and if you act with assuredness, will see any policemen on their way...
But as I said before, the key point, in my experience, is that IF you do stick to the rules and DON'T commit any offenses, though you WILL be flagged down by the police from time to time, you probably won't get "fined".
And having either an international driving permit, or a temporary local license (any renter can help you get this), is the single most important thing you can do to avoid hassles from real police in Bali - and so it should be!
Jan 9, 2012 8:55 PM
37Yet another type of fraud - with ATM's.
The risks, scams, frauds, and dishonesty are everywhere that foreign tourists go on Bali.
Jan 9, 2012 8:58 PM
38"I've not heard of "fake" policemen targeting foreign tourists in Bali but there have been two cases in the last month of bogus policemen being caught extorting cash and valuables from local youths in Bali in the last few weeks,"
I missed that Tim. Where have you heard about this?
As for me, I’m not debating, or even suggesting that the OP’s claim is either untrue or untrue. What is fact is that it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of such a crime, and the tie into money changers.
Jan 9, 2012 9:02 PM
39I don't have the links immediately to hand, but it would have either been on Antara's Bali site, or on Media Indonesia (which has really decent Bali coverage, incidentally).
Jan 9, 2012 9:03 PM
40Steve, the ATM scam is old news and certainly not limited to Bali either as it was a problem in Jakarta and elsewhere...worldwide in fact. There was tons of news about that when it first raised it's ugly head, but the banks and the police have taken as many steps as possible to avoid that problem. There hasn't been an ATM scam story in the local press for a long time. There hasn't been one a recemt story I can recall on this forum either for that matter!
Relax Steve...go play a round of golf.
Tim, I'll have a look and ask around. On the surface it sounds crazy to me that a local Balinese (kid or otherwise) would fall prey to a fake cop. The chances are too good that a real one exists within their family and a quick call on their hand phone would resolve the issue very nicely!
Jan 9, 2012 9:20 PM
41I have no interest in getting in a MisterSteve-style tussle here, but I do have to say, TopengEmas, that your default position seems to be immediate skepticism towards any bad story coming out of Bali.
I'm certainly no Bali hater, and have poured plenty of scorn on those who take the likes of the "Bali Bollocks" sites at all seriously in my time. But I do have to say, as someone who pays an unusual amount of attention to local Indonesian-language media coverage of Bali, that there is rather a lot of bad stuff going on. What I find particularly disturbing is that crime in Bali seems to be rather more likely to be accompanied by violence than in many other parts of the country (this was borne out by the police' own end of year report, which declared that reported crimes had dropped in Bali in 2011 against 2010, but the level of violent crime had increased significantly)...
And then there's the drugs, of course. It may be simple cultural prejudice, but I'd certainly be happier to have high school kids dabbling in good old cannabis rather than crystal-meth, for crying out loud...
Jan 9, 2012 9:49 PM
42''There is rather a lot of bad stuff going on (on Bali)''. YES INDEED THERE IS, TIM.
''TopengEmas, your default position seems to be immediate skepticism towards any bad story coming out of Bali''. YES, INDEED, TIM.
Jan 9, 2012 10:08 PM
Jan 9, 2012 10:19 PM
44I have too many stories about corruption and attempted shakedowns by "police," immigration officers, airport police, in Indonesia (not just Bali) to take the effort to tell. Suffice to say I have never paid any bribes, I have often "acted dumb and eaten with both hands" and tried to communicate in my frustratingly terrible Indonesian or a language I make up on the spot in order to frustrate even the most persistent shakedown artists. Maybe I have just been luckier than others or just not worth all the effort it would take to get to try to make me understand what the shakedown artists want. Maybe it was my grey hair, acting ability or my wife's ability to cry at will or her fierce determination not to be ripped off; maybe all of the above in various combinations. it happens all over though. Fortunately no has has threatened me with a weapon.
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