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Bali’s Money Changing Scam Strikes Tourists Again

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Bali tourists are being reminded of the protocols they must follow when exchanging cash in Bali.

While the authorities work to crack down on scam money changers, there is a sneaky trick that some scam changers will use any chance they get. 

Close up of Indonesian Rupiah IDR Cash Money in Hands.jpg

In the most recent case of money-changing fraud, a tourist holidaying in the Sanur area of Bali was caught out by an unscrupulous money changer.

In a video that has gone viral over the last few days, a conversation can be overheard in a money exchange kiosk in Sanur that is suspected to be an illegal outlet.

The female tourist is reported to have visited the money exchange kiosk inside the HoneyWhiskey Tailors in Sanur.

Moments after leaving the shop she realised she had been given too little cash in her exchange and sought assistance from her host.

Together, they returned to the shop. The tourists can be heard saying “Sorry, you give me one mil’ less, not enough. You give me four not five.”

The tourist’s host and the man recording the video can be heard scolding the money exchanger and telling her that she’s in the wrong.  

Deck Sotto, who shared the original video, wrote in the caption, “This video was sent to me by my friend Mr. Tako. The guest who stayed at his homestay exchanged some money in a money changer (which I believe is a wild money changer without permission), and the money received does not match the nominal agreed.”

“This is a dirty classic [trick] that seems to be ”protected” in Sanur, and it harms tourists and certainly tarnishes the tourism image.”

@retreats.w.jamij #stitch with @retreats.w.jamij #greenscreen ♬ original sound – ✨Jami J✨ Retreats + Travel

The scam happens quickly but is almost always the same. The tourists arrive with their foreign currency ready to exchange.

The teller counts the cash, calculates the exchange rate, and shows the tourist the amount on a calculator.

The teller then starts counting out the Indonesian Rupiah in front of the tourists, laying out the correct amount on the countertop. The tourist counts along and sees the correct amount of notes in front of them.

The teller then swipes all the notes back up and, for a split second, puts the notes out of sight, appearing to the untrained eye to be shuffling the notes into a neat order.

At this moment, the teller flicks onto the desk below as many notes as possible and hands the wad of cash back to the tourist.

Alternatively, the teller keeps the cash in sight of the customer but will try to drop a few notes from the back of the wad of cash just before they hand it over.

@nessieandbecca Replying to @mischa.__ check out BMC Money Changer! Not all Currency Exchange stalls are a scam, just always get into a havit of checking your loney before leahing anywhere. Sometimes its just the staff members that are scamming you. #exchangemoneyinbali #balicurrency #balirecommendations #balitips #howtoavoid #touristscams #baliscams #bali2023 ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

This is why tourists must always count the cash out again on the countertop before leaving the current exchange kiosk. A legitimate teller won’t be offended by this.

This is advice that should be followed at every currency exchange whether it appeared to be an informal or illegal cash exchange and even at the bank, airport or certified exchange spots. 


Tourists who suspect that they have been scammed should report the incident to the police or local pecalang immediately.

While it is advisable to do all currency exchanges at official changers like banks, there are legitimate money exchange shops in Bali.

Tourists should look for up-to-date licenses from the provincial or local agency government in sight of the kiosk counter. 


In the last few weeks, tourists in Bali have also been reminded to use only specific ATMs.

Although increasingly rare, some ATMs in Bali have been known to be tampered with and have had skimming devices added to them. 


Tourists are advised to only use ATMs that are directly connected to a bank and to avoid ATMs inside convenience stores in particular.

One way to check if an ATM has been fitted with a skimming device by a fraudster is to check the card reader.

If there is damage to the card reader slot, or it appears that there is an extra casing on the outside, do not use that ATM. 

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Thursday 18th of April 2024

Its the western tourists who have nothing better to do in life with empty life's and dealing with boredom and good currency rate have IGNORED the immoral behavior of Balinese and do not want to address it it their minds. People are not getting the BIG PICTURE, the taxi scams and money changing scams shows the deep immoral behavior of Balinese, since these two scams have the highest success rate, you get news when caught, otherwise, it would be similar with laundry, bike rental, hotel, airlines, they already are sneaking in with tourism tax.

Bali was always the land of scams for over 500 years when the original temple builders left, check out 1920s videos on Bali where they use Pura Tirtha Temple water literally as a Toilet


Sunday 21st of April 2024


Banteng kotoran lagi.


Thursday 18th of April 2024

have anyone seen the videos from 1920's, when Bali was a tribal land with locals using temples for bathing, cleaning in the morning and washing clothes? the original temple builders have long gone or killed off by the dutch, the local tribals occupied the lands and when tourism increased, they converted all these temples into money making machine.

the mindset is still tribalistic with no sense of morality or ethics, they DID NOT BUILD THE TEMPLES, it is a land of scams and will not change, it take 1000 years to imbibe sense of civil behavior and morality in a human.


Sunday 21st of April 2024


Banteng kotoran.

Wayan Bo

Wednesday 17th of April 2024 💰= perhaps a better investment 🤣


Wednesday 17th of April 2024

The temptation to easily rip tourists off is just too much for some. It happens all over.

Steve b

Wednesday 17th of April 2024

Yes the BMC computerised money board inside , it's just down the strip from sanur night food market never let me down over 20 years. BMC money changer or go into any bni,bca,mandiri banks you keep walking past