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Bali dancer in traditional dress.

Bali Scams and How You Can Avoid Them

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Bali Scams are prevalent on all of the islands. Here is how you can avoid the Big 5 Scams that are used on tourists daily.

Picture of a store in Bali

If you're on a trip to Indonesia, will be going to visit Bali, aren't you? The island is one of the most scenic places in Southeast Asia. Bali is popular for its volcanoes, beaches, greenery and coral reefs. But that's not it.

The island is also known for various infamous scams that tourists have to deal with. You will usually meet ‘hospitable' people who are going to try to take advantage of you without your knowledge. Some of the most popular scams you must avoid as a tourist in Bali we list in detail below

You Will Need A Great Place to Stay

1. Bali Scams: Free Surveys

Beware of locals who will approach you when you're taking a stroll on the streets. They usually represent themselves as students working their way through school. They talk as if they've known you for a long time. This is the most common Bali Scam.

Everything seems hunky-dory until they ask you to fill out a short survey. You will give some simple non-threatening details of your stay. Usually name, phone number, email, hotel name, and room number. They claim that the survey is for their college project.

Later you will receive a call telling that you have won some sort of prize. To claim the prize you have to attend a free lunch/dinner at a hotel. After they drive you to the location you learn you need to listen to some after-meal presentation and take a tour of that hotel.

The hotel they'll take you to will be in a far off place. Once they provide you with the free lunch/dinner, they ask you to buy some of their products. They are always expensive and if you refuse to buy, you'll be stuck at the hotel, no transportation and you won't even know where you are. You have to find your way back to your hotel by yourself. You may spend more time traveling back to your hotel than the cost of their product. Possibly you would have wasted most of your day and money on traveling.

2. The Bali Scams by Police

The police of Bali are notorious for stopping tourists for some extra bucks. They do this daily even though they've not done anything wrong. So if you are in such a situation, do not pull out your wallet. Instead, keep a 50k rupiah note and hand it over to the cops, as that'll do in most cases.

3. Bali Scam on Shoppers

You can be tricked into paying 10-30 times more than the original cost of the product. and you won't even know. $1 USD is equal to 10,000 rupiahs in Indonesia. Should you pay the shopkeepers in US dollars, they will not always give you your correct change. Don't shy away from asking the locals about the original price of the product. You should always have the local currency handy and not use money from your home. Don't fall for the common of all Bali Scams or you could lose a good bit of money.

4. The Bali Scams Taxi Style

Never agree with the cost of a ride beforehand. This is a quick way to pay far more than the usual rate. Make sure that the driver turns the meter on at the start and pay no extra bucks. Or else, travel in a taxi managed by a reputed company. I always use a site like Trip Advisor to look for the best taxis.

5. Currency Exchange Scam

As I mentioned earlier, $1 is 10k Indonesian rupiah. Some of the exchange centers offer very high exchange rates attract tourists. If you go to one of them, they tell that they only have 10,000 rupiahs and not any notes of higher value. When they count the number of 10,000 rupiah notes, they drop some notes below the counter. You won't see it since they will be inside the shop and you are usually outside.

If you provide a large amount of money for exchange, you cannot count the number of rupiahs. The number of notes will be way too high for your patience. Some of them even charge a commission of 10% to exchange currency. The best way to avoid this is to walk into a local bank where they have large notes and will not take advantage of you.

These are the most common Bali scams you are most likely to come across in Bali. To avoid being scammed, make sure you have some knowledge about all the scams that take place on the island. Read about how you can avoid those. The internet is full of information to study about every destination before visiting.

There are new kinds of traps made every day in every tourist destination. You can avoid most of them if you are aware of your surroundings and use a bit of your common sense. Never give out any of your details to anyone. Refuse to pay unnecessary money to anyone and don't be afraid if they bully you. You have the right to keep your money with you. Have a great tour.

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