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5 of The Most Common Scams in Bali and How to Avoid Them

Updated 28 May 2024
How to avoid scams in Bali

Bali is a renowned paradise for travelers, offering stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. However, like any tourist destination, Bali is not immune to scams. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to avoid common scams and ensure a smooth, enjoyable vacation. Learn how to spot red flags, negotiate confidently, and choose reputable services, so you can focus on creating lasting memories in Bali and avoid any unwanted problems.

Common Scams in Bali and How to Avoid Them

1. Transportation Scams


Fake Taxis

In Bali, unmetered taxis or those with inflated fares are common scams. To avoid this, use reputable ride-sharing apps like Grab or Gojek. These apps provide transparent pricing and reliable service. Or alternatively you could consider hiring a driver in Bali

Motorbike Rental Scams

Before renting a motorbike, inspect it thoroughly for any pre-existing damage. Opt for reputable rental companies that provide helmets and proper insurance coverage to avoid unexpected costs or disputes later.

2. Money Exchange Scams


Shady Money Changers

Only exchange money at licensed money changers that display official rates. Count your money carefully before leaving the counter to ensure you receive the correct amount.

ATM Scams

Use ATMs located inside banks or reputable establishments. Avoid standalone ATMs on deserted streets, as they may be tampered with to steal your card details.

3. Shopping Scams


Overpriced Souvenirs

Haggling is customary in Bali. Research typical prices beforehand to have a good starting point for negotiations. Stay polite but firm during the bargaining process.

Fake Goods

Be cautious of luxury items offered at unusually low prices, as they are likely counterfeits. Purchase goods from reputable shops or boutiques to ensure authenticity.

4. Accommodation Scams


Fake Online Listings

Book accommodations through reputable platforms with secure payment methods. Double-check photos and reviews before booking to ensure legitimacy.

Hidden Fees

Read the fine print carefully before booking accommodation. Inquire about any additional charges for services or amenities that are advertised as “free.”

5. Other Common Scams


Friendship Scams

Be cautious of individuals who become overly friendly too quickly, especially if they ask for money or favors. Maintain a healthy level of scepticism and avoid disclosing personal or financial information.

Petty Theft

Keep an eye on your belongings, particularly in crowded areas like beaches and markets. Consider using a secure money belt or a crossbody bag for your valuables.

“Model Fees”

If approached to pay for photos taken without your permission, particularly at temples, politely decline and walk away. Do not feel obligated to pay for unsolicited photographs.

Fake Tickets

Purchase tickets for attractions or events only from authorized vendors or trusted online platforms to avoid falling victim to scams involving counterfeit tickets.

Travel Tips for Travelers to Avoid Scams in Bali

  • Learn Basic Bahasa Indonesia: Knowing a few basic phrases can help you avoid misunderstandings and negotiate more confidently.
  • Dress Modestly: Respect local customs by dressing modestly, especially when visiting temples. Make sure to mind the temple’s ettiquette
  • Be Polite but Firm: A polite yet firm demeanor can often deter scammers.
  • Trust Your Gut: If something feels off, it probably is. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

While Bali offers unparalleled beauty and adventure, it’s essential to remain vigilant against potential scams that can ruin your experience. By arming yourself with the knowledge outlined in this guide, you’ll be empowered to navigate Bali’s vibrant landscape confidently and responsibly. Remember to stay aware and prioritize your safety to ensure a memorable and trouble-free journey. With these precautions in mind, you can focus on immersing yourself in the wonders of Bali and creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

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rifka arianti

rifka arianti

Journeying through life with a camera in hand, Rifka Setia Arianti is a passionate explorer of the world's diverse landscapes. Currently settled in Bali as a web designer, her lens captures the essence of her travels, weaving together a tapestry of stories that encapsulate her love for both photography and adventure.

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