3 scams in Bali and how to avoid them

scams in bali

I've encountered 3 scams so far here in Bali, so I thought I'd share them, to save you the hassle of learning the hard way!

1. Taxis are a great way to get about, and cheap too. A half hour journey seems to cost about £4-5 pounds. They're mainly run by Bluebird, and they're branded, and easy to hail over. They're metered. You will start to find that they start trying to get you to agree to a fixed price. Luckily this happened after a few days of drivers sticking to their rules, so when we were 'offered' a ride for £12, which would we knew would be about £4, we could scoff confidently, and demand he put his meter on, or leave. We've since found lots of drivers try this. We tell them no, that we want the meter on. They sound as if they're offering you a deal, but in the many times this has happened, the actual price has never come close to what they tried to 'offer'.  Stick to the meter. And tip.

2. There are many people who will try and gain your attention as you walk about, and one of these people will be holding prize cards, that will need to have the 3 sides torn off, to reveal what's inside. The first guy who came over to us, seemed to just handing out flyers, so to be kind we took them and tried to keep walking. He explained we had to open them, and we would be shown what we'd win at the hotel he worked for. We pretended to be pleased, and said we'd be sure to swing by and collect them later on. He then becomes insistent that he can arrange a car for you now, and that they have to be claimed that day, and he gets paid when we collect. I appreciate these are just people trying to make a living, but save your time, and don't take anything being handed out. It's never that easy just to walk on!

3. Despite having learned of the prize card trick, I started to spot some other people, and felt sorry for them. They seemed to be collecting survey data for the Bali Tourist Office, and I felt sorry that they got ignored all day, despite not trying to sell anything. So I agreed to do the short survey. The questions were about rating Bali, and the facilities etc. We then got a phone call to our hotel the day, explaining we'd won an amazing prize thanks to taking part, of a 7 day holiday. They'd send a car that morning to collect us and bring us to the hotel to collect it. The patter was pretty slick. I of course refused, and said no to the car, but they kept calling for the next two days until we got more insistent. Don't fill anything out!

Just a few things to look out for, should you be heading to Bali anytime soon!