Travel Scams in Bali Exposed: What You Need to Know

The Travel Scams in Bali, Indonesia include The 'Not Included' Bali Excursion Scam, The Broken Safe Scam, The Boat-and-Bus Ticket to Lombok Scam, The 'Zeros' Confusion Scam, and so on.

This brief guide explores the island's charms, though, it’ll also tell you about Travel Scams in Bali as well as how to protect yourself.


Nestled in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is a tropical paradise that beckons travelers with its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality. Known as the "Island of the Gods," Bali boasts lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and a vibrant arts scene, making it a sought-after destination for tourists from around the world.

Moreover, with its unique blend of tradition and modernity, Bali offers an unforgettable experience. Whether you're seeking relaxation on the sandy shores, exploring ancient temples, or immersing yourself in the local way of life, Bali has something for everyone.

In this article, we'll dive into the allure of Bali while shedding light on common travel scams and how to safeguard your journey. Nevertheless, discover the magic of Bali, and ensure your visit is filled with unforgettable memories as well as positive experiences.

About Travel Scams in Bali
Image Credit astama81 Pixabaycom

Travel Scams In Bali And Ways To Stay Safe:

1. The 'Not Included' Bali Excursion Scam

When booking Bali excursions, make sure to choose reputable providers. Sometimes, street stalls offer tours that seem cheap but later surprise you with hidden fees. These fees may be small, but they can add up. Hence, it's wise to book all-inclusive tours from trustworthy platforms.

2. Beware of Controlled Taxis

In certain areas like Ubud, Canggu, and Kuta, organized taxi groups control transportation. They may charge you up to 300% more than the actual fare. Therefore, always arrange your return trip to avoid unexpected expenses.

3. The Broken Safe Scam

Some hotels may have questionable safes, leaving your valuables vulnerable. If the safe doesn't seem reliable, carry your belongings in a slash-proof belt or a day bag. You can also invest in a portable safe to secure heavier valuables in your room.

4. The Boat-and-Bus Ticket to Lombok Scam

When traveling to Lombok from Bali, be cautious when buying tickets that include both boat trips and transport to your hotel. Scammers may make you wait for hours at a café, insisting that you wait for more people or pay extra. Therefore, we recommend trusted transfers with generous luggage allowances and amenities.

5. The 'Zeros' Confusion Scam

Indonesian Rupiah has large numbers, and some market sellers use this to their advantage. They may try to inflate prices by adding an extra zero, so always double-check and be prepared to haggle.

6. Pickpockets in Busy Markets

Touristy markets like Ubud and Kuta are hotspots for pickpockets. Keep your phone in a sealed bag and secure cash in a money belt. Moreover, be cautious if someone tries to distract you with a watch or sarong.

7. Beware of Commissioned Drivers

Some drivers earn commissions from shops or restaurants, which can lead to detours and overpriced items. Therefore, clearly communicate your destinations to avoid unwanted stops and be ready to tip drivers.

8. Money Changing Scams

When exchanging money, go to authorized money changers. Some dealers may count out bills, then discreetly reduce the stack, cheating you out of cash. Besides, always count your money yourself.

9. Avoid Police 'Fines'

Unscrupulous officers may target foreigners, especially those on rented scooters. For that reason, wear a helmet and carry your international driving license to avoid being subject to illegitimate fines.

10. Beware of Dodgy Arak

Arak is Bali's traditional spirit, but there have been cases of poisoning from poorly made versions. Purchase arak from reputable establishments, like restaurants, bars, and hotels.

11. Watch Out for Taxi Scams at the Airport

At the airport, use authorized taxis or taxi coupon desks to avoid touts offering overpriced rides.

12. Fuel Scams with Street Gas Stations

If you're filling up a motorbike, use proper gas stations to avoid getting ripped off at small street pumps.

13. Price Gouging at Tourist Hotspots

At popular tourist spots like Kuta, some vendors may inflate prices for items like water and beer. Thus, don't hesitate to walk away and look for fair prices.

14. Money Exchange Scams

Beware of unauthorized money changers offering attractive rates that turn out to be counterfeit or deceptive. Hence, always double-check and compare with trusted sources.

15. Hotel Staff Luggage Scams

Some travelers have reported hotel staff snooping through their luggage and stealing valuables. Consequently, keep your belongings secure in your room, perhaps with a lock or portable safe.

16. Taxi Driver Deception

A taxi driver might overcharge you, take a longer route, or be late to pick you up. Henceforth, always agree on fares in advance and use trusted taxis with meters.

17. Fake Tour Operators

Street vendors may offer tours at low prices but then fail to deliver. To avoid scams, book tours with well-established, licensed providers.

18. Credit Card Fraud

Always keep an eye on your credit card during transactions to prevent vendors from skimming your card or adding unauthorized charges.

19. Airport Taxi Scams

Scammers might disappear after arranging an airport pickup, leaving you stranded. For that reason, stick with trusted taxi services at the airport to avoid this situation.

20. Do Your Own Research

When shopping, don't rely on the 30% off rule. Research prices and be willing to haggle, as sellers may initially quote outrageous prices.

21. Quantity Confusion

Be cautious when sellers suggest better prices for multiple items but then provide only one. Politely walk away if this happens.

22. Currency Confusion

Sellers may quote prices in 'thousands,' leading to misunderstandings. Accordingly, keep your wits about you and don't be afraid to leave if you sense something is off.

23. Language Barrier

Stick to English when bargaining to avoid misunderstandings about prices and quantities. Most people in Bali speak English.

24. Money Changer Tricks

Money changers may use sleight of hand or rigged calculators to shortchange you. Count your money yourself and stick to reputable changers.

25. Unwanted Sales Pitches

Some drivers may take you to stores or restaurants where they earn commissions. Thus, clearly communicate your plans and be prepared to tip drivers.

26. Beware of Pickpockets

Be vigilant when people crowd around you, especially on the beach or in tight spaces. Use shorts or pants with secure pockets and keep your hands in your pockets.

27. Temple Donation Scams

At temples, avoid overpaying for blessings or unnecessary services. Modest donations suffice, and you don't need to buy rental sarongs.

28. Scooter Safety

If you ride a scooter without the right international license, limit the cash you carry. Police may inspect your wallet and demand a bribe, so avoid flashing large amounts of money.

29. Surfboard Scams

When renting surfboards, inspect them closely to avoid being charged for previously broken boards. Confirm the board's condition before hitting the waves.

30. Be Wary of Drug Offers

Avoid accepting street offers for drugs, as it can lead to police involvement and legal trouble.

31. Scammers Selling Medications

Scammers may offer fake medications on the street, which can be dangerous. Always obtain any necessary medications through legitimate means.

32. Restaurants with Live Fish Tanks

Be cautious in restaurants with live fish for sale. Confirm the price of the fish you choose from the tank to avoid unexpected costs.

33. Mini Mart Receipts

In convenience stores, make sure you get a receipt. Some shops may alter the total when they realize you're not keeping tabs.

34. Be Wary of ATMs

While Bali is mostly cash-based, use ATMs with caution. Stick to ATMs in reputable locations, like banks or your hotel, to avoid the risk of skimming.

Additional Tips To Help You Avoid Travel Scams in Bali:

Research Before You Go:

Knowledge is your best defense. Before your trip, research the most common scams in Bali, so you're aware of what to watch out for.

Stay in Reputable Accommodations:

Choose well-established hotels or accommodations with good reviews. Hence, they are less likely to be involved in scams or employ staff who engage in dishonest practices.

Travel with a Group:

If possible, travel with a group or a reputable tour company. However, scammers often target solo travelers or small groups.

Be Cautious with Money Changers:

Use official exchange offices or banks to change your money. Yet, if you have to use a local money changer, count your money carefully in front of them and avoid changing large sums at once.

Use Trusted Taxi Services:

Stick to reliable taxi companies like BlueBird or arrange transportation through your accommodation. On the other hand, you're using a ride-sharing app, double-check the driver's identity and the vehicle details.

Bargain Wisely:

When shopping in markets or bargaining for goods, be prepared to walk away if the price seems too high. Politely negotiate and don't be afraid to haggle, but don't fall for excessive overpricing.

Avoid Street Surveys:

Decline any street surveys or promotions offered by strangers. They may lead to unwanted sales pitches or scams.

Use Lockers or Safes:

Keep your valuables secure by using hotel lockers or in-room safes. Moreover, don't leave important items unattended in your room.

Stay Vigilant in Crowds:

Be extra cautious in crowded areas where pickpockets may operate. Additionally, keep your belongings secure, and don't carry unnecessary valuables.

Stay Informed:

Keep up-to-date with the latest travel advisories and local news to stay aware of any new scams or safety concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Travel Scams in Bali:

1. Are there any Travel Scams in Bali, Indonesia?

Yes, travel scams can happen in Bali, just like in many other tourist places. Therefore, knowing about these scams can help you stay safe.

2. What are the most common Travel Scams in Bali?

Some usual scams in Bali include taxi overcharging, tricky money changers, misleading tour operators, as well as shopkeepers using unfair tactics, and so on.

3. How can I protect myself from taxi Travel Scams in Bali?

To avoid taxi scams, always pick reputable providers with working meters like BlueBird taxis. Additionally, agree on the fare beforehand and be clear about your destination to prevent surprises.

4. What should I know about money exchange Travel Scams in Bali?

Only exchange money at authorized places and double-check the amount you receive. Moreover, be cautious of small stalls offering tempting rates, as they might not give you the correct amount.

5. How can I avoid Travel Scams in Bali: pickpockets in crowded Bali markets?

Keep your stuff safe in busy areas like markets. Use sealed bags for your phone and a money belt for your cash. Also, watch out if someone tries to distract you.

6. Is there a risk of overcharging at Bali's temples?

Some "holy men" may ask for more money than you need to give. Keep in mind that small donation is usually enough, and you don't have to rent a sarong since temples often provide them.

7. What should I be aware of regarding scooter safety in Bali?

If you're riding a scooter without the right license, limit the cash you carry. Police might look at your wallet, so, don't show a lot of money.

8. How can I protect myself from Travel Scams in Bali: unfair money changers?

When you change money, choose trustworthy changers and count the money yourself. Furthermore, just stay away from places with fast hand movements or rigged calculators.

9. Are there Travel Scams in Bali that is related to boat and bus tickets to Lombok?

Sometimes, scammers may make you wait for a long time or ask for extra money when you buy boat and bus tickets to Lombok. Therefore, using trusted transfers can help you avoid this issue.

10. How can I share my thoughts or experiences about Travel Scams in Bali?

If you've seen other scams or want to talk about your Bali trip, you can visit our “Report A Scam, File Complaint, Or Post Your Review” section. Meanwhile, your insights can help other travelers stay safe and informed.

Our Closing Statement On Travel Scams in Bali

Bali's enchanting beauty and culture make it a must-visit destination, but understanding and safeguarding against potential scams is essential for a hassle-free vacation.

By staying informed, using common sense, and trusting reliable sources, you can fully enjoy all that Bali has to offer while ensuring a secure and memorable trip.

Now that you know our final verdict for Travel Scams in Bali, here’s what we suggest you do:

Check Comments:

To learn more about Travel Scams in Bali, check the comments below. If there are no comments, use the points mentioned earlier to check it yourself or follow our “Travel Scams in Bali” article as above.

Spread Word:

One of the best ways to help fellow travelers stay informed about Travel Scams in Bali is by sharing this article through your social media networks. By doing so, you contribute to creating a community of well-informed travelers.

Report Scams:

If you want to report other scams, file complaints, or share reviews about different travel or tourist scams, please visit our “Report A Scam, File Complaint, Or Post Your Review” section. There, you can share your reviews or complaints regarding those specific companies or activities.

More Resources About Travel Scams in Bali:

You can find more info in these articles:


Stay vigilant, and you'll return home with cherished memories and unforgettable experiences!

author avatar
De Suman Roka Author, Founder
I'm De Suman Roka, the author, editor, and founder of this website. Engaged in online business since 2009, I've been researching various scams since 2014, making me an expert in identifying scams. For additional details about me, our team, and our work, please visit our "About Us" page. Find more info about me on Twitter and Facebook.

One thought on “Travel Scams in Bali Exposed: What You Need to Know

  1. Wow Thanks for this site i find it hard to discover awesome important information out there when it comes to this content thank for the information site

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