Today, just after having dinner at Vi Ai Pi near Kuta, Bali, my mother and I was shorthanded and we had decided to change money before heading back to our resort. I had never read the forum about Kuta but nonetheless, I know that’s where scams, drugs and many other crime related activities were committed.

I was walking down the aisle and was asked by many mans to drink the special drink, “Magic Mushroom” or smoke cannabis. I definitely skipped those. But what I couldn’t avoid was the money-changing scam. I entered this “legitmate” money changing shop and wanted to only change SGD$100 but was told if I change more, I would get a better rate. Something is really fishy here. How could changing more leads me to having 1000 rupiah more for every single dollar? However, we just changed a total of $150 just in case of any emergency situation.

Here’s the start of the scam.

They took out stacks of 50,000 rupiah and counted right in front of us (my mother and I) and prompted us to count it to double check after having 3 stacks of 500,000 rupiah each and one note of 50,000 rupiah. We were asked to give 10,000 rupiah as there was a slight difference and so I did. My mother did so and I told my mother to put the stack (500,000 rupiah) after counting each stack but was exclaimed by the money changer to put it back on the counter to count again. I mean really, if there is less, I would have kept it. If there’s more, you (money changer) would have known.

My mother had the money placed back on the counter and the money changer counted the cash again this time round. As I smelled something fishy, I stared right onto the money as he counted it right again. This time round, I saw money fell out of his hands. He pushed the money to us and when I demanded to count again, he changed his face and demanded us to get out.

After us getting to a safe place to count the money, we lost 560,000 rupiah. This is just something I wished to get attention to again because even the forum has published such cases, it still hasn’t shed light and this scam has been on-going for years.

Don’t thank me now for this, but thank yourself for reading it.