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Bali Tourists Warned: Exercise Caution with ATMs Amidst Card Skimming Scams

Bali Tourists Warned: Exercise Caution with ATMs Amidst Card Skimming Scams
Bali Tourists Warned: Exercise Caution with ATMs Amidst Card Skimming Scams. Image Source: Jaringan PRIMA

Tourists in Bali are advised to avoid certain ATMs due to potential risks.

Tourists in Bali have been cautioned against using certain automated teller machines (ATMs) due to a scam involving card skimming devices installed in cash machines around the popular tourism hub. A recent report revealed that a woman was deported last week for tampering with public ATMs.

A 35-year-old Ukrainian woman was expelled after serving a two-year sentence at the Kerobokan Women’s Correctional Institution and receiving an Rp100,000,000 (US$10,500) fine for tampering with cash machines in 2022. The Ngurah Rai Immigration Office stated that she was flown to Warsaw last Tuesday and faces a travel ban in Indonesia.

Back in 2023, an Australian tourist nearly fell victim to skimmers targeting a Commonwealth Bank ATM in Seminyak. The tourist posted a warning on the popular Facebook group “Bali Bogans” after finding a handwritten note on the cashpoint machine, falsely claiming it was “broken”. This hoax appeared to aim to lure tourists into using potentially compromised ATMs. Fortunately, when the tourist consulted a bank teller, the machine was found to be in working order, highlighting the importance of vigilance.

This incident serves as another timely reminder for tourists to use approved card machines only and, when possible, utilise ATMs inside bank buildings to minimise the risk of tampering. Card skimming commonly involves devices fitted to ATMs to steal users’ card details during cash withdrawals.

Pramella Y. Pasaribu, head of Bali’s regional office for the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights, remarked that the deportation of the convicted card skimmer was an example of Bali’s strong immigration laws tackling the problematic tourists. She also praised the recent creation of a Tourist Task Force to specifically address the issues of visa abuse and bad behaviour.

We will continue to improve coordination with related agencies and strengthen supervision of the presence of foreigners in the Bali region,” said Pasaribu to the press.

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