Indonesia Expat
Scams in the City

Jakarta Man Withdraws Fake Money from ATM


A man in South Jakarta was surprised to find one of the bills he withdrew from a Bank Mandiri ATM in early October was actually fake money.

Many people, especially foreigners, have always joked about Indonesia’s multicolored rupiah bills looking a lot like Monopoly money.

Earlier this month, Satriaputra Sukarno shared on his Instagram page a photo of the fake money his father withdrew on Wednesday, October 5. The caption read: “So . . . my father withdrew Rp.50k from the Mandiri ATM at Circle K in Cipete, it came out like this. Nice joke, Mandiri, but pls give actual 50.”

Shortly after Sukarno posted, Mandiri’s Customer Service Instagram account commented on the photo, apologizing for the problem. The bank was prompt to instruct Sukarno to have the fake money exchanged for the real thing at one of their Mandiri branches nearby. He could get his cash so long as he produced an authentic receipt for his withdrawal.

Sukarno seemed to have been satisfied with the bank’s service, as he later edited the photo caption to add: “Mandiri does an amazing customer service job. Case closed! Mine, at least. Shout out to any of you who got Monopoly money as well.

Mandiri’s corporate secretary Rohan Hafas told Tempo that the incident could have been due to an oversight from the vendors in charge of restocking their ATMs with cash. Hafas said Mandiri will have the vendor investigated accordingly.

Indonesia is well-known for its counterfeit money black market. In August, police apprehended two suspected counterfeit money dealers who operated in South Tangerang and Depok. The suspects had roughly Rp.45 million (US$3,460) in notes. Authorities say it’s not an irregular sort of arrest in cities like Bali and Jakarta.    

Featured image by Anil Mohabir

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