Bali Cash Scam Targeting Aussie Tourists

Bali Cash Scam Targeting Aussie Tourists

Australian tourists are being warned to stay alert when using ATMs in Bali. There have been more reports of skimming devices being found on cash machines at the travel hotspot.

Tourists have recently been slapped with a new tax to travel to the Indonesian island. But this week officials confirmed they’d moved to deport a Ukrainian woman found guilty of installing skimming devices on ATMs across popular resorts, according to The Bali Sun.

The woman was initially sentenced to prison in 2022 and fined IDR 100,000,000 – about $10,000 – with authorities confirming she had now been deported to Poland.

Card skimming is when criminals steal or ‘skim’ data from a person’s bank card using devices fitted on ATMs or EFTPOS machines. Once they have this information, they can then use the stolen data to create fake cards.

Credit card skimming devices can look like hardware on existing ATMs or like regular in-store readers, but there can be telltale signs of tampering including features that don’t quite fit with how the rest of the ATM looks or plastic casing that sits over the card reader.

One TikToker, shared a video of her finding a card skimmer while holidaying in Rome, with the device lifting off the machine.

Scammer’s tactics revealed

Last year, an Aussie tourist shed light on the widespread scam. They posted a photo of a Commonwealth bank ATM located in a Seminyak supermarket, which had a handwritten “broken” sign on it.

According to the tourist, the scammer was trying to divert people to using other nearby ATMs instead which were suspected to be fitted with card skimming devices.

The tourist said several unsuspecting tourists fell for the tactic, however, he intervened and told them the CBA ATM was fully functional and warned them not to use the other ATMs.

How to avoid card-skimming scams

Bali Buddies, a tourism website, has recommended tourists protect themselves by:

  • Only inputting your PIN in trusted ATMs
  • Only visit ATMs within banks and other trusted areas, avoid Minimarts, convenience stores or street-side money machines
  • Set a daily maximum withdrawal limit on your card to help reduce losses should they occur

If in doubt, ask your trusted accommodation provider if there is an ATM they use and recommend.


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