Stories this week serve a strong warning that when renting and buying property in Bali, you must do your due diligence—because there really are people out there ready to pull a fast one, if you’re not careful.
In the same week that an alleged Australian property fraudster made headlines for getting arrested after long being on Bali’s wanted list, reports are saying that police are working on other property-related fraud investigations.
Only instead of allegations involving a fraudulent villa sale, these cases are about false-advertising on property rental websites.
“Both victims reported related fraud cases where the rental houses were allegedly false,” Chief of Denpasar Police’s criminal investigation unit Reinhard Nainggolan said on Friday, as quoted by Antara Bali.
Nainggolan said one of the victims, Iin Jayati, 34, from Surbaya, had made an advance transfer of Rp 1.5 million out of the total contract price of Rp 14.5 million for a rental property in Pemogran, South Denpasar. But unfortunately for Jayati, he discovered that the property did not match what was advertised on the popular Craigslist-like site, OLX, after he’d already made that advance.
The second victim, Adam Rasyid, 31, transferred an advance of Rp 5 million to the person listed on OLX who was not really the owner, for a contract price of Rp 37 million. Yikes. At least it was only the down payment and not the whole shebang.
“We have completed the preliminary investigation. We will also coordinate with OLX and track the flow of the money,” Nainggolan said.