The Bali chapter of the Foreign Exchange Association (APVA) announced yesterday that at least a dozen suspected fake money changers are still operating in Ubud, noting that the group is working with local authorities to carry out a crackdown in the area.
“We found that there are tendencies for fake money changers [who used to operate in] Kuta to run to Ubud, because the supervision is much more strict now in Kuta and Seminyak,” APVA Bali Chairwoman, Ayu Astuti Dharma, told state news agency Antara yesterday.
Following up on information from tourists, Ayu said that money changer scammers tend to give out an inaccurate amount of money after exchanging with a customer. APVA Bali said it found at least 12 money changer outlets throughout 2019 that it suspects may be operating illegally.
APVA Bali has reportedly been working with the Ubud sub-district and traditional village council, so the latter two can help identify fake money changers.
“We are conducting this socialization and information session with officials from the villages because they are the ones who interact directly with the people, and the money exchange practices are also under their jurisdiction,” Ayu said.
She added that with enough information they can also inform local residents and file a police report should they find illegal money exchange practices.
It’s relatively easy to find kiosks offering money exchange services in Bali’s tourists hot spots, namely Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur and Ubud. However, plenty of these dodgy-looking kiosks are indeed questionable and it’s very likely that tourists will lose their currency’s worth in the process.
Last October, a video showing one Bali tour guide scolding a suspected money changer scammer went viral, as people appreciated his effort in upholding the image of tourism in the country.