How it works:
- These rogue money changes usually operate in dark and secluded areas and attract tourists by advertising very attractive exchange rates at the main street.
- Version 1:
- They claim to only have small IDR 10,000 notes. As they count the money, they use sleight of hand to drop some notes (e.g. ~25 of it!) without you realizing.
- As this is a thick stack of notes, some tourists do not bother checking or are not careful. If you spot a mistake, the money changer can simply apologise or claim a hidden fee.
- Version 2:
- Using a rigged calculator which can be effective due to the large denomination of the rupiah.
Places to beware:
- Bali: Seminyak Beach, Sanur Beach, Seminyak Village, Seminyak Square, Legian Street, etc
What to do:
- Change your currency at reputable places and check that there are no hidden commission charges before and after the exchange.
- Beware of the sleight of hand trick and also calculate the amount you should get.