A currency exchange worker who allegedly ripped off a tourist has been exposed in a video that’s going viral in Bali.
The video, which was uploaded to Twitter on Saturday, shows the teller being dramatically told off by a Balinese tour guide who reportedly stepped in after a tourist had been short-changed.
Coconuts Bali reports the tourist tried to exchange euros for Indonesian rupiah at the teller’s kiosk but was handed about half of what he should have received.
The guide then stepped in to admonish the teller in Indonesian.
“You’re embarrassing us bro … We work hard to build Bali’s reputation,” the tour guide says in the video, according to a translation by Coconuts Bali.
Dodgy currency exchange set-ups are part of one of the biggest scams preying on tourists in Bali. Mostly located around the island’s major shopping malls, they advertise “no commission” and the best exchange rates.
But part of the scam is they “accidentally” drop notes behind their counter before handing cash back to the tourist, which ends up being much less money than originally offered.
The tour guide, Bonik Inganau, told Coconuts Bali the holiday island was full of unauthorised money exchanges intentionally set up to rip off tourists.
“I just want authorities to do something about it so that it doesn’t seem like this issue is being neglected,” he said.
“It’s an open secret that these unauthorised money changers are scammers anyway.”
Bonik, who is based in South Kuta, has been working as a tour guide for two years.
He told Coconuts Bali he was angry “irresponsible people” often gave the island a bad name.
“I’m a tour guide. I make my living in the tourism industry. Building a good reputation is not an easy thing to do, especially in this day and age. I work so hard promoting the safety and comfort in Bali, but there are these irresponsible people,” he said.
“It’s like they are assaulting all of us who have worked so hard to build that (reputation).”
On Twitter, where the video has been watched more than 330,000 times, commenters praised Bonik and shared their own experience with tour guides who were keen to keep people in the tourism industry in line.
“My guide in Bali once defended me, and I’m a domestic tourist,” one person commented.
“Same language was used: we work so hard to preserve tourism in Bali.
“So cool, keep thriving, Bali.”
Currency changers often scam tourists by counting notes so quickly they can’t follow or by replacing notes with smaller ones.
Tourists should check calculations carefully and, if possible, count twice the cash given by the teller before handing their own money over.
It’s also worth becoming familiar with the currency, as notes come in denominations of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 Indonesian rupiah.