The Bali Blog « Bali ATM Scams, Skimming and Credit Card Fraud in Ubud: Be Worried...
ATM credit-card-fraud victims have been popping up like burnt toast in Ubud since 2014 – and 2018 hasn't seen a slow-down. How to stay safe on your holidays.
Hacked ('skimmed') Bank Permata ATM outside Delta Dewata supermarket on Jalan Andong in Ubud, Bali. Note the badly-glued fraudulent card-reader replacing the original.
© 2017 Ubud High.
It used to be a Sanur/Kuta/Seminyak problem. But these things have a habit of migrating. Members of Facebook's Ubud Community are reporting more and more ATM frauds around Ubud.
Which Ubud ATMs are unsafe to use?
The ATMs to steer clear of are, in no particular order: all outside Coco Mart supermarket at the bottom of Jalan Hanuman; inside the convenience store directly opposite Coco Mart; all Bank Permata ATMs; all outside the big Delta Dewata supermarket on Jalan Andong; and the Bank Mandiri ATM on Jalan Pengosekan.
The ATMs outside the Pertamina petrol/gas station on Jalan Pengosekan have been flagged as dodgy. Likewise all outside Bintang Supermarket on Jalan Sanggingan, especially the Mandiri, are suspect.
A 46-year-old Bulgarian woman was arrested at her upmarket Seminyak villa in April for ATM fraud as she was sipping cocktails and partying hard with friends in the pool.
According to the Indonesian Police's Cyber Crime team, she and three other accomplices had emptied 'billions' of rupiah from Bali banks using a router that swiped victims' credit card details and a camera that recorded their pin numbers.
She's now looking at ten years in Kerobokan Prison.
Good luck in there, sweetie...
Ubud ATM credit-card skimming and fraud: One victim's story
One unlucky person's failed attempts at trying to report a fraud to the Police runs like a Kafkaesque soap opera after her credit card was ripped off at the Bank Mandiri ATM outside Coco Mart in Central Ubud:
"If you happen to get your foreign bank account emptied because of a scam in some ATMs here in UBUD... GOOD LUCK getting your money back.
Your insurance needs a statement from the police. Should be possible, right? I accompanied my friend to the Police station in Ubud to translate, but we were told that cyber crimes cannot be processed in Ubud. Off she went to POLDA in Denpasar, only to be told that they cannot write a statement, and that my friend had to go to the embassy (in Jakarta!).
She went to her consulate here in Bali; the consul himself gave her a letter asking the police to write a statement for my friend's insurance. Back to POLDA to be told that this letter wasn't acceptable because it didn't have a stamp. And even with the stamp, my friend couldn't get the statement.
Better to forget the money, my friend was told. Back to the consul to find out that he can't help anymore, because he can't go against the laws of Indonesia.
What to do if you've had your ATM card skimmed in Ubud
Solutions? If you've been scammed, talk to your bank fast – not the Ubud Police.
How to prevent your ATM card from being skimmed
1. Keep your main funds in an account that is not connected to your card. Transfer online from your 'safe' account to your temporary 'withdrawal' account as needed to access your funds. If your withdrawal card is compromised, you don't lose all of your savings.
2. Withdraw cash from an ATM inside a bank – the Commonwealth Bank near Delta Dewata on Jl Andong has an ATM open 24/7. BRI Bank on Jalan Ubud Raya also has an ATM inside the branch, but it is only open during regular banking hours.
3. Better still: go inside a bank, crack open your credit card and withdraw direct from a human teller.
4. Never use an ATM inside a convenience store, or at the single ATMs dotted around Ubud – and wherever you are, always cover your hand as you type in your PIN number.
5. If you use online banking, check your balance regularly. And even after you're home, be aware that some scammers will wait months before hijacking your bank account and card.
From another Ubud ATM scamming victim in 2017:
'My card was skimmed last year in Bali and they waited six months before they started to withdraw my money. They got three withdrawals before my credit card company froze my account.'
How does a hacker skim your credit card?
If you want to find out how scammers hack an ATM, take a look at security expert Brian Krebs' reverse-engineering of a hacked ATM machine outside Hardy's supermarket in Sanur.
Latest 2018 Hacked Bali ATM Skimming Update
It looks like taking money out at the ATMs in Denpasar's Ngurah Rai airport isn't a clever idea – despite being under the noses of Indonesia's Police, Customs and Immigration. From an Ubud Community Facebook user:
'After using my debit card in the airport at Denpasar, my card information was stolen and a lot of money was taken. Also, my partner just found out that after using his card at the Ubud Kantor Post Office, a lot of money was taken from his account too.'
Watch your wallets, girls and boys. You have been warned.
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