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How To Avoid ATM Fraud While Traveling in Bali, Indonesia

23 Aug 2017

Guest post by Ni Wayan Ekarini

I was born in Bali, and I always think Bali is a safe place, at least 10 years ago. After several years, Bali is no longer only inhabited by Balinese people; it has now become a hot destination for tourists from all over the world. At the same time Bali has also become a hot destination for those criminals from outside Bali and ATMs are a hot spot for pickpockets.

Getting money out of the ATM is generally a better deal than going to a money exchange.  The rate between one exchange and another is always different. So, using an ATM is commonplace but it carries with it risks.  

ATM fraud

1.    They want your card number
2.    They want your PIN number

How does the bad guy steal your card information?


ATM skimmers

These are basically devices which record your card information by installing an external device on the ATM machine. In order for someone to take advantage of your ATM card in a useful way, they need both the card number, as well as the PIN.
This is often done using two devices:

• A skimmer in the card slot, which records your card information

But they also need your PIN, so there’s typically either a hidden camera (which records you type-in the code) or a PIN pad overlay (basically a pad which is placed on top of the normal PIN pad, so that both pads can record

So, here are a few tips I learned on how to protect yourself while travelling in Bali.

• Give the card reader, the keypad, and the privacy shield which covers the keypad a good yank — skimmers typically snap into place or are attached with adhesive, so you should be able to easily tell if something isn’t right.

• Make sure the card goes on smooth — if you enter the card into the slot and it doesn’t go on smoothly, something isn’t right, and an external device may be installed.

• Cover your PIN with your hand — this is in case there are any cameras installed, though it’s not a sure bet, since there could be a PIN pad overlay, or the camera could be installed just inches from the keypad.

• It is recommended to use only an ATM machine inside of the bank building (BCA, Bank Mandiri, Citibank, BNI, BRI,etc.) during business hours.

In conclusion:

ATM machine fraud could happen anywhere, so I am not scared to travel.  The only thing I need to learn is to be cautious for future transactions. Look around; if you’re unsure, don’t use the ATM in question. 
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