Category: Scams in the City

Setting the Crooked Record Straight

Some foreigners are involved in hypnotism scams in Indonesia, but the media should not be too hasty to blame Singaporeans. Two weeks ago, this column reported on the...

Old Singapore Dollars for New Rupiah

A gang of scammers is targeting elderly people in Jakarta by offering Singapore dollars at an exchange rate that’s too good to be true. At about 9.30am on July 16,...

Not So Sweet Anymore

Condensed milk producers will no longer be allowed to falsely market their sickly sweet product as a health food. Growing up in Australia in the 1980s, there was usually...

Here, Have a Photo of One Million Dollars

Pull up a chair. In the 1950s, there was a groundbreaking British radio series called The Goon Show. It was anarchic, absurd and hilarious. The main character was a...

Stealing

The Stealing Season

It’s that time of the year again, when some people are resorting to crime to raise money to return to their hometowns. Toward the end of the Muslim fasting month of...

Correctional Crimes

Inmates at a jail in Bandung were running a scam for two years in which they seduced women online and then blackmailed them. How can crime be so rampant in correctional...

Foreigners who scammed the local

Jember Friendship Ambassador Scammed by Foreigners

I once asked a long-time Australian expatriate why he had made Indonesia his home for over 40 years. Was it the business opportunities? The social life? The temperate...

Hatching Hoaxes

Indonesia made international tabloid headlines a few weeks ago when it was reported that a teenage boy from South Sulawesi province had laid 20 eggs over the past two...

Those Possessed By Demons?

The weighty Indonesian dictionary compiled by the Education Ministry defines kesurupan as “possession by Satan or spirits, resulting in strange actions ”. It’s...

My Uncle the Police Chief and Other Lies

Imagine you’re choosing a career. Would you cough up Rp300 million (US$25,400) for a job with a starting salary of just Rp1.56 million (US$113) per month, rising to...

Designer Bag Deceit

Let’s be honest. A handbag is just something in which to carry makeup, car keys, tampons, sunglasses, perfume and a purse. It should be durable and practical, even...

Online Arisan Exposed

A simple Facebook page lured hundreds of Indonesians, mostly housewives, into investing their savings in a scheme offering unfeasibly high returns. It was a classic...

Swipers Still Swiping

Despite the ongoing efforts of Islamic political parties to criminalize sex outside of marriage, Indonesians are still flocking to online dating apps in search of...

Delving into the Dark Web

Much has been written in Indonesia about the ‘deep web’ and the ‘dark web’ – much of it ill-informed scaremongering. Typical of this is an article headlined...