Category: Scams in the City

King Con Gets 18 Years for Murders

Notorious conman and cult leader Taat Pribadi, who gave himself the noble-sounding title of Dimas Kanjeng, has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for orchestrating the...

In the Name of the Fraudster

Indonesian media recently seized on the story of a gang that forged letters from President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo to request financial support for his re-election bid...

Fool’s Gold Fever

If you want to invest in gold, a 1 kilogram bar will set you back about US$40,000 at today’s prices – well beyond the means of most Indonesians. Sensing an...

Bank Indonesia Warns Of Fake Cash Across Country

Bank Indonesia has warned that while counterfeit banknotes have dropped in circulation in recent years consumers must stay savvy as 22,212 fake notes have already been...

Bandung Zoo Accuses Fundraiser of Fraud

Indonesian zoos do not enjoy a sterling reputation for animal care. When foreigners try to intervene, officials become upset – especially when money is at stake. An...

Don’t Show, Do Tell

Beware of sharing a nude selfie in Indonesia. You could be extorted or even criminalized. There’s an old internet joke that goes like this: “Warning! If a man comes...

Beware of the Men in Uniform

Posing as policemen and pilots, con men are able to steal women’s hearts and then their money. It is often said that women love a man in uniform. As long as it’s an...

Benjamin Holst

The Curious Case of Benjamin Holst, ‘The Party Beggar’

He was deported last year for begging but is relentless in his quest for beer money. Here's an infographic that summarizes the story of Benjamin Holst.

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Bleeding Hearts Beware: Fraudulent Donation Scams

With poverty still high in Indonesia, some scammers look to exploit the goodwill of strangers and worshippers by soliciting donations for phony projects.

Taking Leaf of Their Sanity

A conman has been arrested near Jakarta after fleecing at least Rp.1 billion (US$75,000) from people who believed his “religious powers” could transform leaves into...

Bule Prices in Market

Understanding ‘Bule Prices’ in Indonesia

A huge price disparity between local and foreign tourists reaching every sector from transportation threatens Indonesia’s tourism industry.

The Rise and Danger of Fake News

Fake news, a symptom of lazy journalism and deliberate mischief-making, is everywhere. Consequences can be fatal. Many moons ago, “fake news” used to be the domain...

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Fake Diplomas Reflect Indonesia’s Broken Education System

With chop shops camouflaged as “foreign-licensed” universities or “economic institutes”, the demand for fake diplomas is growing in Indonesia.

Hoax Tourism Expo Scams Exhibitors

There’s a whole industry devoted to making money by exploiting corporate vanity through promotional activities, listings and awards. The ASEAN Travel Mart 2017 was...