Category: Scams in the City

Everything to Lose

As Indonesia’s most important presidential election ever nears its climax, there has been no end of deception aimed at swaying undecided voters. Much of the...

Ghostbuster Busted

Of all the silly programs on Indonesian TV, one of the most idiotic was Pemburu Hantu (Ghost Hunters), which involved a team of Muslim clerics pretending to catch ghosts...

Unlucky Charms

It is widely believed in Indonesia that daggers, polished stones and fabrics can be imbued with magical powers that will provide protection and good luck. The truth is,...

Cracked Egg

Car Theft Hoaxes

“There’s a new method of car theft,” a colleague breathlessly told me last week. “Thieves throw an egg at your windscreen when you’re driving. If you turn on...

Money Politics

Money Politics

Vote buying is risky business, especially for candidates who fail to get elected and cannot repay their debts. Yet the biggest losers are Indonesian voters – if they...

God Help Us

With religion being compulsory in Indonesia, the country is fertile ground for scammers seeking easy money under the guise of providing religious services. Near the top...

Phantom Pregnancies

Phantom Pregnancies

Getting married and having children are essential rites of passage in Indonesia. So great is the pressure to produce progeny, that couples unable to conceive children...

Stealing Democracy from the People

Stealing Democracy from the People

I first experienced an Indonesian election in May 1997. I was staggering home drunk from Blok M, South Jakarta, at about 3am when I encountered a newly erected polling...

Transjakarta Bus

Cheating on the Buses

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Transjakarta busway: a public transport system beset by financial scams. Even before the project commenced, funds allocated...

Pills

Physicians? Heal Thyself

From pointless prescriptions to counterfeit medicines, the treatment of illnesses in Indonesia can be a minefield. A few weeks ago, I was involved in a traffic accident...

Big Phishing in a Big Pond

As the world’s second biggest source of cyber attacks, Indonesia is prone to phishing, which occurs when a scammer or hacker lures an internet user into revealing...

We Haven’t Learned a Thing

It is almost a year since I wrote my first Scams column for Jakarta Expat and there is no shortage of material for future columns. Yet like a stale TV sitcom that lazily...

Bakso

Mystery Meats

What’s a Jewish dilemma? Pork at half price. That was one of the first jokes I heard during a visit to Israel about 20 years ago. Some producers of beef products in...

Taxi Troubles

Taxi Troubles

New arrivals to Jakarta are often warned to be on the lookout for taxi scams. The truth is that cab services are generally much better than they used to be. The most...

Education Guide 2017

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