‘Nightmare’: Couple’s warning over Bali scam

Seminyak beach in Bali
An Aussie couple have warned Bali tourists to be careful when getting a massage at the popular destination. Picture: iStock

An Australian woman has shared how a massage while holidaying in Bali quickly turned into a nightmare.

The woman and her partner- who both wish to remain anonymous – cut their trip to the coastal resort town of Seminyak shortly after the horrifying ordeal.

After an hour-long couples massage, they checked their phones and were shocked to find a series of notifications alerting them to potentially fraudulent transactions made with their money.

“$2,700 has been successfully stolen, which cleaned out our accounts and put us in the negative,” she wrote in the Facebook group Bali Bogans.

Luckily, their bank quickly identified the strange nature of the transaction and blocked an additional two transactions of $4,500 and $7,500 before the cards were cancelled.

sunset in a beach bar in Canggu beach, just north of Kuta and Seminyak in Bali, Indonesia
A woman has shared her nightmare experience at a Bali massage parlour. Picture: iStock

She said they were left with nothing but overdrawn bank accounts and “lots of tears”.

The ordeal took another turn for the worse when they received a phone call from their bank explaining the chilling detail of the theft.

The alleged thieves had somehow managed to remove the cards from “directly underneath” them and then return them – all without their notice and in the space of an hour.

This also made it impossible for the bank to refund the money without a police report and an investigation into the fraud.

Couple's chilling massage parlour experience in Bali. Picture Supplied
The local police were able to catch the alleged thieves and the couple were fully reimbursed, Picture: Facebook

“What was a great holiday has turned into a nightmare,” she wrote in the Facebook group.

The couple praised the Marriott Hotel where they were staying after the management team confronted the massage parlour and escorted them to the police station to make a report.

An outpouring of support filled up the comments section while others shared their disgust at the brazen theft.

“So sorry this has happened to you,” one person said before adding while on holidays there a few years ago they had cash stolen from them.

Seminyak Denpasar Bali Indonesia beach scene at sunset
Other tourists shared tips for avoiding such an incident again.Picture: iStock

Another urged other tourists to avoid the massage parlour all together to dry up their business.

“If they cannot be trusted they do not deserve any business,” they said.

One person advised other tourists to lock their debit cards with their banking app and only unlock it when they need to pay for a transaction.

While another went so far as to recommend placing a dye pack inside their bag to make it easier to identify a thief.

In the days after posting, the woman shared an update to say the local police had caught the alleged thieves and they have since been reimbursed the entirety of the stolen funds.

“I am glad you got your money back,” one commenter added. “Thankful that you warned us.”

“Now when I venture out I will leave my cards and wallet/ phone and take cash for what I’m doing.”