ATM scamPeople having their bank accounts hijacked from ATMs is not new, but there seems to be frequent reports of it happening in Bali and other parts of Indonesia. This post from the Bali Pod forum got my attention, even though it was from 2005.

Most western banks have returned the money to customer’s accounts, but Indonesian banks may not be so quick to return the money.

Here is at least one report from an Australian newspaper, dated March 2009:

Darragh Brady, 25, said he went to withdraw money but found his account empty, with about $1800 taken in seven instalments.

“The cards were copied or skimmed in some way,” he said.

Mr Brady’s friend Stephen Matthews, 24, got a call from his bank, ANZ, asking him about strange transactions – but $2900 had been taken out.

They said they wanted to warn other travellers.

“We know a lot of people travel from Darwin to Bali,” he said.

“The bank’s saying it is insured but obviously we have to prove it was fraud.”

The two men had returned from Bali in January and the money was taken out last month.

I have been traveling in South East Asia and China for the past two years and touch wood, I am yet to have a problem. I also heard the scam is wide spread in the Philippines.