I was trying to change SGD100 to IDR in Kuta, Bali. The on-going rate for SGD1 ranged from IDR7,250 to IDR7,350. When I entered Poppies Lane I from Kuta Beach's end, I saw an "authorised" money-changer's rate of SGD1 = IDR7,599. This was defintely a very good rate. So, I went into the shop, which also doubled up as a store selling knick-knacks.
A guy appeared with a waist pouch and asked me how much I wished to change. I told him SGD100. He asked why not more? I said SGD100 was good enough. He proceeded to punch into his calculator and it showed IDR759,900. He then demanded me to bring out SGD100 and place it on the counter at his end, which I did. He then took out bundles of IDR20,000 notes and started counting in stacks consisting of 5 pieces of IDR20,000 per stack, which he laid on the counter. There were altogether 7 stacks of 5 IDR20,000 each, with an 8th stack of 3 pieces of IDR20,000. This totaled IDR760,000. He then asked me whether I have IDR1,000 for the difference. I kept my eyes on the stacks and I replied "Yes". He was shocked that I did not move my eyes from the stacks. So, he asked to see my IDR1,000. Good thing I had IDR500 in my pocket adn I took it out. He then said it was supposed to be IDR1,000, not IDR500. I told him it was a difference of IDR100, not IDR1,000. My IDR500 is more than enough. He asked me to look at the calculator to see that I was to give him IDR1,000 as the difference. I took a quick glance at the calculator, which was placed at a corner of the counter and looked back quickly at the stack. I also caught his hands moving in quick motion from the corner of my eye. At this time, he was already holding the stacks in his hand and he wanted to pass those stacks to me. But I saw an IDR20,000 bill sticking out from the open drawer under his counter. So I asked for the stacks to be recounted, which he laid on the counter in stacks of 5 IDR20,000 in each of the 7 stacks, with the 8th stack of 3 IDR20,000. It totaled the same as before: IDR760,000. When I was about to take them from the counter, he quickly took them and said I owed him IDR1,000 for the difference. I said It was IDR100 and my IDR500 was more than enough. He asked me to look at the calculator, whcih I did and I caught his hand moving from the corner of my eye again. This time again, he asked me to take the stacks. I said I wanted to count them. His face turned ashen. I counted in stacks and it turned out to be 4 stacks of 5 IDR20,000 each with the 5th stack of 3 IDR20,000 notes. this totaled IDR460,000. I was almost scammed of IDR300,000, whereby he used distractions by asking me to look at the calculator away from his hands, and confusing me with IDR100 and IDR1,000 difference, and his quick hand movements. I told him the whole incident was very confusing to me adn I did not wish to change the money anymore. He then made a remark that my SGD100, which consisted of 10 SGD10 notes, were too small, implying that he did not want to carry on the exchange due to my small SGD denominations. I took back my SGD100, left the store quickly, but forgot to take back my IDR500.
After that, I walked along Poppies Lane I and II, and I saw many stores selling knick-knacks with the same "authorised" money-changing boards outside their stores with very good exchange rates. I venture to think that there were many scams on-going there.
For reliable and truely authorised money-changer in Kuta, Bali, I used The authorised money changer with the blue and red logo with small words "mon", big words "EY", big words "EX", and small words "change", where the staff wears a uniform and takes out and counts money in the usual authorised money-changer manner. The exchange rate for there was rather good at SGD1 = IDR7,300. It can be found in Poppies Lane I and across the road from Ramayana Hotel.
When something is too good to be true, it probably is a scam. Take heart of "authorised" money-changers, and enjoy the beautiful Island of Bali!