An Australian holidaymaker has revealed how she was caught up in a Bali holiday scam in which an Indonesian tour operator took hundreds of dollars from her and then cancelled, warning it could happen to more people.
Perth woman Krystal Nikol claims the Bali tour operator has been scamming other foreign travellers at the holiday hotspot.
The 34-year-old said that she had booked a tour and trips for her husband and herself through the Bali local, who was highly recommended by others on a Facebook group.
An Australian holidaymaker (Krystal Nikol pictured with her husband) has warned how she was caught up in a Bali holiday scam
She posted a warning to the same Facebook group saying that her friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, had experienced a similar scenario. Mrs Nikol was shocked when others came forward saying they too had been taken for a ride.
‘It was horrible what happened to me, and my friend, and so many others he’s scammed,’ Krystal told news.com.au.
The tour operator allegedly demanded a pre-payment of $300 then cancelled the tour and failed to refund their money.
‘We have paid for tours in advance through our villas and hotels in the past so, although his needy and persistent demeanour about getting paid in advance rang alarm bells for me, I paid him because he was recommended to me,’ Krystal said.
Krystal said she refused to send the pre-payment via wire and told the operator she would pay when she arrived at the hotel.
Perth local Krystal Nikol claims a Bali tour operator has been scamming other foreign travellers at the holiday hotspot (pictured with her husband)
The 34-year-old said that she had booked a tour and trips for her husband and herself through the Bali local who was highly recommended by others on a Facebook group
The tour operator then allegedly turned up at the hotel and demanded the money for two days of excursions plus boat transfers for two people.
‘He then cancelled the trips the next day and kept making excuses about the weather being unsafe. At the time of our departure from Bali he was still speaking to us and promising refunds but after we flew home he never responded again.’
It has been roughly six weeks and Krystal says that she has still not received a refund.
‘I have spent my whole life travelling and consider myself an experienced traveller. I first went to Bali on a solo backpacking trip from the USA (I’m American but now an expat living in Perth), and stopped into Bali,’ Krystal posted to the Facebook group.
‘I thought it was a beautiful, magical place. I met my husband there on that trip, and we return to Bali about twice a year since. We got married there too,’ the post to the Bali holiday group read.
‘This is the first time I’ve ever been scammed … my empathy and sense of morals led me to pay him in advance (as I’d done before); I had a gut feeling about him but ignored it because he came recommended so highly, but I see now I should have listened to that feeling.’
It has been roughly six weeks and Krystal says that she has still not received a refund