Aussies warned of scammers in Legian, Bali

Tourists travelling to Bali have been warned about pickpocketers in a popular resort area.

The beachside resort of Legian has experienced a rise in the number of thieves with foreigners advised to keep a close eye on their belongings.

It comes after a video surfaced online of an alleged pickpocketer trying to rob two tourists as they left a club in the area on Sunday at 3am.

The man reportedly walked up to the tourists as they made their way down Jalan Legian — the main street that runs north-south from Kuta to Seminyak.

He is believed to have offered a bike rental service and during the brief conversation allegedly tried to steal one of the tourist’s phones, according to The Bali Sun.

The clip shows a scuffle outside a club close to the Bali Bombing Memorial in Legian, where a group of people try to apprehend the man.

A police investigation has been launched following the viral clip, although the victim is yet to make a formal complaint.

The man claimed the phone had fallen out of the tourist’s pocket and he was simply picking it up to hand back — which he eventually did, according to the publication.

Meanwhile, in September a furious Aussie traveller issued a warning to others heading to the tourist hotspot when he was the target of thieves after he “let his guard down”.

He was also on the popular strip, known for its bars and restaurants, near the Ground Zero monument when he fell victim to a scam.

Taking to a Facebook page for Australians travelling to Bali, he explained he was out with some friends for a meal and some Bintangs when a group of women allegedly stole his phone.

“Walking towards the Matahari Bungalows three ladies got up quickly walking towards me asking if I wanted a massage, I said ‘no thanks’,” he said.

“They circled me and one aggressively pulled on my arm while one of the others removed me phone from my hip pocket.

“I had only walked 20-30 metres when I realised and quickly went back but they were gone.”

He said he usually brings an old Samsung phone and puts a Bali sim in it, locking away his iPhone, however being the first night he hadn’t done so yet and was still carrying it.

In the post, the Aussie explained resort staff told him it’s a common occurrence.

“[They] said this had happened four or five times in the last couple of weeks, it’s a shame local business and traders will lose money from lost trade,” he said in the September post.

“I have learned ‘tolong jangon sentuh’ … ‘please don’t touch’! After this anyone approaches me will get the palm of my hand placed firmly on their chest, I don’t care who they are.”

Other tourists commenting on the post said the same thing happened to them.

“Unfortunately this was probably the same three women that did the exact same ruse to both my son-in-law and friend up near the Hungry Jack’s,” one person wrote.

“Local business owner knew exactly where it happened and the specifics before we even told him what happened. Said it’s happening all too often. Never located our phones as they turned them off immediately. Made what was a great trip a little sour on our second to last night there.”

Meanwhile, following the incidents, officials from the area have looked into increasing surveillance.

“Don’t let pickpocket gangs act in our area … We have agreed to increase security to prevent criminal acts in both the Legian and Kuta areas,” Head of Legian Village, Ni Putu Eka Martini, told reporters on Monday.

Kuta I Village Head Putu Dedik Ardi Ardiana added that he too will make efforts to increase security “to keep tourists safe”.

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