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Article on Crackdown on Crooked Money Changers Caused Many Readers to Write to balidiscovery.com

(5/1/2005) balidiscovery.com's coverage of a promised crackdown on dishonest money changers in Bali [Don't Go Changing to Try to Cheat Me] brought a number of spirited responses from readers around the world:

Huib van Dorssen, writing from Australia said:

"Now this is the best news I have read in a long time because I am sure that we have all (as first timers) been short changed at one time or another. The last time it happened to me three years ago I was short changed $AU12 and I counted the money about four times, but still lost out. Another thing that first timers seem to have trouble with is the exchange rate with all those zeros, which for a lot of people is not easy to work out. Thanks for the excellent news letter, hope to come back to Bali soon."

A reader in The Netherlands, Aad Bol, said :

"There are many money changers who are cheating. For fun I tried them out several times. But there tricks are so good that you do not notice them. Let them never be the last ones to count your money. Before you leave them count in their presence your money, not them (doing the counting). The boards with the best exchange rates are notoriously the cheaters, which I found out several times. The fellows did not like me. I am a frequent traveler to Bali."

Mike Reynolds wrote to say:

"Quite agree with the bad image that these money tricksters create. I was in Sanur in February and went to 4 changers before I found ones I could trust. They all tried the trick of offering low denomination bills (20,000 or less) and tried to confuse me when counting. I walked out and even found them communicating with each other to warn of my approach, they then said the changer was away eating! Great shame because 99.9% of Balinese in my experience are hardworking and honest. My 5th visit to your lovely island, terima kasih!"

Writing from Italy, Edmond Schmidt, joined the chorus in support of the crackdown:

"I also was a victim of these thieves. Last trip to Bali I changed 100 dollars on the street in Kuta only to find after (when) I was in my hotel that at least 20 dollars was missing. It was counted before my eyes but his hands were very , very quick. Close them all down as fast as possible. Good luck."