Tourists warned about rise in taxi scams in Bali

Aussie tourists in Bali are being warned about a rise in taxi scams.

Given the island has limited public transport facilities, travellers often turn to taxis as a way to get around, but officials have warned of fake operators, according to national publication, The Bali Sun.

There are several taxi options available to tourists from private driver-come-tour guides, to hailing or booking online ride apps.

The most recognised company is Bluebird taxis — but earlier this year it revealed a rise in scams whereby cars are mimicking its vehicles with the same colours and logo.

As such, it has been working with authorities to crack down on illegally operating taxi providers.

It has asked tourists to be mindful of red flags including if the driver doesn’t wear an official uniform, does not have clear meters and fares and if they’re aggressive in offering their services.

Official vehicles will also have fleet codes on the back, side and inside of the taxi — a code that includes both letters and numbers.

Vice President of Marketing for PT Bluebird Tbk, Panca Wiadnyana, said there should always be a driver data ID card on the front dashboard and a visible working metre and IoT screens located in the car.

“As a mobility company that has entered 52 years of age, passenger comfort and safety has always been Bluebird’s priority,” he said, according to The Bali Sun.

“This is the basis of our commitment to provide Indonesian Comfort Standard (SNI) services with three main pillars, namely a standardised fleet, professional drivers, and easy accessibility.”

TikTok users have also warned fellow tourists to be mindful.

“If you want to get around Bali without driving use online taxis like Grab and GoJek,” one Bali tourist advised in a TikTok.

“If you are a solo traveller Grab and GoJek offer bike taxis which is often much cheaper than getting a car taxi. If you want to hire a driver for the day you can also use Grab and GoJek and choose how many hours you need to drive before. It will always give you the price before you order the taxi.”

Officials continue to are crack down on shady operators with the Indonesia’s National Tourism Board, Wonderful Indonesia, encouraging tourists to use “established ride-hailing apps like Grab, GoJek or MyBluebbird taxis”.

However, it emphasised tourists to check the app for the driver’s name, photo and license plate.

“Look out for company stickers or route info displays on the car – a sign you’re in the right place,” Wonderful Indonesia wrote.

“Make full use of in-app features like live location tracking and journey sharing. They’re not just for safety but also to keep a digital log of your travels.”

It also said tourists should “always head to official pick up locations such as airports, hotels or recognised taxi stands”.

“Places like these are hotspots for authentic drivers from Grab, GoJek, and Bluebird.”