Krystal Nikol never thought she’d fall victim to a scam.
Writing in a Facebook group for Bali tourists, Krystal was shocked to find many others in the same boat.
She had pre-booked tours and trips for herself and her husband with a highly recommended driver on a Facebook group for Bali tourists.
The driver demanded an advance payment. He had asked for a wire transfer, but Krystal refused and said she would pay on arrival in Bali.
The man then turned up at their hotel the day before the tour and demanded payment for two days of excursions and boat transfers for two. This totalled $300, which she paid.
She alleged that the man then cancelled the tours, stopped responding to any of their messages and did not refund them the money.
The Facebook group’s admin helped Krystal by getting in touch with the driver. He claimed his son was sick and said he would refund her, but he then blocked the admin as well.
“He seemed very nice and even wrote me a receipt but has since ignored all messages from me, and from admin [on the Facebook group], who gave him three chances to refund me before I made this post,” Krystal told news.com.au.
“It’s been six weeks since this incident and nothing’s come of it except my frustration, so I posted about it on two Bali Facebook pages, and the response had been huge. Nearly 1000 people have seen my posts in 24 hours and many have messaged him but he still has not contacted me.”
Krystal had regularly travelled to Bali and considered herself 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,” she wrote on Facebook.
“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. We know the streets and neighbourhoods and feel very comfortable there.”