Be aware for typical scams in Lombok
During our time in Lombok we had a few encounters with potential scammers. But we also heard stories about tourists being scammed. I absolutely don’t want to discourage you to travel to Lombok, because the island is beautiful and has lots of things to offer. But I do want to warn you for a few potential scams to make your trip to Lombok a beautiful memory!
Please be alert when you rent a motorbike. There are a few potential scams possible with renting motorbikes.
1. Paying for damage you didn’t make. How to avoid?
Always check AND photograph scratches or other damage to the motorbike you rent. Do this together with the person you rent the bike from. Don’t feel ashamed to do this! In this way you have prove that certain scratches were already on the motorbike. Otherwise you have the chance that these people want to scam you by paying for the damage on the motorbike you didn’t make.
2. Your motorbike gets stolen but is surprisingly found by other locals (or not!) who insist and sometimes even threaten you to pay. How to avoid?
Make sure to check reviews of the party you want to rent from, or rent directly from the place where you’re staying. Mostly these people work together with a group, and they share their proceeds with each other. For more information, read this article on Lonely Planet about someones experience being scammed in Lombok with a stolen motorbike.
Same as what happens with motorbike rental. When you hand in the surfboard at the surf school, they say that you made a scratch and insist you to pay for the damage. How to avoid? Same as with the motorbike rental. Always check AND photograph scratches or other damage to the surfboard together with the person you’re renting from.
“You need a guide” waterfalls scam
How to avoid? Either go very, very early (before the ticket office opens), or make sure you’re very steadfast in negotiating. The locals want to earn some extra money by walking with you to the waterfalls “as your guide”. They say “you need a guide to go to the waterfalls”. That’s just nonsense, because the paths to the waterfalls are very straight forward. You can’t get lost, it’s not a tricky hike or whatsoever.
Mount Rinjani trekking scam
How to avoid? Go to either Senaru or Sembalun directly and talk to the companies there. Always read reviews before booking a tour with a company! Trekking Mount Rinjani is a serious thing and requires a serious company to guide you! Don’t book in Kuta because they add up a lot of costs.