As Indonesia begins reopening its doors to foreign tourists, we can expect an increase in the number of foreign scammers.

Some have actually remained in Indonesia throughout the pandemic, taking advantage of relaxed visa rules to extend their stays and their nefarious activities.

Black Dollar Folly

One of the silliest scams that people continue to fall for in Indonesia is the black dollar swindle. For the zillionth time, here’s how it works: The scammer says he (it’s almost always a man, but they sometimes use female identities online) has a bag of US hundred-dollar bills, which were dyed black so they could be smuggled without detection. And now the scammer needs an expensive chemical to remove the dye. If you pay for the chemical, you’ll get hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. To prove it’s legitimate, the scammer washes a blackened greenback to remove the dye. There’s only one problem: the rest of the black dollars are all fakes. The scammer simply used a citrus juice and water solution to remove iodine from an actual hundred-dollar bill.

A 32-year-old Nigerian scammer in Jakarta, identified only by his initials as MA, wasn’t going to let COVID-19 social distancing regulations stop him from finding victims. He simply went to the holy grail of ignorance and misinformation: Facebook. Using an account in the name of his Indonesian wife, he joined a Facebook group where members share “business opportunities”. He privately messaged some…

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