How it works:
- Opening: a pretty girl helps you with directions or wants to practice her English. She then asks if you want to head to a bar/get a drink together.
- Set-up: you are approached by girls who chat with you and get you to buy drinks for them. These drinks are actually watered down alcoholic beverages that come with an inflated price. Snacks, food or drinks which you did not order can be added on as well.
Places to beware:
- Beijing: Forbidden City, Wangfujing Street, Back Lakes (Hou Hai)
- Shanghai: Xintiandi, West Nanjing Road
- Zhengzhou: Jiankang Road, Jingsan Road, Manhatten Square
What to do:
- Avoid heading to a suggested bar together with a random stranger.
- If not, consider: does the bar seem legitimate? Are there customers? Is the stranger evasive about things? Is he/she only bringing you to a particular restaurant or bar?
- Test your new “friend”: pretend you have company by suggesting to go another place where you have friends at. Ask for prices before ordering. Take a photo together.
- If scammed: pay with a credit card but call the bank to dispute the charges immediately. Keep a separate bank account with not much cash inside to limit your losses if threatened.