How it works:
- Situation: this is a standard bar scam commonly found in Eastern European countries. The good news is that the authorities do take this seriously and have shut down suspect bars over the years, though one still has to be wary.
- Opening: you may encounter pretty females who chat you up and then suggest going for a drink together at a nearby bar.
- Set-up: Should you take the bait, you will end up at a club where the girls’ expensive drinks are put on your tab. Other ways of exploiting you could including spiking your drink or skimming your card. Anyhow, you should be prepared to pay 5-10x what you thought you is fair. Should you refuse to, there will be burly men around who will force you to do so.
Places to beware:
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 a company by suggesting to go to another place where you have friends at. Ask for prices before ordering. Take a photo together.
- If scammed: threaten to call the police, pay with a credit card but call immediately to dispute the charges. Keep a separate bank account with little cash to limit your losses if threatened.