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Latest scam to watch out for

Leamington Spa...
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Latest scam to watch out for

Tourists walk up to busy bar, guy stood in doorway talking to waiter/waitress comes over and greets them and takes them to an empty table outside. Takes their drinks order, comes back with drinks, then with the bill. A short time after they pay a waiter/waitress appears with another bill.

The guy stood talking to the waiter/waitress had been telling them that he is waiting for some people he works with/met earlier/is driving round. He's already arranged for a table to be held. Once the right number of tourists arrive for the table he goes over and greets them, takes their order and goes with it to the bar, he then brings their drinks and gets their bill (he's told the barman the same story while waiting for the drinks). He then waits for the payment and walks off out another entrance, away from the tourists with the free money he's just been given.

This happened to us last night, moral of the story, take your bill to the teller and pay there!

Italy
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1. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

My goodness, this is a new one at least to me I don't think i've heard this before and yes you should always pay at the till like Italians always do but what did the Bar owner say?

Leamington Spa...
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2. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

That he couldn't believe it, he was very sorry and would check the security tapes to see if he could find a good picture to give to the police. We still had to pay the bill, but he gave us a few free shots to soften the blow a little!

Luckily we only gave over €20 and not a €100 or a credit card...

NY
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3. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

A new one to me too, am sure it can happen. But my thinking is there are are two ways to get drinks from bars - either order and pay before getting them, or there is a real waiter who actually works at the bar/cafe. It seems odd the bar would let someone take drinks away without paying first.

Dearborn, Michigan
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4. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

Wow! That's quite creative! Thanks for the heads up!

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

Yes, I don't get why the scammer would be allowed to take the drinks away from the bar together with the bill, but without payment, or why the waitress would then deliver another bill for the same drinks...!

rome
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6. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

this was in the italian newspapers this summer:

…corriere.it/roma/notizie/cronaca/13_luglio_…

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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7. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

The Corriere article says that he told the restaurant owner that he was the driver and guide of the American family. I'm sure it works like this:

Con artist gets in conversation with the waiter outside and says he's waiting for a party of four who've hired him as a driver/guide. He waits until a likely party arrives, tells the waiter, "Here they are", and joins the family, making them think he works at the bar.

I'm not surprised that the bartender lets him bring the drinks to the table; in Italy, the customers often bring their own drinks to the table, so why not their driver? In the article, the family ate a whole meal, and were served by a real waiter. The "driver" even took photos of the family with their own camera. At the end of the meal, he asked at the cash register for the check so he could go over it (another service to his English-speaking clients) and presented the check to the family, telling them that payment had to be in cash. He then returned to the cash register, but instead of paying the bill, he asked the cashier if he could bum a cigarette, and then went outside to smoke it, and disappeared.

With the con at the bar, it would be even easier to fool both parties, although the take would be lower.

I suggest that you send an email to this service that looks after security in the city of Rome:

ufficiosicurezza.sirs@comune.roma.it

You might also want to send a cc to turismo@comune.roma.it .

Keep the email short and simple, because those reading it may not be totally fluent in English. Tell them the name of the bar, and the date it happened, and a brief summary. I would also include a link to the newspaper article indicated by Wine_gal, telling them that you think it may be the same person.

And please let us know if they get back to you.

Edited: 23 September 2013, 09:16
Leamington Spa...
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8. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

Thank you for all your replies, yes, Wine_gal, and bvlenci what the article, and you describe is what happened to us. I have emailed the addresses given with a brief description of what happened, I will say if anything comes of it!

Edit: In fact, having had a second look at the photos with the article it could even be the same guy (but the photos aren't very clear!).

Edited: 23 September 2013, 20:31
Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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9. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

I wouldn't be surprised if it were the same person. He must be quite a talented actor; most petty criminals wouldn't be able to carry it off.

Greenwood, South...
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10. Re: Latest scam to watch out for

We experienced this on the Amalfi coast by a little old woman. We paid her for some beverages that we ordered and didn't receive a receipt. She came back later with a paper invoice and asked for payment. Rather than argue (she didn't speak English), we just paid her twice and learned our lesson to never pay unless a ticket/invoice is given to us. It's very difficult to turn down a sweet-faced little old lady!