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Guy Scam Dec2013

Singapore, Singapore
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Guy Scam Dec2013

On the day I arrived in Rome, took a walk down the Via Nazionale after Repubblica metro at about 10pm. After passing the Via Torino junction, a middle eastern man speaking English and also holding a map asked me for directions. With a dumbfounded look, he realised I was a tourist too and explained that he too arrived an hour ago from Saudi Arabia. He claimed he was a VP of a construction company and even game me his card. He seemed well travelled and talked about himself running the family business getting to where he is today. I too am running my own business and soon we began a conversation. He showed me a card (Millionaire Bar) that his hotel recommended for a piano bar and suggested that we go for a drink. As I did not have any plans and did not immediately smell a rat, I went along. However, as we walked, he seemed to be more familiar as he did not refer to the map at all. When we arrived, there were 2 bouncers standing at the door and I immediately sense that something was not quite right. The inside was dimly lit and only 1 table was occupied. However, the guy on the piano was like 65 years old and I immediately let my guard down. We ordered a drink each and we were soon approached by 2 women. A waiter then asks if we would like to buy drinks for the girls. My "friend" says sure and I went along. I did not ask what they were drinking but it seemed like champagne. I enjoyed the company so far but I was also trying to leave soon as it was getting late. She asked me to dance and offered her services which I declined tactfully. I told him I had to go and needed to make an urgent phone call. The waiter brought 2 seperate bills, each was for euro1035. The guy was cool and handed over 50 and gave his Visa for the balance as it was his 'limit' for the day. I only have 150 with me and he was trying to convince me to cough out my Visa so that we could leave together. He offered to stay and wait as they escorted me back to my hotel to get my card. On the way, I wanted to make a dash for it at the traffic lights as the manager who was driving was in his 70s but I had already revealed my hotel. I did not consider returning to the bar and paid him in CASH. Thats one expensive lesson learned on my 1st day in Rome. I even asked the hotel receptionist to escort me and negotiate but there was nothing he could do. Well, I now hate Rome and my stupidity and will forever caution everyone heading there. I can only hope the scams affect tourism there and let them be in ruins forever.

Italy
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39,484 posts
206 reviews
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1. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

Thanks for posting your negative experience but why on earth would you go with a total stranger to a bar and when you sensed that something wasn't quite right still go in, you must have known it was a scam when you saw the type of place it was that was when you should have legged it.

Passo Corese, Italy
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1,509 posts
22 reviews
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2. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

I feel for you, but why should the rest of us Romans "be left in ruins" because of a middle eastern scammer and his accomplices?! Anyway, have you tried contacting the police, or the Guardia di Finanza (117)? They're the ones dealing with this kind of things...

Edited: 10 December 2013, 07:25
Australia
Destination Expert
for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples
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8,648 posts
155 reviews
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3. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

Oh my gosh - I don't feel sorry for you at all. You offered to buy drinks for a couple of strange women, you didn't check prices, you didn't trust your instincts. How is this the fault of Rome? It's totally your fault for being so gullible.

Italy
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6,041 posts
19 reviews
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4. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

these scams happen all over the world

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
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37,719 posts
28 reviews
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5. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

You should have just told them you weren't paying and suggested that they call the police.

Dublin, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Austria
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18,053 posts
72 reviews
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6. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

yep. the same scams operate in every major city. if I was visiting any city, I do not believe that I would fall for such an obvious scam!

New York City, New...
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40,525 posts
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7. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

Oh, boy. Sorry, but to lay your - well, let's just be kind - naivety at the feet of Rome as a whole is just pathetic.

YOU fell for the con - no one else; seriously, why would you do something like with a total stranger. Cons like this happen everywhere around the world to people who fall for them.

What exactly is the warning to others? I don't know anyone who would do something as foolish as this.

Sorry you had a bad time - but to blame Rome really diminishes any modicum of sympathy I may have had - which, frankly, was already nil.

Turin
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6,206 posts
1 review
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8. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

> Well, I now hate Rome and my stupidity and will forever caution everyone heading there

> I can only hope the scams affect tourism there and let them be in ruins forever.

Well you forgot frogs, pestilence, locusts and, of course, a never ending classic: the death of the firstborn!

Here
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531 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

This scam has been going on for years in cities all over the globe.

vancouver, b.c.
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9 posts
9 reviews
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10. Re: Guy Scam Dec2013

You're not the first and certainly will not be the last to fall for this. We almost wandered into this trap in Beijing this March EVEN after reading about the 'tea room' scam on Tripadvisor. Similar situation; first exciting day, jet lagged, charming fellow tourist, etc. Luckily, another victim warned us before we entered. It does happen all over the world, even in sweet little Canada were I am from. I'm going to Rome this October and I can't wait.