I have just returned from a business trip to Budapest and much to my annoyance I fell for a scam. I am widely travelled and normally veer well away from situations like this but this one time my guard was down and so I feel obliged to let others know - forearmed is forewarned.
I was simply wandering about near the river on the Pest side and these 2 friendly girls asked for directions, (i was looking at a map and looking for a bar). They were in their late twenties. They wanted to go to a bar, and asked me to join them. I said no way but in the end they persuaded me to come along for one. It was only about 7pm and I thought what was the harm in one beer after a days work ? I suppose the fact they seemed to know exactly which bar we should go to should have raised an alarm bell - but it didn't.
Anyway we had a few shots and their company was pleasant. At about 8.30 ish i thought i better head off. The bill came and I was expecting about £30 equivalent maybe more but I knew how much drinks should be so wasn't expecting anything much higher. It was £600 !!
I only had £80 on me. Conveniently there was an ATM outside which i was walked to. I stayed calm throughout but was thinking what the hell could I do ? At the ATM I pretended to start drawing the money but then withdrew my card and ran and ran. The owner and one of the girls were so surprised I got away.
Yes looking back there were many signs indicating this whole situation was wrong but I am always trying to believe in people's good nature. It is getting harder to..
So take warning from my story please.