7 Best Responses After Man Is Scammed Out of $14K in Istanbul!

Recently, a Canadian man we’ll call Liam shared a story to warn others of this traveling scam called “Let’s have a drink” in Istanbul. He explained that they took him in a cab to a dark alley, where they led him into a basement club through an unmarked door.

Every time he went to the bathroom, one man would follow, two large men guarding the door, and another took the payment. Liam ended up wasted drunk. He announced his bill should’ve been between $250-300 CAD. However, he was charged $14k CAD ($10,560 USD) in four transactions on two credit cards.

They charged him in Turkish lira, and he didn’t understand the billing (everything was in Turkish). They told Liam repeatedly that the credit card machine wasn’t working, so he continued to try to pay.

Liam felt he could only safely leave once the bill was settled. Additionally, the man held the pin pad, and Liam couldn’t see the amount. Liam has contacted both credit card companies, and all transactions are still pending.

The Following Day

One credit card company refused to do anything because he was there in person, even with coercion. Of course, he could open up a dispute after the transaction posts, but that would unlikely be successful.

The second company seemed inclined to reverse the charges. Furthermore, they’ve opened a fraud investigation that is expected to take three-to-four weeks.

Liam confessed he hadn’t the Turkish police, as he was flying home and now it was the middle of the night. Additionally, he’s concerned about the language barrier in filing a police report.

Finally, Liam’s also considering contacting the Canadian consulate but is unsure if they will be able to help me. He asked for advice, and if others shared the experience, this is how the community responded.

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1. Cancel Your Credit Cards

The first thing people advised Liam to do was cancel his credit cards if he hadn’t already. One also informed Liam to go over the heads of the first credit card company and file a complaint with the financial ombudsman/regulator.

2. The Shoebrush Scam

Another warned about the shoebrush scam. A guy walking in front of you seems to lose a shoebrush. So, the excellent tourist you are, you pick up the brush and announce they’ve lost it.

The scammer becomes overjoyed and begs to brush your shoes as a gesture of gratitude. However, after he finishes, he demands an insane amount of money, and prominent men suddenly surround you.

3. The Tissue Pack on the Subway Seat Scam

The tissue pocket pack on the subway seat scam is run all over Europe. One explained they put a pocket pack of tissues on an empty subway seat. So that when you move it to sit down, they can jump in and say “10 euros” or “10 pounds.”

You say you didn’t want to buy it, they go, but now you touched it, I can’t sell to anyone else, and then more people who are with them in the same subway car show up, and the intimidation occurs. Because you want to get out and not be followed by these people, you end up paying the money.

4. Never Admit Your Fault

“Never admit that you allowed it when making these disputes.” Instead, one suggests saying they are unauthorized transactions and you think someone stole your card info.

They continued, don’t admit to being drugged, overcharged, or anything else. Instead, say, “Someone stole my card, and I did not authorize these transactions.”

5. The Bracelet Scam

Have you heard of the bracelet scam? Two travelers shared being approached forcibly—one in Italy, the other in Paris. Someone targets you, grabs you and begins tying a bracelet around your wrist while demanding money. One woman expressed being scared because the man was big and grabbed her wrist without warning.

6. The Rose Scam

Another common one in Europe is the rose scam, where a guy will hand a woman half of a straight couple a rose. Then, they demand money, and the guy doesn’t want to look like a cheapskate for refusing her a rose, and you are out about 50 euros.

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7. Always Divide Money and Credit Cards

“Always divide money and credit cards.” First, one suggests keeping a small amount in front of the back pocket. Then, keep a considerable amount in hidden space—for example, a leg wallet, shoes, etc. So if you are involved in a scam, you’ll only lose the front wallet, and the rest will remain secure.

This thread inspired this post. This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Savoteur.