American tourist scammed by "sketchy" ouzo offer in Athens

ouzo American tourist

An American tourist admitted to feeling "really stupid" after falling for a scam in Athens.

He wrote on Reddit: “I fell for a tourist scam and feel really stupid. This was in Athens. I was walking down a street looking at Google Maps and ran into a guy who asked if I needed directions.

“He asked if I had ever tried ouzo, Greece’s national drink. I said no. He said ‘I work at a bar! I’ll give you some for free.’

“I knew this was sketchy but I had heard from some friends that some Greek people will offer ouzo to tourists legitimately.

“I walked into the bar and immediately knew that I walked into a scam. They shut the door behind me and put a heavy (security person) by it.

“They gave me my drink and then two hostesses asked if they could drink with me. I said ‘sure if you pay you yourself’.

“I finished the ouzo and then they stuck me for a 90 euro bil. I couldn’t run because the heavy was at the door so I reluctantly paid. Once I paid I got out of there quick.”

Tourists will need to be careful if strangers offer them things for ‘free’ as it could turn out to be a scam.

Holidaymakers should always remain in public and never follow a stranger into a building away from other people.

Another tourist said: “My first rule of travelling is to ignore anyone who comes up to talk to me.”

One person agreed saying: “I learned that when I went on a European tour. Our tour guide said that even a simple ‘no thank you’ doesn’t even work.

“It may seem rude but not engaging in any conversation seems the best way.”

However, another traveller disagreed saying: “Sad thing is you sometimes miss out on real opportunities by doing that.

“I was in Vietnam when I was approached by a couple in their 20s who started chatting with me.

“It triggered all my scam flags and I was very suspicious, but figured there wouldn’t be any real harm as I wasn’t going to visit any bars with them and was on guard for theft.

“It turned out they were young professionals who just hung out there to talk to tourists so they could improve their English.

“We ended up going to some street stalls and eating and drinking the night away on the square.”

Many tourists have great experiences with local residents and speaking to them can be a great way to find the city’s best attractions.

Another tourist said: “The average person is honest and eager to help. That’s true regardless of location in my experience.

The vast majority of people want nothing more than to help a stranger in need. But if you are just walking along doing your thing, nobody who doesn't have ulterior motives is going to stop you.”

Tourists should be cautious if a stranger approaches them and ask for help from passersby if they need it.

If tourists do want tips from local residents they could approach them themselves or book a tour.

READ MORE: Athens International Airport awarded first spot in world airline competition.

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