Picture by Pedro Szekely/Flickr CC
It can become so easy to become captivated by the beauty of Greece that you let your guard down and forget that there are scams there, too. One particular one to watch out for, especially for men, is being invited to a bar for a drink by a stranger. Many scammers prey on tourists, strike up a friendly conversation, and then offer to buy the tourist a drink. Only once the tourist is in the bar, they will usually be approached by a woman asking the tourist to buy them a drink. If the tourist falls for this, they will find that the drink is outrageously priced. Other tourists have even found that they have been drugged by the person that took them to the bar. The best way to handle this situation if you are invited for a drink by someone that you have struck up a conversation with is to invite them to your hotel bar. If it is a scammer, they won’t go with you. Hollywood Bar in Athens seems to be the most common bar where this scam takes place.
A lot of people in Greece have also had their cell phones stolen by scammers asking what time it is. When you take out your cell phone to look, they snatch it and run away. Just tell the person asking that you don’t know what time it is. Most people have their own cell phones today and can find the time themselves. When asked this question by a stranger, there is a good chance that you are being scammed.
The taxi drivers in Greece are known for pulling scams on tourists. The most popular one is where they will tell you that the hotel that you ask to be taken to isn’t safe, when of course it is. The taxi driver will then take you to a hotel that he is getting a commission from. They are known to do this when you request a certain restaurant as well, so if you want to go to a certain place, just stand your ground, and don’t let them talk you into doing something different.