Philoxenia? American Tourist Falls for Ouzo Scam in Athens

ATHENS – Tourists in Greece Alert! If you’re approached in the streets of Athens and directed toward a bar, it can sometimes be a lure to get you inside and pay a lot for a drink, especially ouzo, or you’re not going to get out.

An American visiting Athens told the site Reddit that he fell for it and felt pretty stupid but was trapped and intimidated and wanted to let others not to have the same experience if approached by a local.

“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,’” the British newspaper The Express said.

“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.” Not a good sign.

That’s when he said he knew he was in trouble.  “They gave me my drink and then two hostesses asked if they could drink with me. I said ‘sure if you pay for yourself.’” Eh! Nice try but it didn’t work.

“I finished the ouzo and then they stuck me for a 90 euro ($95.82) bill. I couldn’t run because the heavy was at the door so I reluctantly paid. Once I paid I got out of there quick.” He didn’t say why he didn’t call the police.


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