LifestyleTourist traps in Istanbul: 26 scammers arrested in significant crackdown

Tourist traps in Istanbul: 26 scammers arrested in significant crackdown

In restaurants in Istanbul, there is no shortage of scammers.
In restaurants in Istanbul, there is no shortage of scammers.
Images source: © Adobe Stock
Iwona Kołczańska

7:43 AM EDT, May 27, 2024

Places that attract crowds of tourists are also magnets for scammers. Istanbul has had a problem with fraudsters for years, and recently, there have been massive arrests. The criminals' method of operation was revealed, and it is terrifying.

According to Hürriyet Daily News, 46 people have been identified and charged with overcharging foreign tourists in restaurants and nightclubs in Istanbul as part of efforts to combat scammers. Twenty-six of these people have been arrested.

Scammers in Turkey

The Istanbul Prosecutor's Office has prepared indictments accusing the suspects of a series of crimes. If convicted, the defendants face sentences ranging from 21 to 762 years in prison.

The scammers operated systematically in famous districts such as Taksim and Karaköy, and they had developed a downright terrifying scheme.

When tourists took seats in restaurants, hostesses would engage them in conversation to assess their financial situation and length of stay. This information was used to determine how much to inflate the bill.

As if that were not enough, when the bill was presented, and tourists noticed that the amount was too high and refused to pay, the scammers resorted to threats and intimidation. Physical violence even occurred.

"Scam City" still relevant

Prosecutors recall the 2012 documentary series "Scam City" by Conor Woodman. One of the episodes focused specifically on Istanbul. It showed the scammers' operating schemes and the negative international image they create.

The prosecutor emphasized that these criminal organizations deceive tourists, seriously harming the tourism sector and the country's international reputation.

Persistent street vendors on the Riviera

Last week, we reported another issue in Turkey, this time on the famous Riviera. Vendors of counterfeit perfumes, clothes and restaurant workers trying to lure foreign guests are becoming an increasing problem in visitors' eyes.

Reports indicate that tourists who turn away and do not want to make purchases or use food services are sometimes even insulted.

Source: Hürriyet Daily News

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