As a foreign tourist, you should always pay extra attention when the waiter brings you the bill. Otherwise, you can easily get ripped off, let alone forced to pay a fortune for only a couple of drinks or a simple dinner. In this article, we collected the biggest tourist scams of recent years in Budapest. These foreign guests definitely paid a high price for the ’cordial’ hospitality.
2 short drinks and 2 glasses of champagne for EUR 460
This case happened a few years ago at a nightclub in the 5th district of Budapest.
The Japanese guest was charged EUR 460 for 2 short drinks and 2 glasses of champagne and was accompanied to a street ATM to pay the amount in cash.
The exorbitant price raised suspicion in the foreign visitor who immediately reported the incident to the police. As the Hungarian news portal Blikk reports, the investigation revealed that the employees had already deceived their guests several times in an organised manner. Their tactic was to invite tourists by the restaurant’s female staff. The perpetrators gained a total of EUR 2,700 additional revenue and billed ten times more than the actual amount consumed.
Few drinks at a pub for EUR 1,680
During a year and a half, at least 19 foreigners were trapped in a pub on Váci Street by a group of employees who acted as a criminal organisation.
Similarly to the previous case, a Korean man was charged EUR 1,680 for a few drinks.
As the tourist did not have that much money in cash, the employees asked for his passport and credit card and accompanied him to an ATM to pay the missing amount. Another victim of the perpetrators was charged EUR 676 for two goulash soups, a bottle of wine, and two bottles of beer.
EUR 60,000 for an accommodation (by accident)
Rarely, but it can happen that the overcharge occurs by accident. We previously reported about the financial nightmare of a British couple who paid EUR 60,000 by accident for their weekend in the Hungarian capital. The case happened in September 2019,
after the employee of a Budapest hotel accidentally charged the amount in Euro instead of Hungarian Forint.
As a result, the young British couple paid all together EUR 60,158 for the accommodation. Even though the guests did not have that much money, the transaction generated a gigantic minus on the account of the guests. Afterward, the hotel noticed the error and refunded the money immediately, but the British couple’s vacation was already ruined. Their bank charged roughly EUR 3,350 for the transactions as well as for the exchange and additional fees which were initially refused to be refunded. After one week of panic attacks, insomnia, and anger, the British guests were finally reimbursed by their bank – reported by Travel Pulse.
Extreme case in Switzerland: EUR 70,500 for a glass of fake whiskey
The incident happened in a Swiss hotel.
A rich Chinese novelist paid 10,000 francs (EUR 70,500) for a sip of an allegedly 139-year-old whiskey.
However, whiskey industry experts became suspicious based on the photos of the drink in the journals. They discovered inconsistencies on the bottle’s label and plug. The case was investigated by researchers at the University of Oxford.
It turned out that the drink was not made in the year that it was claimed. Further laboratory tests revealed that it was not a pure malt whiskey, but a blended beverage with 60% malt and 40% grain. It is not the same thing, especially if EUR 70,500 is at stake… The hotel finally accepted the result of the experts and refunded the purchase price to the deceived guest.
The lesson of the stories mentioned above is that we should pay extra attention when paying abroad. And in the case of a suspiciously high amount, we should not be afraid of reporting it to the local authorities.
Although it does not fall into the category of fraud, we should not be surprised if we are charged a few extra cents for the service fee. The case was reported by Vujity Tvrtko, awarded Hungarian writer, journalist, and television reporter who recently received an invoice that listed an unusual item. In addition to the consumed food and drink, 1 Hungarian forint was charged by the waiter for delivering the dishes. Although the story is rather funny than outrageous, the restaurant certainly has not become popular for its cordial hospitality.
Read alsoThis is what you should pay attention to when riding a cab in Budapest as a tourist
Source: blikk.hu; travelpulse.com
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