[I received this account of a Single
Male Scam incident in May
2012. It is published here with the
permission of the traveler, who wishes
to remain anonymous. —TB]:
"Firstly, I have been using your
guide (originally lonely
planet) to travel
in Turkey since 1994. Thank you for
your continued efforts and wonderful
source of information!!
"I was recently looking up some info
for an upcoming trip and came across
male scam page. I will briefly
recount my 'Let's have a drink' story
and then offer some suggestions.
"Back when I was a wee lad I had fallen
prey to this scam. It was the usual
strolling on Istiklal at night and
the lure of hanging out and having
fun drew me in. And it was the usual
being boxed in by two women and subsequently
a large man and receiving a huge
"I am soft spoken but at the
time also a cock-sure New Yorker and
did not take well to any of this. My
point being, while I was aware I was
in danger and had to take my path wisely,
I was not intmidated.
"I managed to
slip all credit cards into my sock
under the table during the fray. I
still have no recollection as to how
I managed that. I had $80 in cash and
after much verbal abuse from both parties
they accepted and let me go.
straight to the police and brought
them to the bar. The police took me
into the bar office and I demanded
my money back - and at my suggestion,
less what an expensive version of a
drink would be. Then I lectured them
on abusing tourists and what horrible
criminals they were. The police were
VERY nice about it and treated my in
a very motherly way, joking around
and making me feel better. They also
seemed happy to come with me, to spend
a few minutes to see the lady dancers
in the bar. It was a win-win.
"Here are my suggestions:
"I make the point about bringing the
cops back to the bar because it not
only helps the cops, but it shows the
criminals that there are greater risks
to the game and hopefully help to abate
the problem. It does not seem as if
any of the other victims did this.
"I am a night person, I
and so as those two things intersect,
I also intersect with these schemeing
lads from time to time on the street.
I have found one of the fastest ways
to get rid of them is to say this one
sentence, in a pleasent, laid back
tone: 'Oh, no, I don't need
a drink, I am out just enjoying some
fresh air and taking a walk, I did
not bring any money or my wallet with
" Firstly it does not
let on that you are on to them and
most importantly if you have
no money, they evaporate miraculously.
Even if they persist a bit, as in 'lets
to to your hotel and get your money,'
just say no or its far away. They will
tire, you are not a valuable use of
"So thats my bit.
"Keep up the good work!"
(Name withheld by request)
[TB: Please read
these tips about how
to avoid—or escape from—this type