'Oldest trick in the book': S'porean says he was scammed into spending over $4,200 at Turkey tourist trap
Travelling hasn’t exactly been sweet and creamy for TikTok user Eclair_travels recently.
After getting pickpocketed during a trip to Paris earlier this month, the Singaporean has revealed how he and some travel companions were scammed out of US$3,000 (S$4,200) at a pottery centre in Cappadocia, Turkey.
"Oldest trick in the book yet we fell for it. Joke's on us," he said in the captions of a TikTok clip uploaded on Tuesday (Sept 6).
In the video, Eclair said the pottery centre in question – Bezirhane Culture, Arts and Ceramics Centre – was part of a private tour recommended by his hotel.
As it is rated one of the "top few hotels in Cappadocia", he and his group did not suspect anything amiss about the private tour. They also had an assigned guide whom they trusted after having spent a few days with him.
"Our guide was a master of believable storytelling," Eclair said, adding that the man shared "intricate stories" of how Covid-19 had severely impacted his family-run business.
However, at the pottery centre, he alleged that the guide worked with a "huge team", and that there were even fake tourists on hand to make it seem like visitors were getting the best deals.
The travellers were told that the pottery pieces were priced in US dollars as they were “top-grade” and made by master craftsmen with unique pottery methods.
@eclair_travels Oldest trick in the book yet we fell for it LOL. Joke’s on us tbh. Sharing to those going there. Do be more cautious.. #turkey #istanbul #touristscams #travelscams #scam #pottery #berzirhane #travel ♬ funny song - MUZik
Taken in by their sales pitches, Eclair said he and his group forked out about US$3,000 for two decanters, a set of four cups and a plate.
However, they realised later on, after leaving the country, that the items should have cost $3,000 in Turkish lira, or just S$230 in total.
After scrolling through Tripadvisor reviews of the Bezirhane Culture, Arts and Ceramics Centre, Eclair said he found a slew of bad reviews about the place.
In the comments section, one netizen asked why the group was willing to even fork out so much money for "a pot".
Eclair replied that there are "master craftsman pieces worth five to six digits", and likened the purchases to “art and its NFT counterparts”.
Also in the comments, Eclair said he did not post the video to gain sympathy but to "shed light on unethical sales tactics", so others won't make the same mistake.
"To those who think it's our naivety for being scammed, you're absolutely right and we have already recognised that fully in the video and caption," he wrote.
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