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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Anxious parents concerned about safety in Budapest

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I'm reluctant to ask this queastion to my fellow Fodorites, who have been so generous with their time, answering questions whenever we travel. So, please, understand that I'm asking as a concerned parent.

A close friend's 29 year old son just returned from Budapest. He told a disturbing story- his first evening there, he and a friend he was traveling with met 2 local young women. After a brief chat, one of the girls asked the guys if they would like to go to a noisy club. They agreed and follweed the girls to a club on the third floor of a building. The 4 of them had 5 drinks, and then, finanlly, the boys realized that things might not be legit, and they decided to leave and asked for a check- it was for $800. They told the waiter that they did not have the money, and 3 "goons" came over and surrounded the table, and said, pointing- " ATM". They decided that they had gotten in over their heads and actually withdrew the money and left. When they returned to their hostel, they met 2 other male travelers who had had a similar experience, but had had a gun pointed at them when they refused at first. The young men did not report the incident, because they were told that it was probably the Russian mofia, and that the police were in on it.

My 26 year old daughter is going to Eastern Europe this summer, planning 2 weeks with a female friend- a week or so each in Berlin and Budapest- they have friends in each place. Afterwatds, she is traveling alone for 2 weeks - maybe to Poland and Prague, and then back to Germany ( I can't pin her down on this). She is well traveled in Asia and has never had any problem. I'm concerned after hearing this story, cause the young people tend to be so trusting, and her only foreign language is French.

Any advise you can give me (and her) would be much appreciated. I feel that my friend's son was over trusting- perhaps even rather dumb, but, as I said, kids can be too trusting. I'd like to give my daughter advise to allow her to enjoy new places and still stay safe. Is this a known risk for travelers? Are ther known places and situations she sould avoid? Who is responsible for such scams? What exactly is the danger?

Thank you all in advance.

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