(ALERT) Unmasking Deception: The Recent Scams at Hookah in Parque Lleras

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Medellin, once celebrated for its cultural renaissance and the warmth of its people, now finds its name tarnished by a series of scams at the popular nightlife spot, Hookah. This behavior has been covered recently in the popular newspaper, El Colombiano – Es como para dos o tres personas”: habló dueño del restaurante que cobró arepa a $160.000 . This has been also spoken about in various Ex-Pat and travel Facebook groups ad-nauseum. These scams have left partygoers disillusioned and fearful, casting a shadow over the city’s burgeoning tourism and entertainment industries.

It was brought to our attention that there was a scam that happened over the weekend where a group of partygoers were charged over $30,000 USD between 3 people’s credit cards. 

(ALERT) Unmasking Deception: The Recent Scams at Hookah in Parque Lleras -

The Lure of Hookah: A Breeding Ground for Deception

Hookah is located in the corner of Parque Lleras, in a prime location with its vibrant atmosphere, alluring music, and an air of exclusivity, Hookah has become a magnet for both locals and tourists. However, this bustling nightlife hub has also attracted a darker element: scammers preying on unsuspecting revelers. Reports have surfaced detailing how these fraudulent schemes have evolved, becoming more sophisticated and harder to detect, leaving victims in their wake.

The Drink Scam: Poison in the Glass

One of the most insidious scams involves spiked drinks. Victims have reported feeling disoriented and ill after consuming drinks at Hookah. These incidents often start with seemingly friendly interactions. A charming stranger offers to buy a drink, or a server subtly suggests a particular cocktail. Moments later, the victim’s world spins out of control. They wake up hours later, often in a different location, robbed of their belongings with a large bill of more than $10,000 USD.

This nefarious tactic not only leaves victims physically and financially harmed but also emotionally scarred, undermining their trust in Medellin.

The Overcharging Racket: Inflated Bills and Empty Wallets

Another prevalent scam at Hookah involves exorbitant charges on customer bills. Unscrupulous bartenders and servers have been reported to add extra items to bills or inflate the prices of ordered drinks. Tourists, unfamiliar with local currency and prices, are particularly vulnerable. Confrontations are often met with intimidation tactics, discouraging victims from reporting the incidents.

In some cases, patrons have been lured into private areas or VIP sections with promises of special treatment and discounted prices. Once isolated, they are presented with astronomical bills, and refusal to pay often results in threats or physical coercion.

The Aftermath: A Call for Vigilance and Action

The impact of these scams is far-reaching. Victims often leave Medellin with a bitter taste, sharing their harrowing experiences online, which tarnishes the city’s reputation globally. Local authorities have been criticized for their slow response and inadequate measures to curb these fraudulent activities.

To combat this growing menace, it’s imperative for both the management at Hookah and local law enforcement to step up. Increased security measures, staff training to recognize and prevent scams, and a more robust police presence could deter these criminals. Moreover, raising awareness among patrons about these scams can empower them to protect themselves.

Conclusion: A Plea for Safety and Integrity

The recent scams at Hookah in Medellin are not just isolated incidents but a symptom of a larger problem. They highlight the urgent need for systemic change to protect patrons and restore trust in the city’s nightlife. As Medellin strives to maintain its appeal as a vibrant and safe destination, addressing these scams with the seriousness they deserve is paramount. If you have been the victim of this scam, we recommend that you contact the police immediately. You can also use our crime report form to get the information directly to the Fiscalia and National Police. It’s also good to let the US Embassy know as well. 

Don’t be intimidated by this behavior, it’s your right to call the police. This is not normal behavior and don’t let scams like this ruin your evening out. We have to give the warning that if you want a great experience in Medellin, avoid Hookah in Parque Lleras. Your safety isn’t worth the mediocre experience you will have there.

What To Do If You Were a Victim of Hookah

If you’re a victim of the Hookah Bar in Parque Lleras be sure to inform the authorities.

You can file a case for fraud with the Police / Fiscalia
– Denuncia Virtual
– Estafa
– Fillout the form they provide

Then file a report against the Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio – if the organization gets enough reports against this business they will look into the business and hopefully shut them down. https://sedeelectronica.sic.gov.co/atencion-y-servicios-a-la-ciudadania/peticiones-quejas-reclamos-y-denuncias
– Choose PQRSF Complaint
– Fill out the form.

Don’t forget to file a report through Medellin.co with Report a Crime Our report a crime goes directly to the Fiscalia and Police. It also allows us to keep count on how many crimes are being reported in the city.

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