Once I checked in and dropped my bags off at the hostel, I immediately went out by myself to take photos in the surrounding neighborhood. I was taking photos of the Blue Mosque when a lone gentleman walked up to me. We walked around together and talked. The conversation went something like this;
Him: Will you please take my photo in front of the mosque?
Me: Sure, I don't mind
Him: Are you from Turkey?
Me: No, I am traveling from the United States.
Him: I am traveling also. I am from Lebanon. Are you all by yourself?
Me: Yes, I'm traveling alone.
Him: Do you want to go grab a drink?
Him: I know this excellent bar near my hotel.
Me: Ummm, I prepaid for dinner reservations at my hostel. (This was a complete lie.) Would you like to join me there?
Him: No, I really like this bar. I'll buy you a couple of drinks.
Me: No thanks. I need to get back to my hostel now for dinner.
Him: What's going on? I thought we were friends. Why are you walking away?
I learned about this scam from this show called Scam City. The guy gets you into the bar. He goes to the restroom. A beautiful lady comes to your table. You end up buying her a drink or two. The tab comes, and you charged hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a few drinks. A member of the bar staff will escort you to an ATM to get cash to pay your bill. If you refuse, they will beat it out of you.
Later that night, I told someone working at my hostel what happened. He said he had known guys returning to the hostel after falling for this scam.