Tourist charged NIS 10,100 ($2,800) for shawarma in Jerusalem
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Tourist charged NIS 10,100 ($2,800) for shawarma in Jerusalem

Woman refunded only several weeks after Old City meal; former worker describes scheme to swindle foreigners

Illustrative: shwarma meat being cooked in Jerusalem on December 20, 2013. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Illustrative: shwarma meat being cooked in Jerusalem on December 20, 2013. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

A tourist was charged NIS 10,100 ($2,800) last month for a shawarma plate in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Laura Ziff was refunded for the charge some three weeks after the fact, according to her post on social media, after the incident was publicized on Israeli media Monday.

The owners of the shawarma joint insisted the transaction was a mistake, but a former worker told Channel 12 it was part of a broader scheme to swindle unsuspecting tourists.

“This is one of the reasons I left the place,” said the former employee, who was not named. “They started playing with the prices, it’s terrible. Police came three times with tourists.”

“It works like this: They don’t have a menu. They request like [NIS] 80 for a shawarma plate and charge them in euro or dollars. Sometimes the customer notices and sees and sometimes he just gives his card and signs… It’s crazy. ”

“There are those who go to the police… and there are those who just give up, poor people,” the former worker added.

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