Agra poisoning scam - safe restaurants?

#1 Dec 10th, 2006, 14:33
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#1
Hello
Has anyone been to Agra recently? I am hearing horror stories detailed in the Rough Guide etc about not eating in any restaurants in the budget / tourist areas due to the poisoning scam.
Has anyone been recently & can you recommend anywehere safe to eat where you didn't get ill?
Any safe hotel recommendations also appreciated.
Thank you!
Last edited by machadinha; Dec 10th, 2006 at 21:55.. Reason: moved to scams forum
#2 Dec 10th, 2006, 14:46
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#2
What is the poisoning scam?
#3 Dec 10th, 2006, 14:53
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha What is the poisoning scam?
I think a restaurant put some poison in a tourists meal, thus making him violently ill, needing a doctor, the doctor and the restaurant each got money out of the deal, apparently an Irishman died after visiting one of these restaurants.

I read about it about 6 years ago. (I'd bet the text hasn't changed)

As Agra gets millions of tourists each year, this thread should fill up quickly with people giving their own experiences of this scam.....

I won't hold my breath.

BabyBlue, you should be totally safe, most restaurants are too busy trying to earn a living than waiting for a tourist to scam.

If you're worried, go to an upmarket place.
#4 Dec 10th, 2006, 14:55
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Originally Posted by steven_ber most restaurants are too busy trying to earn a living than waiting for a tourist to scam.
That's kind of what I was thinking really... Sounds like a very elaborate way to get some cash in no.
#5 Dec 10th, 2006, 15:14
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One of the characteristics of an urban myth is that it usually recounted second hand and usually defies logic such as how would the choice of doctors be controlled? Still, with all the tales of food adulteration something may have happened that seemed like this sometime. Never did to me or mine..
#6 Dec 10th, 2006, 21:00
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#6

Blame the Rough Guide!

Thanks for all that reassurance. Didn't think it was an 'urban myth' due to the big section in the Rough Guide To India about it but I'll try & share your scepticism!
#7 Dec 10th, 2006, 21:03
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#7
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Originally Posted by machadinha What is the poisoning scam?

Big section in Rough Guide about it - restaurants poison you, take you to a 'good' doctor they know who prescribes you pills that keep you sick for a while & get loads of money via your insurance.

Guess the Rough Guide just made it up by the sounds of people on this board!
#8 Dec 10th, 2006, 21:11
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Originally Posted by BabyBlue Big section in Rough Guide about it - restaurants poison you, take you to a 'good' doctor they know who prescribes you pills that keep you sick for a while & get loads of money via your insurance.

Guess the Rough Guide just made it up by the sounds of people on this board!
It probibly did happen for a while, and sounds really nasty and potentially very dangerous, but in the 5 or so years I've been on the travel forums and visiting India, I've never heard of it happening to anyone.
#9 Dec 10th, 2006, 21:14
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There are certainly scamming doctors in the word.

There is one in the Mediterranean somewhere who is famous among insurers for giving useless and unnecessary drugs, often by injection, and charging exorbitant amounts which the insurers have to pay --- saw a BBC prog, hidden cameras and all, about her. I think the insurers call her 'dr. needle'.

You can believe that, if a restaurant or hotel sends you to, or calls, a doctor, that a commision will be paid. That's India. It's the system; it isn't bad, its the way everybody makes/shares a living.
~
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#10 Dec 10th, 2006, 21:22
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Well not exactly a myth guys. It's what happened to the two Irish guys I worked with. Albeit in Varanasi not Agra.

I shouldn't worry about it too much though, these are VERY isolated incidents. I can't really see why Rough Guide have placed so much emphasis on this?????
#11 Dec 10th, 2006, 21:26
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#11
Slipping somebody a mickey is an age old dirty trick that may or may not happen in Agra but is something that one should be prepared for 24/7 no matter where they are in the World ...... and especially if you are female.

In North America it is the date rape drug that is the mickey de jour.

Use common sense - do your homework for restaurants and drinking holes before you travel so that you are in control of the itinerary at all times - watch your drink and take it to the washroom if you must.

Above all be Safe!
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

http://www.derekgrantdigital.com
#12 Dec 10th, 2006, 21:48
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#12
Well, yes, to rephrase: I'm sure it does happen. Keep your senses about you & your eyes open, as indicated above. If it doesn't feel right, assume it isn't, and there's no shame in erring on the conservative side. You are, after all, a stranger in a strange land. You may miss out on some good stuff this way, but avoid some of the bad stuff too no doubt.

I just hate to think sitting in India being nervous about the food all the time, well other than how spicy will it be today.
#13 Dec 10th, 2006, 21:50
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#13
You can't plan for these eventualities anyway, so why worry, enjoy India this kind of stuff isn't huge problem.

Being careful is one thing, getting paranoid quite another!!
#14 Dec 11th, 2006, 16:55
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#14
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Originally Posted by PeakXV [B]

Use common sense - do your homework for restaurants and drinking holes before you travel so that you are in control of the itinerary at all times - watch your drink and take it to the washroom if you must.

Above all be Safe!

That's exactly what I'm trying to do - do my homework for safe places - but no one on here seems to have any recommendations for me to eat at so guess I'll just have to go with everyone else on this board & assume it's a load of rubbish (thanks Rough Guide!)
#15 Dec 11th, 2006, 16:57
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberhippie You can't plan for these eventualities anyway, so why worry, enjoy India this kind of stuff isn't huge problem.

Being careful is one thing, getting paranoid quite another!!

You can plan by getting opinions on safe places to eat.
It is a huge problem if it were true & I spent weeks laid up.
Believing the Rough Guide's warning isn't paranoia, it is being careful!

Cheers for that helpful advice!
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