“Professional scammers” or as some prefer to call them “Bedouin romance scammers” are the Jordanian guys who approach female tourists in Petra to deceive them into a romantic love story, before actually stealing their money, marrying them or even, in some cases, being accused of rape.
According to several blogs, and many reviews were written by female foreign tourists, the bedouin men, who all look like Jack Sparrow in kohl, approach female tourists for a tourist tour of the large Petra premises. They take girls to see caves, climb mountains, watch sunset and sunrise and watch the stars during the night, until they ask them for marriage.
One of the shocking facts about those scammers can be found in one of Petra local hotels where there is a scrapbook kept for tourists to read when they want to check in. The book collects handwritten stories from tourists who have been tricked into various schemes.
One of the blogs read: “I checked into Valentine Inn in Petra… The jovial receptionist pointed to a thick scrapbook on the counter. I picked it up and couldn’t believe what I saw: Pages after pages of handwritten letters from women warning female travellers to never accept the invitations of a Bedouin man.”
This bedouin industry is one of the untold secrets about Petra city. It was revealed after several female tourists shared their experience through blogs on the internet.
There is also an account on Instagram called: “Scammers in Petra/Jordan!” which has more than 7K followers.
The account aims mainly to shed more light on this issue and raise awareness about the danger of those scammers in Petra, in addition to warning female tourists on how to handle them.
“Be aware in Petra-Jordan! Some bedouins are professional romance scammers telling stories to get sex, money and a visa.”
The account shares images for those scammers with information about them. It also shares stories from females who had been deceived.
Despite all the beauty that is found in Petra city with its hospitable people, families and the natural beauty, there is an ugly side that authorities need to address.