The US state department's bureau of consular affairs has apologised after suggesting on Twitter that unattractive Americans should be wary if a good-looking local offers to buy them a drink.
As part of its "#springbreakingbadly" series, targeting travelling students, the department warned those who were not considered attractive in the United States to be vigilant if someone offered to buy them a drink in a bar overseas - as it was likely to be a scam.
Kids, @TravelGov is just trying to tell you that you could get assaulted somewhere if you're an uggo. If you're a 10, you're good to go!— Molly Priddy (@mollypriddy) March 30, 2016
The tweet read said "Not a '10' in the US? Then not a 10 overseas. Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse - being robbed. #springbreakingbadly".
The well-meaning warning attracted plenty of criticism and ridicule on social media.
@TravelGov what should I do if I am a 10?— Josh Barro (@jbarro) March 30, 2016
"Do Americans gag when they see your face? Then Europeans will too. You're hopeless"— Roberto Ferdman (@robferdman) March 30, 2016
The US State Department https://t.co/DgfcWhcUO7
The offending tweet was later deleted and the department issued an apology.
Some have been offended by our earlier tweet and we apologize that it came off negatively (1/2)— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) March 30, 2016
We see many Americans fall victim to scams each year & want all to be careful while traveling 2/2— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) March 30, 2016
Another deleted tweet warned travellers about making friends overseas.
"Meet your mate online and now he needs you to send him money overseas? It might be a scam- don't fall victim to it!" it said.
@TravelGov has tweeted out several other pieces of travel advice in the #springbreakingbadly series, most of it quite obvious.
Tempted to buy cheap pirated goods overseas? Don't. You could be prosecuted in the U.S. #springbreakingbadly— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) March 28, 2016
If someone asks you to take a package overseas, dont do it. Foreign jail is not where you want to spend spring break. #springbreakingbadly— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) March 29, 2016
Hopping on a bus across the border? Be sure you have enough money for trip or could end up broke & 1000 miles from home #springbreakingbadly— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) March 30, 2016