Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grifting the night away

It seems of late that more people are trying to stop me on the street than in the past few years ... asking for money because, say, their car broke down and they need to go visit their mother in the hospital, etc. Same schemes, just greater frequency. And the same fellow keeps asking me for directions to Sloan-Kettering (twice in the same day, once on Avenue A and once on Avenue B 30 minutes later).

A reader just noted this on East Second Street between A and B.

Some guy approached me with a story that he was trying to get home but left his wallet in a cab.

It was a typical enough, but something was odd about it, so when I got home I mentioned it to my husband as a "something funny happened to me on my way home from work."

Seems as though he was ALSO approached about 45 min prior on the opposite side of the street by a woman claiming she needed help because she left her purse in a cab.

Wondering how many other people they approached...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is an old time scam. I forget the number of times I've been approached by someone who just a few more dollars to make bus fare/just got robbed/lost his ticket/etc etc.

EV Grieve said...

Definitely old-time scams...been going on for years and years... I guess my point was that it's happening with greater frequency. Or so it seems.

LIBERATION said...

IHOP ain't cheap!

Anonymous said...

a guy approached me on East 7th and A w/ a similar story a week and a half ago about his mom being in a hospital far from the EV and he didn't have a cent to his name blah blah he was so ashamed blah blah.

Anonymous said...

Livin' la vida Walgreens.

dmbream said...

Displaced Occupiers...

richard d. james said...

I too have noticed a significant increase in frequency, it leaves me feeling odd. On one hand, I don't like liars, on the other, I worry it speaks to where our society is headed and that there are more people out there struggling than ever before.

Ennuipoet said...

This is uptown, West Harlem, but the same guy keeps trying to hit me up for the broken glasses scam over and over again. The first time was almost eight years ago during a visit prior to moving. Then, again the year I moved to the City. About a year after that and then, after a long absence, just last week. Always the same guy, always the "You broke my glasses" scam. I told him all of this last week, and asked him why me? He said "Oh, you just look like an honest person." I gave him five bucks for that.

Sammy said...

Remember the guy with the boom box who always 'needed' a quarter to make a phone call...

Goggla said...

I've been approached several times by the same guy who says his kid is waiting in a car somewhere and he needs me to hold onto his keys. I usually suggest the nearest PO or fire station and he runs away. It's happened so many times now, I'm kind of offended he doesn't remember me.

LIBERATION said...

The worst are the kids at the L train begging for swipes to get back to Brooklyn. $4,000 worth of tattoos and piercings but no change for the train?

Anonymous said...

This one guy always used to approach me about needing gas and he would giveme his cell phone blah blah well the last time he approached me and my husband and we shrugged him off he saw us go into our spt and started banging on our window!

randall said...

When my wife first started working in the city she was approached by some guy near Grand Central who she claims was dressed in a business suit, carrying a brief case and all that good stuff and who said he had forgotten his wallet and needed to get back to New Cannan, Greenwich or something like that and needed $10 for train fare and that he would pay her back if she gave him her address. Well my wife being who she is gave the dude $10 AND our address.

I told her she must have MARK written across her forehead and that not only was she out $10 but now we were probably going to get robbed. Naturally the money never came back, but fortunately our house hasn't been robbed yet either.

I've seen the scam in more variations than I can count, but I always end up giving something. I guess I must have MARK on my forehead too, but, and I'm not even religious let alone Christian, but I am always reminded of that story of Jesus in disguise. That and god forbid I ever found myself in that position I would want someone to help me too. I guess that's how they get you.

Anonymous said...

I got the "you broke my glasses" scam once, on a quiet street in the Bronx--only it was somewhere between that and a mugging because 3 big guys surrounded me while one of them said "you broke...". He wanted $80, I gave him $40, and they let me go on. Little did they know I had about $2k of recording gear in my bag.

Jill said...

What I've been getting the last few years, several times in the West Village is "you have such an interesting look, how can I get to know you better." It sounds like a pickup line but there's something more going on. It always happens in winter when I've got a giant hood over my face and a coat down to my toes, covering more than a burka, and you could not tell what I look like. I can't figure out what they think is going to happen or what they want. Maybe if I stopped they would have a good story and ask for money, but like a good, rude New Yorker, I never stop.

glamma said...

i particularly detest the people who say, excuse me maam can i ask you a quick question about your hair? but not as much as i hate the people who stop you to ask, do you like comedy? ("NO"). but no one person irks me more than the white lady who is so obviously NOT homeless who's always on the shuttle train, the 1,2,3 train etc, who says, "excuse me, can anyone spare some change for me and my children, my children, i don't do drugs, i don't drink, my husband lost his job, maaaa children....." this woman is such a POS it is not even funny. not only does she not have children, i saw her in a chase branch on wall street 10 years ago paying $100 for her Itunes account and complaining she didnt have a date for valentines day. one of the oldest hustlers out there. do not give this woman money! she makes a very healthy living off your ignorance

Kimberley said...

Has anybody got "I need batteries for my hearing aid"?