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Old 08-17-2007, 11:05 PM   #1
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Subway scammer

I had an interesting experience on the subway this morning on the way to work.

A reasonably well dressed and well groomed guy enters the subway car and asks for everyone's attention. He says that his wife and one month old daughter just moved to NYC from another city (I forget which one) where he was recently laid off and that he is in search of a job. He apologizes for bothering us and says how embarrassed he feels for having to ask for money from complete strangers.
He continues, "This morning, I got a job offer from TransExpress but in order to get the job, I must buy a liability insurance policy for myself. The policy costs $500 and it must be paid by 5 PM today. I managed to scrape up $448 and need to come up with another $52."

Now the funny thing is that I remember this same guy giving the same spiel on the same subway line a few weeks ago.

It gets even funnier because a woman in my subway car blurts out, "You were here saying the same thing two months ago" The scammer is at a loss for words for a second, before replying, "Oh, That was yesterday. I was trying to get this insurance money yesterday too." She says, "No, it was two months ago. You said the same exact thing word-for-word two months ago."

HA ha ha ha! BUSTED!!!!

So the scammer gets angry and curses out the woman. "I should have spit in your face", he snarls as he leaves the train (none the richer, of course).

Well, you have to give the guy credit for originality.

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Old 08-17-2007, 11:25 PM   #2
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That is funny, poor guy. Should pick different subway lines. How did he do two months ago?

From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:15 AM   #3
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More than likely he did switch subway lines. He just happened to get on with a lady who saw him before. It's unfortunate because of people like this it's hard to trust anyone. Glad I rarely have to ride he subway anymore. You don't find that on the Path train thank goodness.
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:26 AM   #4
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This is precisely why it is illegal to panhandle in the NYC Subways. It is a breeding ground for professional scam artists to prey on the emotions of caring people.

Little known fact for fellow New Yorkers. Panhandlers are "Professionals". Their income is estimated to be in excess of $500 a day, all tax free. Some are known to own luxurious homes. Not all are actually homeless or actually "down on their luck". The folks who ask if your hungry during rush hour already know that there aren't many homeless folks on the train. The sandwiches that they have in their bags are stale, leftovers from deli's that they picked up the night before. Your donations are not going to help them buy food for the homeless, it's going in their pockets.

Oh, and the teens that sell candy work for a consortium, not themselves.
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:33 PM   #5
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Rich, the last time I saw this guy, he got about $10 from the people in my subway car. He got nothing yesterday thanks to the lady with the big mouth. However, he probably just waited for the next train and was able to scam those poor saps.

I prefer to give money to City Meals on Wheels, a group that delivers meals to homebgound elderly NYers.
Another group that I support is the Doe Fund. They provide homeless people with mental health/drug treatment, temporary employment, housing, and job training. They help the homeless reintegrate themselves into society as productive, self sustaining members - which is far better than simply tossing them a handout and sending them on their way. It's the classic give a man a fish vs teaching him how to fish story.
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