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Tag: scam

Oxford scammer (?)

I have previously shared my encounters with scammers and con-men on the street, trying to get money or other stuffs, but mainly money. These posts are filled under the tag scam.

In general I would skip and ignore such things. Though I would seldom give such people asking for money a chance. This time it was in Oxford, England.

Within my brief stay at Oxford of around a week, random people asked me for small changes, 25p , 50p etc. I do not know how the city works, and if it is normal (I don’t think so), therefore I see this as a tapping method to see where is your wallet. Later, an accomplice of will carry out the main task.

I met a guy in Oxford who was originally from my city. It was our last day and we went to a good place to have dinner. After dinner we walked towards Balliol College where we were staying. It was around 9pm. Suddenly a frail young British woman (assuming from the strong accent) approached me and asked for some money. She looked helpless. Her story was she has to take a bus to meet her mother, and she doesn’t have money. I did what I do in my city, kept on walking without even slowing down. I had no intension to give any money to this woman.

Suddenly this guy, who was with me, stopped and told me “hey what do you say, should we help her?”, I told “ofcourse not!”. We talked within ourselves in a different language than English.

As the guy stopped, I also had to stop. Now the woman stood in front of me with her hands together, and she was crying. She told even if I don’t want to give her money, I can buy her a bus ticket. I told my man “let’s go!”. I think he just felt really bad for the woman. It’s not his fault, he is a kind person, I felt bad as well. As I have explained in my previous posts, not everytime we could go with the benefit of doubt.

He reached for his wallet and I stopped him immediately. I handed the woman whatever coins I had in my pocket, should be around 2 to 3 Pounds. Then she asked for some more from my man, as this is not enough for the bus fare. I just asked this guy to walk away from her. He was like, “maybe it is not enough …” and took out his wallet and got her a few more pounds, while a staggering amount of cash peeking out of his wallet.

I tried to get him out of this as quickly as possible. Finally we were out. She went somewhere.

Now, it’s not a big deal, as always, to give a few Pounds or Euros or tens or a hundred Rupees, but as far as I know this is one of the basic scams. Maybe she’ll get a drink or something else, or maybe she’ll buy food, or maybe she’ll really take a bus and meet her mother.

As I have mentioned before in the previous posts, most of these, in fact, almost all of these are scams, but there is always a chance of a genuine case.

It is important to keep an eye open for people in genuine need.

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The trusted (?) taxi

This happened a long time ago, more than a year ago. I reached Bengaluru airport at around 12:00 am or around such time. I wanted to immediately reach my room and try getting some sleep before the next working day starts.

Although at that time there would be no traffic, but I did not want to push through the airport bus crowd. Therefore I took a taxi. These airport taxis are very good and you pay whatever it is on the meter, along with a receipt.

I got into the taxi and told the destination. It is around 40 kilometers from the airport, therefore it is time to relax for around an hour. Nothing to do except occasionally check if we are taking the correct turns, although these guys follows google maps, and always follows the direction which was discussed before boarding the taxi, or whatever you tell.

After I got down, I gave him two 500 Rupees note. The fare is generally on the range of 800 ~ 900 Rupees. At that day too, the bill was around 800 Rupees, as far as I remember.

He told me that he does not have enough notes to give me the balance change. This kind of situation is very common to trick the passenger to not give the money back. Many people won’t spend the time and effort to make change and just let the driver keep the money. Or, it can also be the case that the driver really has no change, a pretty viable situation.

I did not have change either. I called a person in my apartment and asked him to keep some 100 Rupees note ready. Then I told the taxi person to wait here or come with me and I will give him the exact fare. He replied that he cannot leave the car as there was no parking, and he will not let me go without paying. Fair enough. Read the rest of this entry »

Bank scam call

Here is yet another scam, I experienced a couple of months ago.

I arrived at Bangalore a couple of months ago and unblocked my phone number which I blocked before leaving. I was trying to take some good amount of rest, as I was really tired, as this time cabin baggage weighed more than the check in luggage, half a kilo more, (I was expecting a fine, but it was okay for them), and it was a long flight. I was sleeping like dead. The mobile phone rang. I just unblocked the phone and it is strange to get calls, maybe some friend who knew I have arrived, just trying out the number? The screen showed an unknown strange number, which is not those recognisable support center, sales or call center phone number patterns. I received the call.

“Hello sir, we are calling in regard to your bank debit card.”, the woman said something like that. I replied “hm.”, as that was the most I could speak at that moment. “Sir, your bank account will be soon blocked as there is no sufficient funds in your account … do you want to keep debit card or cancel it?”.  It took a few seconds to fully open my eyes, and actually wake up to function. I sat on the bed, put on my spectacles and asked her, “I didn’t get you, can you repeat that for me please?” . She repeated the previous statement with in a more elaborate fashion. I told,”I don’t want it to be blocked.”. Next, she asked something like this, “Sir you need to give the card number to us to do the processing and update your card to stop it being disabled.”. Read the rest of this entry »

Benefit of doubt

I was waiting for the underground train, around a year ago at my home city. While waiting for the train to arrive, I was thinking something. Suddenly a man approached me.

He was short, dark, and much elder than me. He was wearing old  trousers and an unstuckd shirt, both of which looked very old and faded too. He had a certain type of necklace made out of a certain type of beads, and a red Tilak on his forehead, which indicated he possibly is some kind of a devotee to a specific goddess.

He told me that he was in a trouble, and he was new in the city and lives far from here in a rural area in our state. His accent also indicated he was from that region of the state. Then he asked me if I can help him somehow. He was very polite and gentle.

I would most of the time just absolutely ignore such things, given the number of scams going on (both outside and inside). Sometimes I offer them to help my taking them to the nearest police assistance center. Although, a very few times I do go with the situation and actually believe that the other person is true. For example here Frauds in the city.

This time I decided, okay he may be new here and wanted directions or whatever, because I have seen people from different places coming first time in this city and getting lost (they will typically have no smart phones, so no GPS and stuff). Sometimes some people will one piece of paper with an address written on it. Next the man asked me if I could give 7.50 Rupees for the bus ride from where he will get down, as he lost his purse. Read the rest of this entry »

Frauds in the city

Frauds are spread all over the city. In the streets a very common way to make money from people is to stop someone and for ask money as the probably fraudulent person have lost their purse and they need some money for transportation to get back home. I believe this kind of fraud exists across the globe. In my city I have experienced such kind of people myself countless number of times, and my custom is not to give any money to these people and point them to the police. Generally they are well dressed and well spoken and also communicate in English (which is a second or a third language here). It is really very difficult to determine which person has really lost their purse and who is pretending. Now, we can get to know about it, if we really want to, by taking them to the nearest police booth or station, but who has that much time and enthusiasm?

Read the rest of this entry »