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View Full Version : Did I avoid the con or am I just mean to little old ladies?



Stick
7th June 07, 03:40 PM
So I was walking along in my camo shorts, faded macross t-shirt, and cheap, cheap flip-flops- making an obnoxious "flip flop" sound with every step- when all of a sudden a scrawny, little, old lady grabbed me by the arm. Slightly startled from my day dream I pulled my head phones off and gave her a quizzical look.

"Yes, can I help you?" She smiled a big, old people smile from behind her huge round sunglasses and offered me her hand. Confused, I shook it.

"Excuse me young man, do you- you wouldn't happen to know anything about car locks would you?" I informed her that I hadn't the foggiest; she seemed neither surprised nor put off by this response. She wrung her hands around the strap to her little, old lady purse and asked, "Are you a student?"

As fate would have it, I think today I've come to the realization that I need to go back to school and get myself a degree with actual, practical skills outside of my ability to explain the American Revolution to middle schoolers. I told her that I supposed I was, and for some reason I rattled off a bit about how I'd graduated two years ago and was just now seriously considering going back. Continuing with the pointless side track she told me she was a lawyer in the area, that she had a flight this afternoon to New York, and that- oh heavens to Betsy me- she felt kind of like a panhandler out here in the Costco parking lot. Sensing the direction this was taking I chose to go on the offensive.

"So have you called the dealership, a locksmith?"

"Oh goodness yes, but those Mercedes folks were no help. They told me that I better not try to jimmy the lock because that would cut the cables-"

"Well, based on my extensive experience watching action movies, that would've been my only suggestion." Frankly I'm pretty sure this would be the only suggestion any random guy in a parking lot would have, short of breaking in the window- which, if she was truly in such a great hurry, doesn't sound that bad now that I think about it.

She quickly changed subject again. "Well, I, hmmmm, where do you live?" Not particularly concerned, I nonchalantly point down the street and say, "that a ways". Again she rambled and asked me what it is I do, and patiently I told her again- "oh yes, yes that's right you already told me, oh good lord! Ha-ha" She then lays this line on me, "Ya know, and this is not directed at you in particular son, but I have been out here for over an hour and not a man in this parking lot has stopped to help me."

"Uh, I'm sorry?"

"Chivalry must truly be dead." I held back a smarmy remark about how feminism poisoned chivalry's chicken pot pie at some point in the past century and simply said, "Ok".

"Now, now I hate to trouble you, my goodness I feel like such a beggar, but if I could trouble you for fair to get to my apartment so I can get the spare key- oh I would of course pay you back double!"

Now, you may not know this about me, but I'm a sucker- I think she saw it. I've given homeless people $5 and $10 after listening to their tales of woe- "yeah, sure you use this to get that DMV non-driver's ID card, I believe you"-, so I actually began to pull out my wallet. The metro station was right there not a hundred feet away. She could get anywhere on the metro rail lines for a $5 and have some to spare for a bus ride. I was perfectly willing to just give this overly friendly petite, old lady enough money to use the DC public transport. Then she upped the ante, considerably.

"Now, you see I live up in Baltimore, so what I really need is cab fair to get there from here-" my wallet immediately sank back into my pants. Now, the first thing that popped into my head was an estimate of $40, but after a little research (I had to call 3 different numbers to get this sort of an estimate, sheesh) I have discovered that cab fair from where we were to anywhere in Baltimore is at least $80. Even my low estimate was just unacceptable.

"Listen, I'm sorry mam, but I just don't have that kind of cash on me." Unsaid, "and despite my boyish good looks, I wasn't born yesterday."

She was persistent and full of helpful suggestions. "Oh, I would of course pay any ATM withdrawal fees!" She sputtered a little more about how I'd obviously see a return on my "investment", but I'd already put it together;


Why the hell would a Mercedes owning lawyer with a flight out to New York for business that evening need my money? Furthermore, why, if she had the resources to make the call to the dealership in the first place would she be out here for over an hour pestering strangers- she's a fucking lawyer, she doesn't have any other numbers to call for help?!

"Good luck mam, but I really must be going." And as I turned away from her- still sputtering about how she had my word and I wouldn't regret it- she just gave my arm a little feeble old woman shove of exasperated rage.

"You bastard! You're just like all the rest!" I'd have used the underline tag too, but it somehow doesn't work- suffice it to say she put more venom in that last line than I can really put down in text. For a second, just a second, I felt really bad.

Then I got over it.

So, Sociocide, what do you think? Am I bastard like all the rest who couldn't be bothered to help an old lady or did I barely avoid a wizened old crone's subtle guilt-trip parking lot scam?

Steve
7th June 07, 03:46 PM
My avatar yells:

"It's a trap!!!"

WhiteShark
7th June 07, 03:47 PM
You're lucky she didn't rape you afterall this is RBSD month!

Tom Kagan
7th June 07, 03:47 PM
She's panhandling you. This is a classic con. It's used a lot. It has nothing to do with her being old, other than she's using that angle in the con.

ironlurker
7th June 07, 04:18 PM
:f-off:
Phil Elmore would have pwned her with anti-panhandler RBSD, and you should have too -total scam.

Good job though, I know people who have fallen for it in similar forms.

Notice
A)- she had everything planned out and answered for in advance
B)- the incremental raise of the objective as much as possible
C)- "Are you a student" = tells she was sizing you up and reading you as a mark in advance before making contact.

Anyone who tries to analyze you and make guesses about who you are/where you're from/what you do without a normal social introduction/randomly on the street is running a con - in its ultimate heights this shades into cold reading.

My grandfather used to talk about cons during the great depression, and he said many of them started with "Hey aren't you from ___", to which he said you should reply "get the fuck out of here".

and D) many, maybe most, women will be reticent to approach a strange man who is not some type of authority figure/designated employee of whatever, even when they really need help. In fact, a lot of people are intimidated by initiating contact with strangers outside of a defined social setting (bar, club, class), and even sometimes in one.

Bottom line, someone who walks up to you out of the blue on t3h str33t and chats you up is not afraid of you (which often means you should be afriad of them) and is trying to get something from you.

Also, good to see Tom in sociocide, looks like the trail of Reeses Pieces Steve's been leaving out might be working.

Olorin
7th June 07, 04:46 PM
You should have grabbed her purse and run.

Das Moose
7th June 07, 04:48 PM
Ive had a similar con attempted on me a few times. This one starts off similar, artist getting to know you, then (its a man accompanied by a woman) he syas his "wife" is pregnant and they need the bus fare to dublin to get her checked up in hospital.

The first time, i listened for about 5 minutes then said "Look mate, i haven't got any money, i'm really sorry, i'm a poor student" and he immediately lost interest.

Second time, a few months later, I listened for about 30 seconds then started laughing and went "Haha, i remember you, sorry mate, see ya later"

Interestingly he didnt seem that bothered, he just wandered off.

Question!
7th June 07, 04:54 PM
You turned your back on her? What if she had pulled out a knife and stabbed you?

But yeah, I read an article about these kinds of old lady scams before, (can't seem to find it, it might have been in Reader's Digest) and you were lucky you didn't fall for it.

Were you tempted to call her out on it?

Gezere
7th June 07, 05:11 PM
YOU HEARTLESS BASTARD!!!!!!

Neildo
7th June 07, 05:16 PM
Yeah, maybe she locked her purse in the car too. With her pills.


You killed that poor old woman, you bastard.

Neildo
7th June 07, 05:17 PM
I wouldn't have given her any money either though.

Actually, i would have made her show me the car.

Question!
7th June 07, 05:24 PM
Here are a couple articles on Snopes on similiar panhandling schemes.

http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/distress.asp
http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/distress.asp
http://www.snopes.com/rumors/sympathy.htm

DerAuslander108
7th June 07, 07:22 PM
Yeah, I get this con all the time from this woman in Annapolis. Somehow, she never learns that if it didn't work last time, it's not gonna work this time.

John_Dillinger
7th June 07, 09:40 PM
I had a similar con attempted on me a while back here in Cleveland. However the best one (read:funniest) ever was the homeless DJ. Thats right.
No job,
No home,
but he's got,
two turntables and a microphone.

Sun Wukong
8th June 07, 03:36 AM
I've heard multiple versions of the same con. She says she's a lawyer, implying that she makes more than enough money to pay you back. She says she's locked out of the car and desperately needs nearly a hundred dollars... while she's holding her god damn purse. What lawyer, anywhere, carries no ATM card, cash, credit card or debit card with them?

For that matter, if she called a taxi and asked for the trip, payment wouldn't be due until the ride was OVER. As in, until she was already standing at her apartment or house whatever.

Total scam.

bob
8th June 07, 03:46 AM
Best car park scam I ever had done to me was in Spain. Old man approached and offered to mind my car for me just as I got out. (He was surrounded by these little kids who were translating for him.) He demanded about 5 bucks or something. I said, "Uh, no thanks, I'm sure it'll be fine." Through his translaters he said, "No, you misunderstand, I want 5 bucks to keep the car safe from me."

I paid.

Sirc
8th June 07, 03:51 AM
Scam.

Some guy tried this on me the other day out of Taco Bell. I carry one of those fake dollar bill things that have a Biblical message on it. So I gave it to him and then I drove off.

Neildo
8th June 07, 10:59 AM
Best car park scam I ever had done to me was in Spain. Old man approached and offered to mind my car for me just as I got out. (He was surrounded by these little kids who were translating for him.) He demanded about 5 bucks or something. I said, "Uh, no thanks, I'm sure it'll be fine." Through his translaters he said, "No, you misunderstand, I want 5 bucks to keep the car safe from me."

I paid.

Wow.

I would probably say something like: "sure it's in my trunk." then go get the tireiron...


Some guy tried this on me the other day out of Taco Bell. I carry one of those fake dollar bill things that have a Biblical message on it. So I gave it to him and then I drove off.

BURN!

WarPhalange
8th June 07, 11:12 AM
This reminds me of the time Alex got asked for the time by two guys and he kneed one and punched the other and ran home.

Question!
8th June 07, 06:42 PM
Best car park scam I ever had done to me was in Spain. Old man approached and offered to mind my car for me just as I got out. (He was surrounded by these little kids who were translating for him.) He demanded about 5 bucks or something. I said, "Uh, no thanks, I'm sure it'll be fine." Through his translaters he said, "No, you misunderstand, I want 5 bucks to keep the car safe from me."

I paid.

That's not a scam, that's outright blackmail. You should have run him down.

bob
8th June 07, 10:41 PM
That's not a scam, that's outright blackmail. You should have run him down.

Thing is, I had to leave the car there. There was nowhere else to park. So whatever I did to him was sure to get taken out on my car.

They're pretty crafty the Spaniards. Some friends of ours picked up a hire car at the airport and, within a few blocks, found they had a flat tire. So they pull up and some nice young man on a scooter stopped and offered to help them. By the time they got the tire on and the guy had left, they found that all their gear had been cleaned out. Turns out it's a regular dodge near the airport where the guy on the scooter slashes a tire at the lights and then distracts you while his mate sneaks up and cleans out the car.

WarPhalange
8th June 07, 11:26 PM
Solution: Pay him, do your thing. When you are ready to return, kick his ass, take $10, and then leave.

Abusivemelon
9th June 07, 07:49 AM
Thats pretty fucked up. In france we had this dishevelled hobo with some skanky fucking lump on his lip asking for money "to buy a sandwich" my Dad hands him a Euro and the guy says "a chicken sandwich is 2.50" so my Dad apologized took the Euro back and we walked.

Steve
9th June 07, 09:23 PM
For that matter, if she called a taxi and asked for the trip, payment wouldn't be due until the ride was OVER. As in, until she was already standing at her apartment or house whatever.

Total scam.

Check and MATE.


Thats pretty fucked up. In france we had this dishevelled hobo with some skanky fucking lump on his lip asking for money "to buy a sandwich" my Dad hands him a Euro and the guy says "a chicken sandwich is 2.50" so my Dad apologized took the Euro back and we walked.

LOL

Jagged
10th June 07, 05:27 PM
Yep, I have had the same con tried on me, but it was a youngish guy (from out of state). He knew exactly where the ATM was and was all ready to lead me there and everything. It might have worked if I wasn't a heartless bastard.

bad credit
11th June 07, 06:41 AM
It's a trick. Get an axe.

Stick
11th June 07, 01:24 PM
It's a trick. Get an axe.

I've got the Necronomicon memorized, I don't need an axe.

Sirc
11th June 07, 02:05 PM
You should've sprayed her eyes with pepper spray and then run screaming, "RAPIST! RAPIST!"

And then when someone comes along say that you're blind and some lady just tried to steal your money.

Plasma
18th June 07, 02:28 PM
That happens a decent amount in Maryland. Its usually, "My car ran out of gas and I need some money to fill it up" I usually I excuse myself or ignore them. I don't trust in people.