Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013

Top 10 Common Scams Outside the World of Gambling

I have talked about how to avoid being a victim of poker collusion here, which is a form of scam. Now I will bring your attention to the most popular scams outside of gambling.

For a while, the Real Hustle was my favourite TV show, make sure to check out some of their scams here.

10. Train Window

You’re sitting on a train, waiting for it to leave the station. Someone is outside the window wanting to know where the train is heading. You try responding and he/she can’t hear you through the thick glass. It takes you some time to communicate and he/she nods and walks off. The train departs the station but your bag/belongs are gone!

9. Pants Down!

You are in a busy restaurant and go to the lavatory with your bag.  You enter the ladies and lock the door of the cubicle and put the handbag to your side. Someone enters the cubicle next to you and sits down. Suddenly you see a hand shoot out from the adjacent cubicle and grabs your bag. You shout, open the door and leap forward but fall fat on your face.

8. You gave me a fiver!

There are dozens of taxi driver scams.  One of the most common is when your fare comes to close to £20 and the driver tells you to hand over £20 or whatever it is in the local currency. You are busy getting your luggage together, ready to leave the cab when he informs you that you only gave him £5. You apologise and hand him £20. This is less likely to happen with licensed taxis.

7. Giant pigeon

It’s a fine, sunny day and you are enjoying a walk through the town square. There is a tap on your shoulder, you turn around an d strange points out a huge white/greyish streak of liquid running down the back of your coat. He points to the one of many pigeons on top of the local building.

You assume that the foul-looking mess on the back of your coat is indeed pigeon shit. You are annoyed and want to clean it up but you don’t have any tissues or water with which to do so. Luckily, the stranger does. You kindly accept his offer to help clean it off. He does what he can to fix you up, you thank him for his help and you both go your way. You are later shocked to discover that your wallet is missing. The pigeon shit is often ice cream mixed with cigarette ash. This scam has also been done with mustard and ketchup.

6. Drowning

You are alone relaxing in a beach reading a good book and/or listening to music when you see someone in the water yelling in the water and appear to be drowning.  There’s not many people at this beach and you decide to jump into the water to save the person. Several exhausting minutes later you return to the beach with the person and find that your belongings are missing.

5. Flat for let

Sometimes its not good telling a lot of people (or on facebook status) that you are going to be going away for a while and leaving your flat empty. What could happen is the day after you leave, an ad is put on the newspaper for a ‘flat to let’. These scammers, knowing that you are away break into your flat and set up shop to respond to the stream of people responding to the ad.

Interested punters fill out application forms applying to let your flat, while putting down a 10% deposit to hold a claim of the property. The fraudsters accept a number of applications during the day and provide official looking receipts.

When you get back from holiday you find that your flat is empty and many angry people wanting to know what is going on.

4. Costly Sandwich

You call a plumber to repair a leaking pipe in your bathroom. The plumber arrives and surveys the situation. He fiddles around under the sink for a while, then tells you that he needs a new part to fix the leak. A trip to the local hardware store will be required to see the problem right.

Two hours later he returns, fixes the leak and issues a large bill that includes the hours spent getting the parts at the store. Often the plumber has the necessary part in his van.

3. Hot Pants

Not everyone who wants around with a coffee in their hand wants to drink it. Walking through town you have your hands full with shopping bags. A man walks past you holding a cup of coffee. Suddenly, he trips and empties the hot coffee all over your trousers. You scream out as the hot coffee burns you, you drop your bags and instinctively try to clean yourself up. At this moment the man grabs your bags and runs. Ouch.

2. Escalator fumble

You’re riding up an escalator in a busy shopping centre when the woman in front of you drops something just as you’re approaching the top. She fumbles around trying to pick it up, blocking your way while more and more people start to pile up behind you. Some people bump into you. Someone says sorry. Just as things get difficult, the woman picks up whatever she dropped, apologises and wanders off.

You continue with your shopping but when you reach for your wallet in your back pocket to pay for something, it’s gone. Then you remember being ‘bumped’ from behind while on the escalator.

1. Is this your money?

While withdrawing money from a cash machine someone taps you on the shoulder and asks if you’ve dropped a £10 note, pointing to the ground. You bend down to pick it up, then stand up to the find that your card has gone from the machine.