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Attempted scam in Barcelona?

About a week ago when my wife and I were in Barcelona a man approached us while we were having cofee and pastries in a bakery. He spoke English and seemed to be from Eastern Europe. He said he was out of money but had a credit card ( I believe it was on his phone, he kept trying to show us his phone). He wanted to buy us something with his card in exchange for money. We kept telling him we didn't have cash and my wife said we don't need anything bought for us since we already had our breakfast. He was pretty persistent and finally getting tired of him, I said Adios! I'm not sure how the scam works if he would have actually tried to buy us something in exchange for cash, unless we gave him cash first and then he just took off. Anyone know what he was up to/are familiar with this scam?

Posted by
23473 posts

That is interesting. I could see him using a stolen phone with a credit card (Apple pay, etc.) on the phone. He uses it to buy you something and you pay in cash. He now has cash and off course it is not his credit card. And maybe only the credit card is stolen. As frequently stated, IF it doesn't feel right, skip it.

Posted by
3812 posts

99% of us would brick his/her stolen iPhone and block all credit cards on it within one hour or so.

It doesn't seem a scam, not one using a credit card memorised on a stolen phone that could not work at the worst possible time.

@lancerhayashi What made you think at a scam aside from this guy being so pushy?

Posted by
1810 posts

Of course it was a scam.

He said he was out of money but had a credit card ( I believe it was on his phone, he kept trying to show us his phone). He wanted to buy us something with his card in exchange for money.

If the guy had a credit card he didn't need cash. Haven't we been talking on here about how little cash is needed in Europe. The guy most likely had a stolen unlocked Apple Pay phone and was trying to do the, "I'll charge it for you and you just give me the cash."

How many of us would think about reporting a stolen credit card if our phone is stolen? Isn't it basically the same as someone stealing your credit card if they have access?

Posted by
14580 posts

The mere start of this incident, ie, insisting on the phone, I would have walked away, ignoring the guy, English or no English, makes it even more fishy.

Posted by
23 posts

Like many of you we thought the phone and or card could have been stolen, this scenario makes the most sense. If this were the case I was wondering why he wouldn't just run up the card and buy a bunch of expensive stuff? I wonder if this would alert the credit card company as opposed to buying smaller things and getting money from people.