I’m not sure it’s a scam, more of a scheme, but an interesting article nonetheless.
An interesting read, Bets!!
There is a similar scam like this in Beijing. If you are male westerner walking alone along Wangfujing St. you will be be approached by an attractive young lady who says she want to practice her English, and talk about life in your home country,and she knows of a cafe or restaurant nearby. When you accept her offer and get the check after this chat, it's for hundreds of dollars.
Last trip to Beijing no less than 10 girls approached me in a one-hour time span. It's a well documented scam so I saw it coming from a mile away.
I rather doubt this incident would have happened to me. In the first place, I doubt I would have been engaged in a conversation in the train compartment with the guy discussing Morocco. Even if that had happened, very unlikely odds, I would have turned down the dinner invitation...flat.
Traveling in Europe after 24 trips, I never have come close to this sort of incident. If I were in traveling in China, say Shanghai or Beijing, referring to the English -speaking ploy, or Morocco, the intended scam or scheme would have had no chance.
This person has been backpacking continuously for 14 years, Fred. I think he’s probably more experienced than all of us rolled up together.
Sorry but the warning lights came on early for me and if this guy was an experienced backpacker, it leads me to think he wanted a story so went along for the ride. It's a good story but staying with a family he doesn't know eating their food and then is SHOCKED that the friend might be trying to make him buy overpriced carpets? Our family had a similar experience with a friendly "local" in a restaurant in Selcuk, who wanted us to come look at his brother's carpets next store. Luckily, I had read about this in Turkey and we managed to extricate ourselves from a high pressured sales pitch.
Something just doesn't ring true to me or has been embellished but that's JMO.
What I think threw-off the author was that the encounter began in the first-class cabin of a high-speed train. It's not where one would expect to be hustled. You expect it in the commercial district in a busy shopping area, not during your downtime in transit.
There is a sucker born everyday, and he filled the quota. Happens to everyone eventually.
Where was the scam? In confused? So he took the guy, among many other places, to meet a friend that sells carpets. Welcome to the culture.
"...backpacking for 14 years continuously for 14 years...." All I Know is he did fall for this scheme/scam etc and I never even got close to something like this. That dinner invitation would have tipped me off....plain and simple. He admits that it was a close call, had left all his "stuff" at Sonny's house. Passport too?
"more experience than all of us rolled up together." I doubt it and reject this claim. We can agree to disagree on that.
1. Pretty elaboarate scheme to sell some carpet.
If on the train the writer was wearing that Pabbst Blue Ribbon shirt he’s wearing in the picture that appears with the article, he probably did mark himself as a good target.
After having a very friendly immigrant in Florence use a hand shake to slide a couple of trinkets in my hand in 2015 and then having him demand money in return for his “act of friendship,” I avoid anyone who seems inappropriately friendly. The last person was a disheveled lady on a train platform in St Goarshausen this fall who walked up to my friend and I and started giving unsolicited advice on what to see in the area. The train arrived before she could make her pitch for money. My friend and I thanked her, walked on the train, found a conductor, and sat right beside him. She followed us but slinked away when she saw where we sat.
Having spent a day with Fred in Berlin, my money is on him.
Just for the record, I can count. 🙂
The numbers are right in the typed area but somehow the formatting software goofs it up.
What a patently ridiculous cry of "scam." Absolutely nothing unpleasant happened. The article does not report any force or coercion whatsoever, only that he had an opportunity to appreciate and buy or not buy some carpets. It sounds like the panic was all in his head. The many other pleasant experiences he had are not unheard of in Morocco - I've done it myself.
Laura, it's one of those rare occasion when you and I agree.
And the concept that longevity equates to intelligence is somewhat disproved no matter which opinion you have.
I think The Points Guy is exaggerating titles for click-bait. I just read a second article that used a sensational word that didn’t fit the scenario. The website was sold to a company a while ago, which may have something to do with these two new click-bait titles and exaggerated articles.
bahtiyar, what is a professional travrler?
Earns money from his travels in order to travel continuously.
IMO, the writer may have misinterpreted the situation and freaked out over nothing. His host was buying the carpets. The carpet seller displayed and offered carpets to the backpacker, but his host told him just say yes or no. The host made no attempt to push him to buy a carpet. I don't think the host could reasonaly expect that this backpacker would have the money to buy a carpet nor the ability to lug a carpet in his backpack if he bought one. And it seems to me an overly convoluted scheme to sell a carpet. At worse, the host may have tried to present a business opportunity (lots of these carpets get sold in US) to somebody he just befriended, but it would be impossible to force the backpacker into enterring into any carpet importing arrangement without his full consent. If i were the host or his wife, i would be no less confused or even insulted by the backpacker's change in behaviour and abrupt exit. For a so-called experienced pro traveller, he lost his cool.