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got scammed anyways

Even after reading all your reviews we were taken. A guy pulled up in a nice car, older man and dressed nicely. He asked us if he was on the right road for a certain attraction. He asked us where we were from and when we said Canada he said his wife was from Victoria and worked for GreenPeace. He was on his way to buy her flowers for their anniversary. Anyways, as a gift for helping him he offered to give us a 1400 E handbag ( it was nice!) as a gift but he needed some flower cash. The only cash we had on us was 50E so that's what we got. When we got home we found the "made in China" label hidden inside.
He was good....we felt pretty stupid...

Posted by
2081 posts

choquette.r,

well, at least you got a 50 Euro handbag for your memories/souvenir.

happy trails.

Posted by
715 posts

HUH? choquette.r there is so much wrong with that situation I can't possibly see how you fell for it. Someone in a nice car needing "flower cash" and offering to trade a 1400 euro bag for 50 euro? I am sorry if this comes across as harsh, so I am apologizing in advance, but I am surprised you were only scammed once if you fell for this.

I trust the rest of your trip was wonderful.

Posted by
8906 posts

Don't worry about it....happens to everyone at some point. We're not all as perfect as jkc apparently.
There is a sucker born every day and on that day you filled the quota:)

Posted by
135 posts

Was this in Rome? I've read about a similar scam which happened several years ago in Rome, a guy pulled up in a nice car, asking for directions but instead of a bag it was a leather jacket, which turned out not to be made of leather at all.

Posted by
1628 posts

Choquette, we met your buddy walking along the Tiber in Rome. Nice car, nice suit, charming smiles. When he beckoned us toward his car, we went over, thinking he was in some sort of distress. Welcomed to the Eternal City, we answered we were from Ohio. He asked us for directions (huh??) which we could not provide. Profusely thanking us for the help (what help??) he insisted we take as a gift free expensive designer jackets. We did not want expensive designer jackets; never did. He presses them into our hands, we hand them back, he pushes them at us again, we demur, and so it continues. Well, he now wants 50 (count 'em, 50!) euro because he is low on gas. I was handing him a 5 just to extricate ourselves from this mess when he ROARS into us about how miserly and cheap we are. Now we drop the jackets onto the pavement and walk away under a barrage of cursing that the Rosetta Stone never covered. I like to think we are nice guys. I suspect these guys prey on that mindset. We had read up, too, but I guess until it happens it just may not register. The whole episode was weird from the start and kept getting weirder. A good clue, I've decided. You'd think we'd have known better from the get go. Mom always told me no experience is a total loss if you learn something from it. Live and learn. Happy and safe travels.

Posted by
4355 posts

"...and walk away under a barrage of cursing that the Rosetta Stone never covered..."

LOL, Denny! I guess you shoulda coughed up the extra cash for the Rosetta Stone 'Bonus CD' ;-)

choquette.r, I hope you like your new bag. 50€ aint't bad - even if it's Made in China ;-)

Posted by
715 posts

@michael, perfect me, hardly, not even close. I was just kinda dumbfounded. If things seem to good to be true, they usually are. As PT Barnum said.........

Choquette.r, again my apologies if i came off harsh and heavy handed. I knew I was.

It was the parent in me wanted to grab them by the shoulders and say, "My god, what were you thinking?"

Yes, it happens to some, many, all of us, absolutely. It happened, scratch your head and learn from it.

I fell pray to the little Roma girls in 1976 outside the Colosseum , several holding the signs and distracting me, one expertly rifling thru my pockets until they were chased away by a bystander, no doubt part of the ploy. Thankfully they just got a wad of travelers checks which were replaced and I got to experienced a Rome police station. It worked out well for me though as i had to stay in Rome for several more days then I had planned to and I fell in love with the city as a result. I was upset afterwards, me, heartless american and those poor starving little girls till while standing in a church talking to a priest I reached to my velcro pocket and discovered it open and empty. My sorrow turned to a string of expletives - the priest was understanding.

There was no Rick Steve's forum then, or internet, to inform us and guide us.

Posted by
2081 posts

choquette.r

one comment/observation.

I notice that when i had a woman hanging off my arms, i (we) would get approached by scammers. Not in my travels around Europe but around my own home town. Im sure they picked me (us) so that i wouldnt want to feel like a cheap-o in front of my woman. But they dont know me and how i dont care what other people think about me. I was surprised at how many of my woman friends would want to buy whatever the scammer was selling. Im always thinking they stole it from some local shop somewhere since it still has a price tag on it.

then theres also my 2nd favorite saying: "Greed overcomes all doubt"

happy trails.

Posted by
30973 posts

choquette,

Sorry to hear that you were scammed. While there were a lot of "red flags" in the scenario you described, I suppose anyone could fall for this ruse. Hopefully it won't happen again.

Posted by
277 posts

I met a similar fellow in Italy. He wanted to give me all sorts of nice clothing to wear in the USA as a way of promoting his new brand of clothing, but he needed euros for gasoline and to ship some of the stuff to me. I did not not along with the requests, but I have to admit they are very smooth and very convincing.

In Spain there were several women stopping tourists and asking for some type of donation. They were very instant. But, I noticed a German fellow who waved a warning finger at them while saying No No very firmly. It worked.

Posted by
1 posts

The same happened to us today! We were one block away from the colosseum when a guy, well dressed, in a blue car stopped and asked us for directions, he said he was from Milan and told us he was the manager of a fashion magazine and showed it to us. After that he asked us where we were from, we said from Colombia, and he said his wife was from Cali (the guy knows some geography). After that he said he wanted to make a gift to us for helping him and for being of the same country than his wife. He then took a bright red purse (it looked nice then) and gave it to us, supposedly it was 1400 €. At that moment he showed us the gas indicator which was low and said he didnt had any cash and the amex was of no good in Rome and asked as for some money for the gas. I gave him only 25€, he insisted in more but I told him I didnt have anymore money. At the end this was a little suspicious for me, so I managed to took a couple of clear pictures (he didnt notice) of the guy and of the car with my phone. After telling the story to some local friends they told us about this type of scam and urged us to go to the police, so we did. Hopefully with the pictures and the license plates the police can stop this scammer, we also gave the pictures to some lawyer friends in Rome so they can do more.

Posted by
2 posts

sorry to hear that . It sounds like the same guy. Good for you to have taken some photos. I hope no one else gets scammed. We put it down to "the polite Canadian" when we fell for it.

Posted by
20638 posts

I seriously doubt if it was the same guy. It is a standard scam practiced probably by dozens. Several years ago we saw same thing in roughly the same area starting to unfold but we just ignored his attempt to get our attention beyond waving bye to him and kept on walking.

Posted by
8293 posts

Sorry, but I do not see this as a scam. I see it as gullible tourist wanting to have a 1400 euro handbag for 50 euro. Obviously, the handbag either " fell off a truck" or was a fake. If it's too good to be true ... well, you know the rest of that saying.

Posted by
141 posts

thanks for sharing your story for the rest of us to learn. Hindsight is 20/20, don't berate yourself too much, you now have a purse with a very colorful provenance. In new places we are more likely to be a little off kilter, out of our routine, jet lagged, or maybe just caught off guard while busy taking in the newness. Years ago, I was tricked in my first week living in Baltimore, MD, by a man who told me the saddest story of not being able to pay for his son's funeral. I only found out when I passed him the next day and he was telling a different but equally sad story to another young student. Recently, A friend was almost scammed in northern Virginia by a woman who had 'forgotten' her wallet and needed money to get to the airport to pick her husband up returning from Iraq. I had to reassure my friend for quite a while that she did the right thing by not giving her money, and sure enough there was a police report about this woman. I am not an idiot, neither is my friend, and neither are you. Some of the scammers are just really good at what they do... The best become politicians.