Friday, 27 April 2007

Hey Buddy can you spare a dime?

Its happened again!

I was outside work tonight waiting for a lift home when I notice a young woman making a 'bee line' for me.

My first guess is that she wants a light or directions, but no...straight into a story about loosing her purse on a shopping trip.

A few of things to note. The woman spoke articulately and with a southern almost 'public school'accent. She burst into tears as she began to explain that she lived 40 miles away, the last bus was in an hour and she needed £16 for the ticket and her parents were on holiday in Almeria in Spain.

Picture this, girl in tears, saying "Can you help me? I,I, (stuttering) can't bring myself to ask you, I'm not a beggar, I'm really stuck, can you help me" - now how does THAT set you up!

So she had, intelligence, plausibility, and distress. I had £1.35.

I tried a modest attempt at 'getting behind the story' by asking questions like, 'when did she loose the purse', where is she going to get the bus from.Which only served to endorse the story as believeable. She even had a piece of paper with some times and number on it, which were supposedly bus times. Did I scrutinise it? of course not, I read the information as she described it rather than looked at it objectively.

As soon as the girl got the cash, tears stopped, she walked off, pulled hood up and then walked off in the opposite direction to the bus stop in a purposive manner, and I twigged that I'd just been conned!

Curious thing was, I suspected something, but nothing enough to stop the con. Would you have done the same as me?

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