An index of scams, separated by type. (Last updated Sep. 25, 2008)

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Postby KOVAKS on Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:31 pm

Don't answer this post. It is just for categories, each a type of scam, and a link to all the posts about that scam.

Don't forget to visit my Map o' Crimes, where you can see where my solved cases actually took place.

Attraction as a Distraction
Scammers who use their "charms" to distract. A technique drunken men invariably fall for.
SOLVED: One Crooked Kitten, Variations of the Gypmeister Raptor Con
Chinese Breast Flashers and Other Scams
Boob-Flashing & Swarm Technique
A Bizarre Incident with an Attractive Lady
Joy Girls that Pickpocket - A Ramblas Story
A Possible Sexual Scam?
Be Careful Who You Sleep With in Barcelona
Rest of the World:
Boob Distraction in Rome

The Tourist in Distress
It usually goes like this : A tourist speaking in an English accent approaches, says they got robbed and that they need money for a flight, a room or whatever. Funny thing is they get "robbed" everyday, and tell the same boo-hoo crock of hooey to other good natured tourists with some dough to spare.
SOLVED: One Crooked Kitten
A "Tourist in Trouble" with a Bad Attitude
"Tourist in Distress" - We've heard it before
Fake Irishman in Distress ... or?
Tourist in Trouble - Think Again
The Infamous Fake Tourist in Trouble?
Fake Tourist in Trouble & Carnations with a Catch
Fake Tourist in Trouble - Revealed?
Rest of Spain:
Fake Tourist in Distress in Palma de Mallorca
Rest of the World:
The "Tourist in Trouble" Scam in Mauritius
A Young Chap in Need in Vancouver, or so it seems

Fake Policemen
A particularly insidious scammer technique that falls into the "cloaking" category - that is, scammers who get in disguise. They approach you flashing a cheap badge they bought in a Chinese novelty store, say they're special undercover cops and they want your ID. They really want your hard-earned scratch.
SOLVED: The Cloaking Con
Fake Policemen on the Loose
More "Passport Control"
"Passport Control"
Fake "Policia"
Rest of the World:
Dope & Crooked Cops in Africa

The Infamous "Tire Pinch"
Someone tells you you have a flat tire, open gas cap, or something else wrong with your car. Think again. They want you to get out of your car so their accomplice can steal your bags.
Streetwise folks fall for the Tire Pinch
The Tire Pinch, with a Happy Ending
Advice from a Victim of the Tire Pinch
More Tire Pinchers and a Guy Who Will Take No More
Another Tire Pinch!
Another Tire Pinch
The Classic Tire Pinch
"You have a leak down there."
Rest of Spain:
The Tire Pinch "Madrilena" Style

The Pigeon Poop Scam
The scammers claim a bird pooped on you, or that you have some kind of substance on your clothing. They kindly offer to help you wipe it off ... while their gypmeister hands snake into your pockets!
SOLVED: (Un)friendly Helpers
Another "Stain" Scam Variation
A Mysterious Stain and an Unfriendly Helper
Another Variation of the Pigeon Poop Scam
Variation of the Pigeon Poop Scam from back in the days
Rest of Spain:
Mustard Attack in Madrid

The Shell Game
The all-time classic scam, employed in every major city in every country of the world. There's always a smart guy who thinks he can beat the gypmeisters. Here's a clue: you CAN'T win, ever.
SOLVED: The American Tourist Con
Young Policeman Gets Scammed
Undercovers Put the Screws on a Cup Shuffler
Hide the Pea & Brazen Bag Snatching
An American Taken by the 3 Cups Scam
Rest of Spain:
Cup Shufflers & Ringers in Tenerife
Rest of the World:
Shell Game in Venice - You Can't Win

The Drop Cigarette Scam
A classic. You're riding an escalator up. The guy in front of you drops a cigarette or something. He reaches down and blocks you in while an accomplice rushes you from behind.
The Drop Cigarette Con
The Drop Cigarette & the Ramblas "Large" Drink Scam
Another One Blocked on the Escalator
Newspaper Hands Cover & Blocked on the Escalator
Drop "Something" on the Escalator Scam

Map & Post Card Vendors
The classic "Rand-McNally" technique. A guy approaches you with a map or some postcards. They place whatever they have on your table. When they lift it up, they also take your cell phone etc. The "fanning map" is also used to distract so an accomplice can sneak in.
SOLVED: Variations of the Gypmeister Raptor Con
So a guy with a map approaches your table in Pl. Real ...
More Postcards from a Thief
Postcards ... from a Thief
The Map Vendor Scam

The Soccer/Football Trick Scam
Some greasy young sprout starts dribbling a soccer ball by you, doing Ronaldihno's "elastico" move and more ... oh yes much more ... as you soon realize this guy has also stolen your wallet.
SOLVED: The Soccer Trick Con
The Soccer, Scooter, Tire Pinch & More Scams Explained
The Infamous Soccer/Football Move Scam

Fake Babies
Believe it or not, cute babies are often used to distract a mark. And even more unbelievably, a lot of times they are fake.
SOLVED:The Fake Baby Con
Fake Baby Scam
Rest of the World:
Fake Baby Scammers in Rome
Italian Fake Baby Scammers & Metro Scammers in Paris
Don't Hold that Cute Baby - a Cruel Greek Scam

Flowers Scam
I have never seen this, so it is possible this technique is not "in vogue" in the gypmeister academies of swindling. Basically a woman forces a gift of a flower on you, and while you are looking for some change to pay for it, she "helps" you.
A Gift of Flowers ... or ...
The Rose Scam & The Pigeon Poop Scam
Rest of Spain:
Carnation Scam in Plaza Mayor (Madrid)

Various Methods of Distraction
They all basically do the same thing. Like a magician, scammers aim to distract you somehow, and while you are looking elsewhere they snag your bags.
SOLVED: Variations of the Gypmeister Raptor Con
A Good Evening Wish Turns Sour
Robbed... Kindness kills
Jostled on the Metro in Barcelona-Sants
The "You dropped something" Scam
Distracted at a Bus Stop and Breast-Flashed (also Attraction as a Distraction)
Team of Scammers on the Metro
"Barcelona, Never Again" (bumping technique & more)
A close call at the airport
Another "Lost Person" at Plaza Catalunya
The Prat-Sants Gypmeister Express
Watch Out When You Use the Phone
Pickpockets in London
Scammed at the Airport
Gypmeisters Come in All Colors & Creeds, but all "dip" hands
The Thieves are Nearby
(Un)friendly Helpers
Wailing, Crying & Pieces of Cardboard
Blocked of in the Metro & Possible Rose Scam
Lost & Flustered Person Scam
Cardboard Signs as a Distraction
Rest of Spain:
"Excuse me I'm lost" (and I want to take your money)
"Lost Person" Scam in Madrid
Vigilant Tourist Stops a Pickpocket in Madrid
Shoving on the Metro (and Becoming a Jaded Traveler)

Choking & Other More Violent Techniques
Fortunately, brazen violence is not as common as petty thievery in Barcelona. The choking technique, for example, is when pickpockets jump you from behind, put you in a chokehold and an accomplice empties your pockets.
The Choking Pickpocketers
Attempted Mugging Ends Happily
Another Choker by The Cathedral
Scary Muggers & Some Advice
The Choking Bag Snatching
More Bag Snatchers on Escudellers
Don't Look Like a Tourist (Rule Number 1)
Jostled but Unscathed
Violent Bag Snatchers on Escudellers

Apartment Scammers
Not really my territory here, but these are scams pulled on apartment hunters in Barcelona and other European cities
Apartment Scammers
Apartment Scammer Europe-wide

Scams I couldn't quite place yet.
SOLVED: The Bouncing Cartoon Con, The Charity of Gypmeisters, False Friends, Guiri Gone Bad, Small Time Crooks
Big Money. Big Balls. Big Scam.
Boiler Room Operators try to scare an innocent kid
Thieves in the Bushes
Possible Laced-Drink
Sketchy Restauranteurs
Crooks in Cahoots with Massage Parlors
Bags Snatched Out of a Car
A "Helpful" Local with Insider Tips
Bag Snatched in Dunkin' Donuts
Don't Fall Asleep
"Mentally deranged" Scam and the Nightclub Accomplice
Rest of Spain:
ATM Scam in Sitges
Pamplonan Scamsters
Scrooter-Driving Snatchers in Madrid & Sevilla
Ripped Off by Madrid Cabbies
Tweezer Reacher in Sevilla
Rest of the World:
Metro Ticket Scam in Krakow
Trunk Emptied in the South of France
Similar Scams in Boston
You Pity, You Give (NYC & Paris) (Read my exposé in The Charity of Gypmeisters)
Trying to Out-con the Con Artist ... uh uh (Naples)
Swindling Caribbean Style
Scams in Italy from the Good Ol' Days
Napolitano Scooter-Snatchers Make Off with a Tooth
Shoved on a Subway Car in Mexico City
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