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SCAM ALERT: Watch out for guy who will ask if you speak English


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We arrived Saturday night in Old San Juan a day early for our 7 day eastern carribean. We checked into our hotel then proceded to walk to a bar and a man stopped us asking if we speak English. He stated that he was engineer from Milwaukee and him his dad just got jumped a block outside old San Juan. He stated his dad was in the hospital and he just went to the US embassy and they were closed. He proceded to tell him he needed seven dollars to get back to the hotel. First of all I doubted we would get jumped one block outside Old San Juan and secondly his story sounded too rehearsed. It sounded like he told this story a thousand times I suppose he said it so fast because he could tell I wanted to walk away. I then told them their was no money I could give him, he seemed really distressed when I walk away.

We had a great time and came back to spend one more day in Old San Juan. Sure enough I was walking down the street and the same man in a different outfit approached me asking if I spoke English. I just walked away ignored him somewhat shocked, I later asked a homeless American for directions. I then asked him if he knew this guy asked people if they spoke English and he stated yes, he sees him trying the same scam everyday. This man is in his fourties between 5-11 and 6-1 foot tall. Dirty blond hair with a thin build. Be aware of this scam artist and tell him where go if you see him.

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Wow, sorry you had this experience. People will stoop to anything :(. I'm glad you didn't fall for it!

 

He stated his dad was in the hospital and he just went to the US embassy and they were closed.

 

The US embassy in Puerto Rico, huh? :rolleyes: LOL I'd tell him to at least get his facts straight before coming up with his sob story :D

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I wish I would of taken a picture. As I walked I wanted to go back to take a picture to post on here, but my girlfriend wanted to avoid a conflict. If anybody is with a big group of people or anybody daring should try to take a picture of him to post here. This guy does not look like he is doing very well, for a supposed tourist he looks a lot like a homeless person. Be aware they he is pretty good salesmen but, now you have the heads up. I have had people try to rip me off before along with a lot of other experienced travelers but, ripping of fellow Americans makes me angry. At least this cockroach is off the mainland if we could get him pushed out of Puerto Rico on a small uninhabitated island in the middle ocean that would be great. Pass this information along to any people in San Juan or on the cruise if possible.

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  • 3 weeks later...

SCAM ALERT: Watch out for guy who will ask if you speak English

 

We ran into a guy like that in Feb/07 in Old San Juan near the port. He was from "Texas", had been jumped and robbed, his "Dad" was in a hospital outside of Old San Juan, had no money, couldn't get money for some reason (bank closed), taxi ride to hospital was $20 but "found" a taxi driver who would take him for $15. He wanted $15. This guy was not clean shaven and sort of rough. He was targetting "fellow Americans".

 

His story, facial expressions and demeanor lacked credibility.

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We arrived Saturday night in Old San Juan a day early for our 7 day eastern carribean. We checked into our hotel then proceded to walk to a bar and a man stopped us asking if we speak English. He stated that he was engineer from Milwaukee and him his dad just got jumped a block outside old San Juan. He stated his dad was in the hospital and he just went to the US embassy and they were closed. He proceded to tell him he needed seven dollars to get back to the hotel. First of all I doubted we would get jumped one block outside Old San Juan and secondly his story sounded too rehearsed. It sounded like he told this story a thousand times I suppose he said it so fast because he could tell I wanted to walk away. I then told them their was no money I could give him, he seemed really distressed when I walk away.

We had a great time and came back to spend one more day in Old San Juan. Sure enough I was walking down the street and the same man in a different outfit approached me asking if I spoke English. I just walked away ignored him somewhat shocked, I later asked a homeless American for directions. I then asked him if he knew this guy asked people if they spoke English and he stated yes, he sees him trying the same scam everyday. This man is in his fourties between 5-11 and 6-1 foot tall. Dirty blond hair with a thin build. Be aware of this scam artist and tell him where go if you see him.

 

When:

a man stopped us asking if we speak English. He stated that he was engineer from Milwaukee....

 

I would have said:

Congratulations .....and walked away.

 

Conversations like this always have the same point....to scam you....;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I read about this guy two nights before we arrived in PR. Damn - he found us. Our party of four on Nov 13th, 2009 were hit by this guy. He has HUGE ears and talks really fast. I started tugging on my husband and friends saying don't listen, heard about this on CC. The guy bolted so fast after I said that. Just be aware, this dude is alive and active in OSJ.

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The park and ride for my bus is on the edge of a Costco parking lot. The last two Christmases a woman has approached me with a long convoluted story of need. The first time I told her, "I'm friends with the manager, lets go inside, I know she'll help you." The woman ran off. Last year, I said. "Wow nothing has changed since last year when you told me this story." I'm kind of hoping to see her this year before our cruise, just for old times sake.

These people are all over, just ignore them.

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There is a costco ? cool, i love costco. It s great to get water ,sunscreen and such. good to know about the scam artists too.

i think the poster was talking about his hometown or somewhere else. there is no costo in san juan.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I want to thank you for posting this.I was walking back to the ship on my own,there was torrential rain and I was going along a back street that was pretty deserted.The guy approached me and gave me his speil.This time he said him and his dad had been mugged up by the fort.He was actually very convincing but somewhere in the back of my mind I recalled this post and was on my gaurd.I was aware how vulnerable I was and didnt know if he would become violent or not so I just said"sorry mate,I have no cash left,dont have enough to get a taxi back{i was so wet this was a feasible excuse}I think he realised he was wasting his time with me and ran off.

LuckilyI am quite a savy traveler but I hate to think what would happen if he stopped someone who was more naive like my mum or aunt who had returned to the ship earlier.

So,thanks again and i hope no one else gets conned by this scumbag!

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I was once scamed like this in Palo Alto Calif, guy seemed nice said car ran out of gas and he lost his credit card, he offered his cell phone as collateral, I said no it's ok and gave him $25, then I saw him hitting other people and demanded my $25 back and He gave it back, I then saw him a few more times weeks later.

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I'm glad this post has helped people. It's crazy that this is his job is to try to scam people everyday. With this wide spread news hopefully he have to look for another profession. Keep spreading the word and maybe this will turn into a cruise urban legend so nobody will get scammed agin.

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Holy crap! Last week, Richmond, VA, outside PetSmart, I was approached by a woman with bad teeth who was new to town, just been on a job interview, sister was supposed to pick her up but her fuel pump broke, had been waiting in the cold 2 hours, but some "taxi" guy (there are literally NO taxis in this neck of town--should have tipped me off) offered to take her home for $15, but she only had $4. "Home" was a good 30 miles one way.

 

Me, the sucker, gave her a dollar. Now I feel like a chump. :o Thanks for the warning!

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How sad! Because of those people,we don't know who really needs help anymore. Two months ago, I gave a lady in the Wal-mart parking lot $6 because of a story that her car broke down and needed the money to take a bus home. After she got the money, she walked around and asked other people too and most of them ignored her. Well, maybe those people are smarter than me!

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  • 2 weeks later...

this bun stopped us in OSJ just this past Thursday12/23. He asked DH if he spoke English, had band aides onhis face & said "Thank God" when DH said yes. I ran up to DH said " This man is a scam artist i read about him on CC" then i said "Get a life creep". Then we walked away. What a bum!

 

Thanks Cruise Critic!!!

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  • 1 month later...

This guy is still going strong. He hit us up just 2 weeks ago with the same story almost word for word. As he was telling his story I interrupted him and finished his story for him. The look on his face was priceless. Then we just walked away.

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It's the oldest scam in the books... :(

 

Had a guy in his early 20's with a fake Italian accent try a similar trick on me in old Montreal a few years ago. He ran off when I told him I'd take him to the local police station to get him help... :)

 

A few years later I got the same story from a young french Canadian teen (who looked homeless) in florida on the boardwalk in Hollywood Beach (aka Little Quebec). I told him his story was older than dirt and I wasn't going to give him drug money, but if he is homeless and hungry I'd buy him a meal.

 

I'll be in San Juan next week, maybe I'll run into mr "Do you speak english", I may just have to switch to French or before he starts his spiel I'll tell him I got mugged and can he spare a $10 :)

 

Pat

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  • 2 weeks later...

I Agree with you 100 %. I like to help people. That's why when I give them money, I do it in good faith and just walk away without worrying if they are being truthful or not.

 

 

 

 

 

How sad! Because of those people,we don't know who really needs help anymore. Two months ago, I gave a lady in the Wal-mart parking lot $6 because of a story that her car broke down and needed the money to take a bus home. After she got the money, she walked around and asked other people too and most of them ignored her. Well, maybe those people are smarter than me!
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