Flutterby™! : Scammed or not?

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Scammed or not?

2012-07-26 19:37:08.710618+00 by meuon 4 comments

I either just got the best scam of my life, or helped out a fellow traveller. Not sure which. I'm inside the hotel (which requires some access) and just had a dinner when a french speaking decently dressed black man with a travel bag approaches me, Turns out he also speaks some English. He says his flight got delayed and he is trying to buy insulin because he ran out. He pulls out blood sugar meter out of his bag.. his last read > 500. I offered him some Glucophage, he said he needs insulin.. (I thought it would at least help). Says the pharmacy (3 blocks away, I keep track of such things when travelling) only takes cash... We had a couple minute discussion, he offered to leave things with me.. I gave him the 10,000 west african francs I had (about $20usd). I figured he deserves it for the most unique and best scam I have ever encountered, or he really needs it. If I find rigged blood sugar meters at the local market tomorrow, I'll know which.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-07-26 20:17:25.33867+00 by: ebradway

The "offered to leave things with me" is a hallmark of a scam. As are the "decently dressed" and "travel bag".

The blood sugar meter was unique. And I would have given the $20 once in case I was reading the situation wrong. If the guy really needed insulin, he needed the $20 more than I.

As for the rigged meter, it may not be rigged. He may actually have insulin- dependent diabetes that he mismanages to scam visitors out of drug money.

Hope I'm wrong!

#Comment Re: made: 2012-07-26 21:13:01.094971+00 by: meuon

yeah, and I already know the doorman is for sale.. charges for introductions to ladies... Still, it was unique enough I considered it entertainment value. He was pretty healthy for a local, more body fat and looked different.. In hindsight I should have taken him to the front hotel lobby counter.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-07-26 23:06:14.767074+00 by: topspin

Show/tell me the boarding pass/flight info so I can verify it with an online flight tracker. I've asked for it when attempts to scam me professionally ("I'm leaving in a few minutes and need to get this early.....") have come up and they never seem to have it. It's different, obviously, to ask for such in a social setting, but it if you're carrying your travel bag I'd think you invite the question when asking for a favor.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-07-27 05:40:26.411186+00 by: ebradway

Going to the hotel lobby would have been a good call. You could say you need to exchange some currency. If he goes along either he's legit or the person at the lobby counter is in on the scam.

Either way, $20 isn't a lot of money. Even if he didn't use it for insulin, you can console yourself in thinking he was able to afford a cleaner hit of whatever his poison was.