An Impressive Compilation of Scammers who regularly hit the District

washington_dc_scammers
Photo by PoPville flickr user Raymond Bryson

Gotta give props to textdoc for compiling this list when we spoke about the guy who was asking for money so he could get to the hospital. If you’re bored and still stuck at work this list is way too impressive to leave buried in the comments of that post.

“For the OP and anyone else, here are links to discussions of some other frequently attempted scams:

.Supposed “fundraisers” for schools, schools’ marching bands, etc.:
http://www.popville.com/2014/07/from-the-forum-legit-dc-public-school-fundraiser
http://www.popville.com/2011/06/dear-popville-how-do-we-know-if-school-fundraisers-are-legit/
http://www.popville.com/2013/06/dear-popville-mt-pleasant-scammer/
http://www.popville.com/forums/topic/band-fundraiser-at-cardozo/

.Being locked out and needing to pay a locksmith:
http://www.popville.com/2014/06/scam-or-not-vol-17-locked-out-and-needed-to-pay-the-locksmith
http://www.popville.com/2014/07/dear-popville-another-locksmith-scammer/

.Gutter-cleaning:
http://www.popville.com/2012/10/dear-popville-scam-alert/
http://www.popville.com/2014/03/from-the-forum-beware-of-scam/

.Someone presenting two $10 bills and asking for a $20 bill in exchange:
http://www.popville.com/2014/06/hostile-scammer-at-archives-metro/
http://www.popville.com/2013/05/heads-up-scammer-around-thomas-and-scott-circles/

.Woman who claims to have been in a car accident, says it’s her first week on the job at ____, and asks for $ for taxi fare to get back to Stafford, VA:
http://www.popville.com/2012/10/scam-or-truly-in-distress/
http://www.popville.com/2012/11/random-reader-rant-andor-revel-668/#comment-538347

.Older man in Metro asking for money to go somewhere that Metro doesn’t reach: http://www.popville.com/2014/06/scam-or-not-vol-17-locked-out-and-needed-to-pay-the-locksmith/#comment-784041

.Woman asking for money to pick up a prescription at a specific CVS: http://www.popville.com/2014/06/scam-or-not-vol-17-locked-out-and-needed-to-pay-the-locksmith/#comment-783913

.Guy claiming he’s military and saying he needs money to get back to base: http://www.popville.com/2014/06/scam-or-not-vol-17-locked-out-and-needed-to-pay-the-locksmith/#comment-784082

.(Not sure if this one was a one-off) Pedestrian throws self in front of runner and claims that runner broke his watch: http://www.popville.com/2013/08/another-warning-for-joggers-scammer-alert/

27 Comment

  • I got one the other day at the corner of the S St dog park. Guy drove by, saw a scratch/body work on my car, and asked if he could fix it, 10 minutes later, he had buffed out another scratch on my bumper with god knows what, and wanted 150 bucks to fix the side. Said it would only take him 15 minutes and he did this on the side from his usual job at a body shop. Thankfully I asked for a card and told him I would contact him, at which point he got ripshit and argumentative and argued with me for 5 minutes and demanded payment for what he did to the scratch on my bumper.. Lord knows what he would have done to the side of my car to get the dents outs but glad I passed on it.

  • There’s a ginger guy who sometimes hangs out at Navy Yard claiming he’s from Tennessee or something (he’ll show you his driver’s license) and that he needs money to get to Vienna. He’ll ask for a few bucks and say he’s stranded. He’ll be dressed sometimes in ‘work crew’ attire.

    I’ve run into him three times at the NJ ave metro exit in the last year and I’ve seen quite a few people fall for it before I could warn them.

    He got me the first time so I really despise this dude.

  • Thank you for compiling, TextDoc! I’m stuck in an empty office until 5pm today and this is excellent reading material :-)

  • Thank you for compiling, TextDoc! I’m stuck in an empty office until 5pm today and this is excellent reading material :-)

  • LOL! Glad to provide some entertainment.
    .
    I never guessed when I was compiling this list that it would end up getting a thread unto itself. Thanks, PoP!

  • LOL do the smart people of Washington really need to reference a list of scams to know that when a stranger walks up to you and asks for money, he’s either begging or scamming.

    When a stranger walks up to you and asks for money, don’t give them any. Thread over.

    • Well, PoPville readers keep reporting instances of being scammed. So this thread might be of no use to you, but it could be useful to others (especially people new to D.C. and/or to PoPville).
      .
      I haven’t ever been scammed, but reading PoPville has certainly helped. I doubt I would’ve given money to the scammer from Stafford, for instance, but thanks to PoPville I was on guard and recognized her spiel.

  • I think we should think about the real scammers here though– the corporations.

    For instance, at West Elm they’ll trick you into asking for an electronic receipt– and then they’ll track you like NASA!

    Seen too many young folk fall for that one.

  • guy tried one on me and a few friends the other night on 14th street near rhode island ave nw. Said his daughter had severe burns and he needed $4 to have enough money to take a cab to Sibley hospital. My friend who is nicer than me threw him the money but this guy definitely seemed like a scammer to me. As one person pointed out how would he have known he was exactly $4 short for his cab ride to sibley? Also, for someone who has a daughter in as dire a straits as it sounded he didnt seem to be too upset or in much of a rush.

  • You forgot this one: Ward 4 Councilperson knocks on your door and asks for your vote for mayor. Thank you! I’ll be here all weekend, folks.

  • One I’ve had a couple times around Columbia Heights/Petworth is a middle aged gentleman who claims his daughter is in the hospital and that he needed cab fare to go back so she could be released. On a related note, I’ve always found that saying “Sorry, I don’t carry cash.” is pretty effective at stopping both scams and beggars.

  • I’ve had that one twice and pretty sure I’ve seen him coming out of a building on my street. Bald middle aged Black man, right?

  • He was outside the Spy Museum earlier this week.

  • I had a kid (10 at the most) come up to me on H st last Friday night to ask for cash. Anyone else?

  • I hope to hell I never find myself in desperate straits, needing to ask for kindness from strangers. Yes, lots of people take advantage. LOTS. But seeing all the scams in one place makes it seem like everyone claiming to need some help is lying.

  • skj84

    I’ve run into that guy! He was trying his schtick on people at the Anacostia metro one day.

  • Yes, it is sad that so many scammers have made most sensible people just refuse to ever help someone who claims to be in need. Having been taken in by a couple of the scams here myself, I’ll be damned if I ever help a stranger on the DC streets with money again.

  • Guy on 11th street saying his daughter just had a baby at Sibley Hospital and he needs a cab. Tried getting him an uber instead, should have known he was a scammer by how reluctant he was to do this. But of course no cars were available on uber so I just gave him a $20. Seen him do this to others since.

  • OMG! This guy got me too. $20 on 11th street by Meridian Pint. I just posted below with the full story, should have read this first.

  • I was asked for money at the 11th and U bus stop by a man who claimed his daughter was in “that car over there” with keys in hand, saying they are from virginia and have no way to get back because something is wrong with their car. It seemed very scripted— he came over to us and had a whole other conversation before hand about some guy in a car who was making a scene nearby, as if to make us feel comfortable and relate to him. Also I feel like stating that he is from Virginia is supposed to make me feel that he is just an ordinary guy trying to get home… Didn’t buy it.

  • I’ve had a guy come up to me outside of Bethesda metro several times asking me what time it is. He’s a young 20-30 Caucasian and well dressed. Then he asks if you like his clothes. Not sure what he’s trying to accomplish but it seems to be a bit that he has. I called him out on it the second time around.

  • At the Rosslyn Metro platforms, I regularly see a woman asking people for 90 cents that she is apparently needing in order to get enough fare to get home. She’s been at it for years. Lots of people fall for it – I try to intercept it if I can.

  • You let a guy do work for you and then didn’t pay him? Anon should go up on the list for “scamming hard working body repair guys out of money.”

  • I really don’t understand why people fall for the hospital thing so often If I had a family member in the hospital and no money to get there I would walk, or more likely run, not bother to ask for money on the street. I suppose if I saw someone walking hurriedly down the street toward Sibley hospital and stopped to quickly ask for money I might at least think it was plausible.

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