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Scam or Not? Vol. 17 – “locked out and needed to pay the locksmith”

by Prince Of Petworth June 4, 2014 at 10:55 am 86 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user grit and whatever

“Dear PoPville,

Today a man came to my front door in gym clothes and he looked pretty sweaty. He said he was a neighbor of mine and gave an apartment number but didn’t say the building. He said that he was locked out and needed to pay the locksmith but didn’t have access to his wallet. He said he had money and he would pay me back, he just didn’t have access to it since he was locked out.
He said he called his pastor and the pastor wasn’t able to help him. Whenever someone mentions the church or a pastor when they’re asking for money it makes me suspicious… Like they are trying to come off as legitimate.

I didn’t give him any money, but told him he could talk to the construction workers next-door to see if they could help him out. He said he didn’t want to deal with those guys and was going to ask a different neighbor.

Part of me felt bad because he did not seem to be full of malice, and he was really sweaty because it was hot outside. However, in the back of my mind I thought that surely a locksmith company would let him pay after they let him in and he did get to his wallet. Also, if he really needed the money he would have not minded asking other people on the block.

Has anyone dealt with this before in the Petworth neighborhood recently? I feel terrible if there really was a neighbor and distress that I didn’t help, but it seems to be wiser to be suspicious of anyone who comes to the door asking for money these days.”

Unfortunately I’m going with 99% likelihood it was a scam.


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