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“Is this some kind of scam or just a harmless hustle?”


Photo by angela n.

“Dear PoPville,

Is this some kind of scam or just a harmless hustle? I’m wondering if other readers have experienced this:

I was walking passed the Whole Foods at 14th and P when a tall person in a long blond wig appeared on a scooter in front of me, covered in glitter. They pulled out a container of glitter and told me to hold out my arms. I decided to play along and, long story short, I ended up with sparkly forearms and “purchasing” a couple little prints for $10 using a square credit card swiping device. This was all very predictable – they lightly attempted to negotiate the $10 but were otherwise not threatening or aggressive or anything.

I would have just put it in the category of creative street hustling but immediately after after they scooted away someone came out of a nearby apartment building to warn me that the glitter thing was some kind of identity theft scam. He had taken a video of the whole thing and suggested I let MPD know, since they were looking for the “scammer.”

I guess the square device could have a credit card skimmer in it but otherwise, I’m not sure what the scam angle is here. I was totally fine with the $10. Obviously I’m watching my account closely now but what else am I missing?”

Ed. Note: Sounds like it could be the same person folks started reporting about in April.

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