Sad to say that I saw the 2 $10s for a $20 scam in action on the platform at Union Station today. I was about 15 feet away and on an important call and wasn’t 100% sure I had correctly recalled this as a scam so I didn’t intervene.
Only when the tricked guy and I both got on the train did I think to google “PoPville $20” – and sure enough, it pulled up the picture of the guy and his walker. It’s done so, so adeptly – and the man really does appear disabled and in-need – that I frankly doubted my own memory and hesitated on intervening. I showed the scammed guy the picture. He actually reacted pretty graciously (“Well I hope he needed it more than I do.”).”
Makes the whole Two Tens For a Twenty thing seem quaint.
I got tons of messages about this on Sunday:
“I was out at the U st area last night and this man was going around giving false stories about a dead phone/asking to put their number in girls phones – but instead was Venmo paying themselves in $500 increments. Read More
Photo by PoPville flickr user Andrew Pasko-Reader
I’m scanning Craigslist apartment listings for the first time in a few years, and I’d be curious to hear from other readers whether it’s the new norm to ask for personal information before you see a place?
Obviously, we all know not to share banking details with the person who’s out of the country but will mail you the keys to your $1,200/month Dupont penthouse suite.
But the people who ask for full name, occupation, and current location before you even tour the apartment? Legitimate landlords, who are similarly wary of Craigslist, or a newer and subtler way of scamming renters?”
“So I’m back to the velvet underground / back to the floor, that I love / to a room with some lace and paper flowers / back to the gypsy that I was.” -Stevie Nicks
Just wanted to put a PSA out there so no one repeats my dumb mistake.
The TL;DR: never ever, ever ever use Zelle or Venmo to buy stuff off craigslist until you’ve got the thing in hand. They don’t have payment protection. Paypal does.
Anyway, I decided to try and get some last minute tickets to Fleetwood Mac tonight. Went on Craigslist to buy tickets. Messaged this legit-seeming post. The tickets in the post said “Mike” on them. The person texted like a Dad. It seemed legit until…they asked if I had Zelle. I thought it was weird. Their excuse was “Unfortunately they hold payments on new accounts for 21 days which is absurd.” Something about the word “absurd” seemed real to me. Almost disarming. You’re right! It is absurd. But they wouldn’t go along to get along: they refused to send the ticket before I sent payment despite my offer to send a drivers license picture. There were too many flags. I let the conversation end there.
Reader, I’d love to tell you that I, having learned my lesson and stopped right here.
I did not learn my lesson, nor did I stop right here. Read More
Doug the Scammer was out and about on 3rd Street NE last night. This time he was a doctor neighbor who needed to use my phone to call the police. I told him I couldn’t help him and was grateful, for once, that our dog barks at folks who knock.”
Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin
Just wanted to give readers a heads up about a scam we encountered while driving home on Valentine’s Day. We were stopped at a red light, and the man in the car next to us honked at us several times and signaled to us to roll down our window. I did, and he said my front right tire was “wobblying really bad” and I needed to pull over ASAP. Read More
Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.
From DC Water yesterday:
“DC Water this afternoon issued a new reminder for all customers to be aware of and alert to possible scams involving callers or visitors who claim to be from the water authority.
The new warning came after a water customer was convinced to share her credit card information with someone pretending to be from the authority.
In the past, scams involving utility customers have involved visits or in some cases trying to sell water filters or solicit social security numbers. Customers should be aware of the following information: Read More
From the Office of the Attorney General:
“District residents should be on the lookout for scammers making telephone calls claiming to be with Pepco. These fraudulent callers threaten to shut off residents’ electric service within hours unless the residents pay amounts they supposedly owe to Pepco. The callers request that the payments be made by prepaid card, money order or wire transfer – making it almost impossible for residents to recover their money after discovering they were scammed. Read More
Photo by PoPville flickr user Ted Eytan
I’m leaving the area(sadly!) and am trying to think of a bar to have a going away happy hour gathering in Adams Morgan/Dupont /U Street or Shaw. It could be a private room or private area though that’s not a requirement. Mostly, I’m trying to think of a spot with plenty of room that I could invite around 30 people to.”
Doug has crossed the River! I run a restaurant in the Courthouse area of Arlington and my host told me some Doctor asked to speak with me. Almost immediately I felt I recognized him, and it took about 30 seconds into his story about being a neighbor and a former “regular” of ours, that his assistant had his car and he left his wallet, phone and keys in there and was having trouble getting in touch with him. He said the host was nice enough to let him use the phone but he had no luck. My first response was to just say “Doug?”, to which he said, “huh?”. I asked how I could help him and he asked for some free beer, to which my response was, “that’s not going to happen, Doug”. Read More