Difference between scam and friendly people?

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#1 Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:59
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  • Michael PDX is offline
#1
I've read about how friendly and hospitable Indians are, and I've also read about the abundance of scams you are likely to encounter. Therefore me question is how to tell the difference between a scammer and a friendly person. I don't want to reject all contact with Indians, and would like to accept offers of hospitality, etc., but at the same time, I do not want to get scammed. I.e. I have had people I've never met before online tell me that I am welcome at their house, etc. Other potential situations include people coming up and talking to me on a train, etc. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
#2 Jun 22nd, 2010, 09:26
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#2
Be UPFRONT right from the word go.

"How much is this going to COST ME " is what I usually ask.

However, when Invited to someones Home for a meal,I don't Query
as this would most likely cause Offence.


vandy
#3 Jun 22nd, 2010, 12:01
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#3
Gut feeling is the best way. Many people are just curious and are interested in talking and learning about your country and culture. In my experience it is the older gentlemen who have that interest. A lot depends on where you are, if it’s a tourism spot the chances are you will be approached by someone with a hidden agenda. Scams only happen if you let them happen and if after some time one of your new Indian friends starts with a sob story or a business proposition they will be out to touch you.
Also some Indians think if they do a favour or help you that you should repay them somehow. Have a look at the thread "remember me, I saved your life" and you will start to understand.
If you are at Goa or some other very touristy place and someone befriends you, take care. But on the other hand you are in a remote area or a non touristy place the approaches will be more genuine without any agenda except curiosity. It is also a bit of a status symbol in these places to have a "poren friend" to show off, and that is all they want.
I hit a young bloke with my car early one morning in some small highway hamlet in the middle of Tamil Nadu a few years ago. It ended up with this poor kid being thrown around like a sack of potatoes going from Dr to X-ray to hospital etc in an auto while his boss was dragging me around to meet all his family and friends while introducing me as his ‘friend’.
4 hours later, after many cups of tea/coffee and a greasy chicken breakfast at his small hotel I managed to escape with half the village standing in the highway waving farewell to the hotel owners new "Poren Friend". The kid was an employee at my new Indian friend’s hotel and only suffered scrapes and bruising which cost me about 500/- all up including autos etc. Plus another couple of hundred for new shirt and trousers that helped his pain a bit.
The whole episode was quite bizarre.
Treat all in India with a little caution and a lot of common sense and you will be fine. Most scams are small and so if you are caught it is an embarrassing lesson.
But there are some that are brilliant con artists that even have the industry seniors and powerful fooled (Sultan of ...... included) as one I met and worked with in Kerala who was setting up a huge multimillion $ scam/scheme hitting the 5 star hotels, resorts and Kashmiri handicraft dealers until I brought him down. Such a very simple and brilliant scheme that had most fooled. The last I heard he was in Bangalore as he can't show his face in Kerala again. But he was so good that I could not help admiring him as the warning bells were ringing all over the place and I wanted to see how it would turn out, but my legal involvement was getting a bit shaky so I tumbled his house of card with one simple statement followed by a question to the GM of the leading luxury hotel in Kerala and that was "I am resigning as director of this company and by the way, have you verified Dr M......?' The look on his face told me he hadn't as his warning bells were deafening him and had been for some time.
Gut feeling is usually correct.
#4 Jun 22nd, 2010, 13:11
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#4
Gut feel really.

But it also helps to be aware of all the angles/questions. If you are comprehensive you are never caught out.

Asking about the hidden charges and harping on things upfront helps, but some shameless buggers will still try to cheat you with hidden charges.

Live and learn. Even we indians get conned alot of times , if that's a solace.
SMASH!!!!
#5 Jun 22nd, 2010, 14:00
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#5
Yaar, gut feeling has never failed me.

Most times it's pretty clear upfront when someone is talking to you if they want your business or money, or want friendship/conversation. The vast majority of Indians I have met want the latter.

Having a chai or meal with someone is a pretty good start, even if they are often just curious who this weird looking moon-person is and want to show you off to their family and friends. Usually it's pretty innocent. If you feel weird about the person after the chai you can always say goodbye.

Be wary if they make any mention of their uncle/brother/family's shop or business, in that case they may just be interested in you as a customer.

Then again, some of my best friends in India I met when one of them offered to show me their oil shop. My gut feeling was good about them and it was right. Some of my best friends now - their kids call me Didi, they continuously try to feed me and get me to stay at their house

I'd say be trustful of people who seem like good folks. They usually are. If they ask you for money, bolt.
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#6 Jun 22nd, 2010, 14:22
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  • machadinha is offline
#6
Maybe check your back pocket after the fact & take that lesson along for the next ride?

(Kidding really. Gut feeling, yes, what else are you gonna do. Anywhere in the world or in life.)
#7 Jun 22nd, 2010, 14:41
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#7
Scamsters can come in many forms; some 'phoren' tourists turned locals can perpetrate them too.
#8 Jun 22nd, 2010, 14:43
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#8
Difference between scam and friendly people?

Friendly people usually not stick to you longer , S/he will just ask or reply your query or tell about city and will go. Scam kind of people , you will get near Tourist place only.

Yes .... little caution and a lot of common sense is must :-)
"In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with Great love"
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#9 Jun 22nd, 2010, 17:16
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#9
Define scam.

In cities all over the world, there a million meetings every day between people of various degrees of wealth. Names and numbers are exchanged, news is swapped, opportunities are noted. Sometimes follow-up calls are made. There is an underlying theme to this, an ever present question: "How can this person be helpful to me?".

It's called networking.

Why should India be different?

Of course, there are shades of grey. The person who asks for material help might have befriended you for that purpose alone, or they might simply feel that now they have a friend who might help them.

I've been to Delhi, once --- and I was there with a friend who knows the city well: she knew exactly what makers of casual conversation were touts and agents. I didn't have a clue. Of course, trying to get your business is not exactly a scam (well, where some banks and investment companies are concerned it might be!) but still, the lesson is that you simply won't know a good scam, until it is over!
#10 Jul 1st, 2010, 02:25
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#10
If they are poor people I don't care if they scam me. I come from a wealth country, so I don't judge them.

The druggy people they are usually bad. I heard this is big problem in India with the hard drugs everywhere.
#11 Jul 1st, 2010, 02:48
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#11
Quote:
Define scam.
Define 'friendly people'

Quote:
It's called networking.
Ah. Genteel touting?
.
This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#12 Jul 1st, 2010, 03:10
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#12
Exactly!


And if I'd been any good at it, I'd probably still be working in the city of London. Like my ex-boss is .
#13 Jul 1st, 2010, 03:15
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuffy View Post If they are poor people I don't care if they scam me. I come from a wealth country, so I don't judge them.
I do. Theft is theft, and generally one is not looking at a person who would have starved without it.

Quote:
The druggy people they are usually bad. I heard this is big problem in India with the hard drugs everywhere.
It may be. Behind closed doors, perhaps. I am aware of the problem caused by alcohol, but, as for junkies on the street, this is not the place to find them, or to be hassled by them. I'm sure there are places where that is not true, but for my city it is. Neither hard drugs, nor the people who use them, are "everywhere"
#14 Jul 1st, 2010, 03:32
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The difference between a scam and a friendly person, is that sooner or later the scammer will want you to do something that you are not comfortable with - that's the point where you smile and say "No thanks" and simply walk away; scammers rely on persuading you to part with cash and if you choose not to participate in something you're not happy with, you can't get scammed.

They don't generally bash you over the head and run away with your money. That's why they're called scammers not muggers, and that's why I don't feel that I have to avoid speaking to people who approach and want to chat, for fear of getting scammed.
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#15 Jul 1st, 2010, 04:46
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#15

Wink

Sometimes it just happens and it's aggrevating but you just move on.

We had a really clever scam pulled on us some years ago. We were arriving by public bus in Srinigar at night. The bus stopped, a young man jumped on and asked if any one on the bus had houseboat reservations. We raised our hand and said yes. Then he cleverly got us to tell him our name--he was looking at a list & asked us-- and said we should come with him & he would take us to the houseboat.

We got off the bus & went with him in a taxi. We drove & drove & drove and started to wonder what was going on. We were not at Dal Lake where we had our reservation, we were at Nagin Lake. We got on the houseboat -- a nice one-- and the owner sent the guy on his way. We were very confused. But it was late so we stayed. The next day we realized we'd been scammed!! This was not where we had a reservation. We said we were angry for what they did to get us there & he gave us a better price!

But it didn't matter. We didn't have any deposit on the place we reserved and this was a nice quiet Lake. We stayed for a few days and had a good time then moved somewhere else on Dal Lake.


Kind of clever twist on "My Uncle has a good hotel"
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