Scam in Mumbai acting as British citizen

#1 Dec 28th, 2013, 09:30
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#1
Hi everyone,

I have returned from a trip to India and my last day was in Mumbai.

I got stopped by a man with perfect british accent who told me that was mugged by somebody and with a broken tooth.He said his name was Andrew Watson and he told me if I could help him as he said he got no passport and no phone as everything was on his bag that was stolen. I doubted but decided to help him find the consulate phone.

Then he told me that he needed to call his brother in the uk, who could send him money. He tried to get money but without an ID he couldn't get it back so he told me if i wouldnt mind being the receiver of the money. I said no problem and the supposed money transfer was sent to my name by moneygram. We went to the closest moneygram and it was closed. Then he called from a lineland to know the closest open office of moneygram, as it was sunday, and we went to it. It was 4 pm and the office was supposed to close at 5.00 pm, but it was closed, of course.
Then he told me how fucked up he was, that he was bleeding inside due to the kicks and if i wouldnt mind to lend him the money to go to Goa asap, where he had more money, his house and his other credit cards. He was a really good actor and had a very elaborated story.
Of course, he has run away with the money. The uk number is not working and the email he told me got no reply.
Please, if you happen to be in Mumbai or Goa, and got this person approached, try to take a picture with him or something, so it can be identified and catch by the authorities.
#2 Dec 28th, 2013, 10:54
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#2
It must be a really sad experience for you and thank you for alerting all others.

Few queries just to get into the story
  1. When was your "last day ... in Mumbai"?
  2. Will kindly like to explain how was he looking?
  3. How much time he spent with you?
  4. Did you suggest him to contact police or his so-called Goa home?
  5. How much money he took from you?
It would be great if you could share the same with others here on Forum.
#3 Dec 28th, 2013, 12:04
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#3
How Much are you in the hole for ?
#4 Dec 28th, 2013, 14:04
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#4
Don't be too disheartened. We often come down hard on those who fall for gem scams and the like as they are motivated by greed but in this case you were purely selfless and motivated only by compassion.

It's a lesson learned and a great warning to others so thank you for sharing. To others, my suggestion if you find yourself in such a situation and feel compelled to help 1) police 2) consulate. If the person can't receive the help they need from those two organisations then kindly say you've done all you can and walk away.

Sorry to hear this. I hope it hasn't tainted your holiday or view on this wonderful country.

NB
"See the World, then see India - because the World is an anti-climax"
#5 Dec 28th, 2013, 17:41
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#5
+44 208 843 8809 seems to be a phone number of some competition by a packaging service.

Source
#6 Dec 28th, 2013, 20:53
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post It must be a really sad experience for you and thank you for alerting all others.

Few queries just to get into the story
  1. When was your "last day ... in Mumbai"?
  2. Will kindly like to explain how was he looking?
  3. How much time he spent with you?
  4. Did you suggest him to contact police or his so-called Goa home?
  5. How much money he took from you?
It would be great if you could share the same with others here on Forum.
Hi Prakaant,

The day all this happened was 22-December. However, after some research I have figured out that this guy was first on Goa. At least until 11 December. Basically I sent an email to the email address that he gave me, and a guy from the US replied me telling that I'd been scammed. I traced back the email sent and it was sent from the US. This guy had the access to his email account because "Andrew Watson" gave him the password to access it and he could remember it. So I had access to the email account and i've seen a few emails from other people claiming his money back with no reply.

This scammer only sent 2 emails from that account, and i'm contacting the people who received it in order to know where those emails where sent from.
I know he was in Goa first because some people tell him in the email if he has made it to Mumbai. There's also a post on Tripadvisor regarding this man.

So basically, he was in Mumbai around August, then in Goa until December and now he's probably back in Mumbai.

As I said he has a very elaborate story. He told me he was attack during the night, he had a broken tooth, and all his papers gone. He called the consulate in front of me, and then called those numbers in the UK from my smartphone using Skype. Silly me, he was talking to no one of course. The phone number he dialed is the one you found. I tried calling back (as many people i saw in his email account) but no reply. Then he said if i wouldnt mind getting the money for him, as he had no papers. He said he was very worried because the keys and address of his appartment in Goa where in his bag. He said he was in Mumbai just to find a friend of his mum, who she haven't seen in long time and wanted to find him to put him in touch with his mom again. Then we went to the Moneygram offices and the first one was closed. Then he called some information number and told me that there was one opened (it was sunday) next to Metro Cinema. We went there and it was closed. During all that time he told me he was kind of bleeding in his penis or something, due to the kicks he received. I suggested him to go to a hospital, but he denied telling me he was in a hurry for getting back home and change the locker of his appartment, as he said he had jewelry, laptops, etc and didnt want to lose time in Mumbai. So, he told me if i wouldnt mind to get the money sent by his brother the next day and give him some money to pay a express taxi to Goa.
The reason he said to go by taxi was that it was the fastest way, that he couldnt book a train ticket because he had no ID card to be showed or to book the ticket. He said that if he was going with a taxi of a Hotel, they wouldnt ask the driver for Id of the people inside the taxi and he could make it to Goa. So finally and acting as desperate he was, and with his perfect british accent, i believed him and withdraw some money for him, expecting to get it back with the Moneygram transfer number he gave me. As many other people I trusted him.

So i gave him the amount of 40000 rupees. He told me the taxi was 25000 plus 9000 of night drive and i even gave him some extra for his expenses or whatever. His "brother" "sent" him 50000 rupees by Moneygram and he told me i could just keep the rest for being so helpful with him and so on. Then the motherfuck**** even told me please give me a hug, you are such a kind person and help me so much.

So that's the history. I spent about 3 hours with him. The guy is bald, not so dark skin, was wearing glasses and has a british accent (at least if he wants to). I went to Starbucks with him in order to have internet to be able to call by skype to his "brother". I have contacted the Starbucks we went in, because they might still have the recording of both of us entering. He had the detail of inviting me to a Capuccino, so he might be recorded on the CCTV of Starbucks, but got noreply.

He also entered inside the ATM with me, so i'm trying to figure out also the bank and ATM where i took the money, just in case they have the recording and his face.

I finally truly believed his story, althought at the beginning i was kind of not, finally i said myself if i was in the same situation and i would need help i would love somebody to help me.

Now I just wish I could go back, and I just wish to find him again if I ever visit India. It would be also amazing if by some way the power of internet and people could make him a trap and catch him.

I stayed 2 months in India and i truly loved some of the places and the 95% of the people was helpful and nice. However i found the country to be the one of the most stressing ones I've ever been too and there are too many ways to many people wants to steal your money or scam you. Many times you feel like a walking ATM (and i was one finally) and you feel like many people just wants your money and they are not genuine. I badly have to say that probably those 2 months have been enough for me in India. Too much trash, somebody should start telling indians to stop destroying their enviroment, and too much people everywhere, difficult to relax and walk around without people following you.
#7 Dec 28th, 2013, 21:49
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#7
Welcome to IndiaMike, mekins!

Sorry this happened to you. Thanks for telling your story and giving a warning to others who might run into this scam in Mumbai. You may have just saved someone else from losing some money to this guy.
#8 Dec 28th, 2013, 22:03
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#8

Re: Scam in Mumbai acting as British citizen

His Karma will catch him sooner or later & I'm sure your karma will be rewarded soon. Thanks for warning us.
#9 Dec 29th, 2013, 10:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royalrider View Post His Karma will catch him sooner or later & I'm sure your karma will be rewarded soon. Thanks for warning us.
Thanks for your kind words Royaldier. I really, really hope his Karma will catch him soon. I truly believe you get what you give in life, and althought this happened to me it won't stop helping others when are in trouble, but i will have to double check everything much more concious.

best,
#10 Dec 30th, 2013, 10:50
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#10
is this the person? this is a blog entry from a long time ago, September 2010.
http://www.compulsiveconfessions.com...-this-man.html

if it is the same person, and this has been going on for close to 2-3 years now, i think there is really no sense in involving the police.

the picture does not really matter, a few changes, and it can look like a completely different person. But if he's still using the same get-up, then it shows how blatant and uncaring/unconcerned he is.

better to leave your kind heart at home, and not part with your money, no matter how convincing the story is.
#11 Dec 30th, 2013, 11:24
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#11
40000 Rupees no wonder this scam still exists. I have some stock I would like to sell. Its Maxicare, I had a hot tip on it. I would let it go for a reasonable percentage of the pre-bankruptcy price. Well, this is a cost that will teach a valuable lesson at a modest price, heart over mind. Many years ago I listened to such a brilliant spiel from a man who wanted 20 Rupees. I knew it was phoney. But, I just couldn't ignore the creativity and the obvious "professionalism". I gave him ten as a reward for that and went home laughing. My spouse hates that. She says beggers in India make more than an average workman. I don't begrudge them the scam. Its teaches us what BS is not to mention humility and maybe later in our commercial relations we will not be taken in as easily. How much is a train ticket to Goa?.
#12 Dec 30th, 2013, 11:41
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#12
i think mekins is a good person with a kind heart and helping nature.

Incidents like this change people for the worse, and they will hesitate next time, it could be someone genuinely in trouble.
#13 Dec 31st, 2013, 03:00
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam00121 View Post is this the person? this is a blog entry from a long time ago, September 2010.
http://www.compulsiveconfessions.com...-this-man.html

if it is the same person, and this has been going on for close to 2-3 years now, i think there is really no sense in involving the police.

the picture does not really matter, a few changes, and it can look like a completely different person. But if he's still using the same get-up, then it shows how blatant and uncaring/unconcerned he is.

better to leave your kind heart at home, and not part with your money, no matter how convincing the story is.
Hi,

This is not the man. He is another person. I'm in touch with the Starbucks coffer where we went so they can provide the video recording where we will all be able to see him.

He coudln't go by train because he had no passport to be checked when they check your ticket. Thats why he "needed" the taxi ride, and also to go as fast as possible and not allow the "thiefs" to enter his house.

For sure, I will not believe any other history like this in my life, but i won't stop helping others if i feel i should. An hopefully in this life or in another he will get his reward, it's just a matter of time that he will be catch or whatever.
#14 Dec 31st, 2013, 10:16
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#14
One can't be sure what the other person has done after parting the company - whether stayed behind, traveled by bus, train or taxi.

In stead of mulling over the incident, let's go ahead with an alert mind brain and control over feelings.
#15 Dec 31st, 2013, 10:21
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#15
thank you mekins, for the negative confirmation.

it is easy for the locals to swindle foreigners, those of who are generous and innocent by nature. Those that are exposed to the scams, and somewhat wordly wise, not so much.
this is true of india and other countries.

my friends returned from a trip abroad, and are still wondering how "helpful, honest and nice" the locals were. So, it is a chance one takes, each time they step out of the house.
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