Stolen bag and passport train ticket scam

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#1 Feb 17th, 2014, 01:49
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  • Marc India is offline
#1
This scam really took me by surprise because it was conducted by a British tourist on myself a British tourist.

As an avid traveller to India I thought I had seen and heard most scams so I take my hat off to the person who scammed me but would like to share this
with you so it does not happen to you.

I was walking to my train at Mumbai CST with my girlfriend and was approached by a British man from Indian origin who had a Birmingham accent.
He said that his Bag and passport had been stolen and did I have a lonely planet so he could get the British consulate details to get a new passport.
We found the details and he wrote them down.
The man told us he was meant to get a flight to Goa where he had a house but would now have to get a train instead.
We said good luck and made are way to the train.
When we got on the train the man who we just left called me and was waiting in the aisle of the train.
He said to me that he was desperate to get to Goa and could I lend him enough to get a last minute 1st or 2AC ticket as they were the only ones left.
He told me he would give me the money back once we get to Goa as his family would pick him up.
He invited me to go and get the ticket with him but the train was leaving in 10 minutes.
I gave him 1400 Rupees for the 2AC train ticket, even though I was not comfortable in doing so.
He said he would meet me before the train left.
After he left I began to think the worse but that little voice in my head was also saying don't worry its ok.
When the train left I knew I had been scammed.

It was not a huge amount of cash but I did feel violated and would like to let people know.
If you do come across this scam or person in Mumbai CST please notify the police.
He has a distinctive black birth mark on the side of left eye speaks with a Birmingham or northern accent and is about 5ft 7 tall and from Indian origin
#2 Feb 17th, 2014, 02:14
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  • steven_ber is offline
#2
He must be desperate to go to such lengths for such a small amount of money.

Scams by 'tourists' are sophisticated and common in places like Thailand, but usually involve a lot more money to pay for the lifestyle they've become trapped in.

Sophisticated is the wrong word, but a hell of a lot of thought goes into the scams, and they know exactly how a tourist thinks, and exactly how hotel staff act around tourists.

One scam I remember (from a dozen years ago) was to act as a newly arrived tourist (not easy) and get friendly with the hotel's night guard, give him drinks, throw something in the drink, then when he's sleeping, go through all the security boxes, I thought this scam would come to India one day, but I've not heard of it yet, maybe there's a whole lot more cameras these days.
.
SOS: Missing Person...

Please look at this thread, even if you are not in India.: Have you seen Jonathan Spollen?

He could be anywhere now: You might have met him, be able to help, or give information.
#3 Feb 17th, 2014, 03:17
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#3
This has been reported here before, pretty sure it's the same guy.

Will see if I can dig the thread up!

NB
"See the World, then see India - because the World is an anti-climax"
#4 Feb 17th, 2014, 03:47
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  • Nick-H is offline
#4
Quote:
He said to me that he was desperate to get to Goa and could I lend him enough to get a last minute 1st or 2AC ticket as they were the only ones left.
Aren't they the least likely to be available on a popular train?

Anyway, it's a variety on scams that have been tried on me in London: guy needs to get home, wants taxi fare... why not tube or bus at a fraction of the price?

Was once asked for a bus fare with a lost-purse story attached. It was a reasonable amount of money, probably something like 10 or 20 Rs, and no request for any form of luxury travel. The guy (local, not a tourist, pretend or otherwise) was so obviously relieved that it had to be genuine.
#5 Feb 17th, 2014, 04:17
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#5
I think the difference Nick is a westerner approaching a westerner in India. It's much more compelling a story than the type we're accustomed to in London.

Especially with first time travellers to India, they tend to develop a kinship with all other western travellers where they feel they are all experiencing something life changing and character defining! As such, a westerner in need can't possibly be a scam!

NB
#6 Feb 17th, 2014, 04:40
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#6
I think Marc got away with it rather lightly @ Rs.1400. There was another recent report where the victim got done for Rs.40,000.

Scam in Mumbai acting as British citizen

I agree with NB. Fellow travellers tend to trust each other believing they are in the same boat. Sympathy is stirred when the victim contemplates what if she/he found themselves in the same dire situation.
#7 Feb 17th, 2014, 05:19
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  • edwardseco is offline
#7
Quote:
took me by surprise because it was conducted by a British tourist on myself a British tourist
Fellow travelers pose the most risk as above. I agree it was a very cheap lesson in common sense. It was barely more than the cost of a good meal in Delhi. Wait till one buys real estate..
#8 Feb 17th, 2014, 05:51
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post ... Wait till one buys real estate..
I have personal tales to tell on that topic! Came across every scamster possible.
(but would fill a tome and is not relevant here).
#9 Feb 17th, 2014, 06:01
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Its a big club, not exclusive by any means.!
#10 Feb 17th, 2014, 06:06
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#10
Guess the lesson is to only part with as much money as you can afford to lose. Give it and forget about it. If it comes back, count your luck.
#11 Feb 17th, 2014, 06:21
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#11
Came across similar scam in Bangkok last month. English guy had his passport and money stolen from his room and was looking for money to survive till he gets replacement documents.
#12 Feb 17th, 2014, 06:24
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Govindpuri View Post ... English guy had his passport and money stolen from his room ...
Was it a scam or did he indeed have his passport and money stolen?
#13 Feb 17th, 2014, 06:34
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#13
We must never forget that any case could be genuine, it would be awful if scammers left us trusting nobody.

I had a similar experience to Nick, I was in Trivandrum and an Indian guy approached me needing to get home to Palakkad, he seemed genuine so I got him a 2nd class unreserved ticket, he was so happy, so I took him for breakfast and give him a bit for snacks.

The good feeling I got was worth many times the financial cost.
#14 Feb 17th, 2014, 06:48
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  • narendra.d is offline
#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc India View Post He said to me that he was desperate to get to Goa and could I lend him enough to get a last minute 1st or 2AC ticket as they were the only ones left.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Aren't they the least likely to be available on a popular train?
The Higher (except 1A) classes are now less likely to be available at last minute. With far more number of people preferring to travel AC classes, these generally get filled pretty quick.

Moreover with the Automatic Upgrade scheme (at no cost), higher class seats are very unlikely to remain vacant at all.(the upgrade scheme tries to upgrade some to fill any vacant seats in the AC classes to ensure AC coaches are optimally utilised and more passengers get to experience AC travel and hopefully opt for a higher class the next time they travel )
#15 Feb 17th, 2014, 07:01
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  • RWeHavingFunYet is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by narendra.d View Post Moreover with the Automatic Upgrade scheme (at no cost), higher class seats are very unlikely to remain vacant at all.(the upgrade scheme tries to upgrade some to fill any vacant seats in the AC classes to ensure AC coaches are optimally utilised and more passengers get to experience AC travel and hopefully opt for a higher class the next time they travel )
You mean if someone books a III-tier sleeper and if AC classes have room they upgrade it automatically? How is the queue followed?
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