Wanted to alert everyone to a scam I got hit with last night at The Brewery. My daughter and I were headed to our car, which was parked in the newer/larger parking area. As we approached our car, a woman called to me. I stopped to hear her question, and she walked over and asked me if I lived in the area. I said yes, and she told me that she had dropped her car keys down the sewer drain and when she called the police for assistance they'd told her that she needed a locksmith. She then went on to say that she had two children in her car.
I asked her if she and her children needed a ride, and she said, no, that the police had told her she would have to have a locksmith open her car, and that she would have to pay the locksmith in cash. She then told me that she was $12 short.
Now, at this point, my gut told me that I was being scammed. But, there was also a tiny part of me that said that it would be terrible to be in this situation and not have anyone help. So, I bit my tongue, silenced my inner Scrooge and took out my wallet. I fished out three $5 bills and handed them to the woman. Who then said, "Oh, can I ask you a favor, could you give me $19? They might charge me tax." Again, I bit my tongue.
I suppose to her I looked to be just another privileged white lady getting into her Volvo wagon after a dinner out. Little did she know that I'll be brown-bagging it this week since the $19 I gave her is my "lunch money."
So, how do I know I got scammed? When I started to tell my old housemate about this, she interrupted me just as I began and said, "She lost her keys and needed a locksmith, right?" And then proceeded to tell me that this same woman had come to our house on Amory Street three times in a four month period a few years ago.
I'd like to think that the woman I gave money to truly needed it for a locksmith. But, I doubt it. And certainly I'd never want to get in the way of one human helping another. But, if you find yourself in the Amory Street area and you're approached with this story, don't fall for it.