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Nice scammer still on the prowl

Melbourne, Australia
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4 posts
4 reviews
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Nice scammer still on the prowl

We were in Nice last month. Walking home late in the evening after a long train journey and a big walk of the old town - very tired. We were approached by an old Swedish woman holding a tissue to her mouth. 'Do you speak English - I have been robbed'. She then told us a convoluted story about why she needed to borrow money until the morning. She would have been in her late 70s at least. I was skeptical over the story but couldn't understand why a clean, educated, elderly Swede would be walking the streets of Nice begging. My husband offered to accompany her to an embassy or the police. I should have paid more attention to the snaky look that came into her eyes. I gave her too many euros. On returning home I read a closed forum on tripadvisor and discovered she had been scamming like this since at least 2001!

Who is she and is she operating on her own or on behalf of someone else?

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Vancouver, Canada
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13,349 posts
65 reviews
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1. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

Why does it matter who she is? You got scammed and that is too bad.

You'll probably be more careful next time.

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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515 reviews
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2. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

Write it off and do not worry about it. Think that you gave money to an homeless person. Hopefully, the old lady had a good meal.

Melbourne, Australia
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4 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

Hmm. My point is that I don't think she is homeless. It's a scam - maybe with other people involved. Also, I posted it so other travelers can be made aware of it so they can avoid losing money unnecessarily. Thirdly, and most importantly, it makes you suspicious of people and less willing to help someone who may be in real need.

Vancouver, Canada
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13,349 posts
65 reviews
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4. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

It doesn't matter if she is homeless or not.

Of course it is a scam.

How does it matter if there are "other people" involved?

You got taken in....put it behind you.

Le Bugue, France
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14,097 posts
5 reviews
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5. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

I want to know how you know she's Swedish. And why that would matter.

WHY would you give euros to anyone like that. especially if she was clean and well groomed? WHY would you give anyone euros in Nice or anywhere else. in general?

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
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56,182 posts
158 reviews
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6. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

This scam is not limited to Nice or France in particular. I have been approached in Houston, Texas as well (where I used to live), the excuse being his family was in a car accident miles away. When I told him I wouldn't give him any money, he started cursing at me.

Edited: 10 July 2014, 04:59
Los Angeles...
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for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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10,253 posts
515 reviews
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7. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

kim, I get that the lady was not homeless but why continue stewing over this? You know better for the next time and you certainly warned others. Done.

Antibes, France
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9,784 posts
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8. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

There was a very plausible elderly English gentleman who 'was down on his luck' in his own words who used to make a living in Nice this way too. I think he got a mention on TA some years ago, was also featured in Riviera Reporter.

Ed

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
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56,182 posts
158 reviews
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9. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

I don't get the feeling OP was stewing, but it was just a heads-up for others while wandering about this person.

>>>kim, I get that the lady was not homeless but why continue stewing over this? You know better for the next time and you certainly warned others. Done.

Chesterfield...
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1,842 posts
20 reviews
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10. Re: Nice scammer still on the prowl

The OP is giving information on a possible scam in Nice and should be thanked for passing on their experience.

Should you or shouldn't you help other people follows on from a recently deleted thread, content and thread gone, 'Locals are not all Scammers' that TA deemed unworthy of being read by timorous Forums posters.

Most travellers are caught unaware when approached by people they don't know and are asked to help.

In our past two visits to France one women asked for our help and we gave her the help she required and on our recent visit at least a dozen French people helped us out of an awkward and embarrassing situation.

I've no doubt the woman we helped was just as grateful as we were for the help her fellow citizens gave us.

Should we have told the woman that she should go elsewhere for help and should the dozen of her compatriots told me to sort it out myself?

I'd like to think I was helping others even if occasionally I found I had been conned by a scammer but my judgement so far has been, to my best knowledge, to help those who genuinely required it and to rebuke those who obviously do not.