Thursday 9 February 2012 6.18pm
Someone tried this on me in Bordeaux, France a few years ago. Basically if it involves a stranger and your money, keep walking.
Do you know the one about the loudspeakers?
The 'mark' is identified in a car park, and shown an advert in a 'hi-fi' magazine showing some expensive loud speakers (with the manufacturer's price).
The con man/woman tells a story about his client ordering a pair, and the warehouse sending him out with two pairs of speakers. Thus they have an extra pair of speakers in their van. The speakers look authentic, and are well packed, but (funnily enough) they are not of the quality of those in the advert, however, as it is near impossible to test them in a car park, the offer is unrepeatable.
The driver offers to follow the mark to a cashpoint to sell the second rate speakers at a price way less than the ones in the magazineábut far above their value.
I was propositioned, and offered that they follow me (I was driving one of my vans - from the B&Q on OKR to the cashpoint) I got them as far as Vauxhall before they gave up to go & look for another sucker.
Someone tried this one on me in my student days up in Sheffield. Driving in "I've just been to the student union and I've got too many speakers for them over there. Do you want a pair for a ton?" Me, walking to the university: "Er, I don't have ú100 on me. Besides, where am I going to put 6ft speakers in my single-bed student room?" It seems that some of these tricksters are pretty naive themselves.
There is also one I first saw in Paris and has now arrived at that emporium of tat along the South Bank near the Eye, seen between the man dressed as our Queen and the one dressed as a rabbit (no, I don't know why either). A man has a loop of thread and encourages people to play along with his 'game'. I understand that people who do play along with the 'game', do so by seemingly willingly putting their finger through the loop in the thread. Quite what happens next I do not know, other than plain pickpocketing by accomplices whilst the person is incapacitated. I've not seen this, but have heard stories from Paris of how it pans out.
I'll continue to look out for the gold ring one.