Last night at about 20 mins past midnight I was stopped by a chap in Morocco
Street who asked me if I lived local. I said yes and he then said he was the owner of the nice Italian deli Fine Foods in Wilds Rents. He said he'd had has van clamped on Tower Bridge Road and was £20 short to get it released.
I asked him why he didn't have a cash point card on him. He mumbled something, said his wife was coming out but wouldn't be here in time etc etc. Various offers of lots of discounts if I could help.
I asked why he was parked on Tower Bridge Road to be clamped. He said he was stopping at his cousins restaurant when it happened. Why not ask them then says I. Oh they weren't there. I was getting even more suspicious at this time, oh and he was not Italian.
I said thought all the people I'd seen there were Italian, he said, ah it belongs to the wife and that he was Bangladeshi When I asked where was she from he said Rome. MMMmmm how original I though. I then asked if if he knew what prego meant. Not a clue.
At this point I walked off and bid him goodnight. He was very friendly all the way through, though I kept about 10 feet away.
The chap in Fine Foods confirmed tonight that he was not the owner.
This guy has approached me, and I know anecdotally of his trying this on perhaps 20 people. He sometimes says his name is Ali. He's quite articulate and confident, but his stories are pretty transparent.