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Have you lost a wedding ring? An old, old scam

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Saturday 16 March 2013 9.04am
JohnC'
now that is very interesting information, so we have a scam that is over two hundred years old still being practised successfully because of people's greed.
I now wonder if it was a scam in Shakespear's day, "all that glisters is not gold", if it was they couldn't have blamed the eastern Europeans.
Saturday 16 March 2013 9.16am
So there you are Boss St, yer a gull. Lend us a tenner, mate?
Saturday 16 March 2013 9.24am
On it's way matey...
Saturday 16 March 2013 7.57pm
Thebunhouse wrote:
JohnC'
now that is very interesting information, so we have a scam that is over two hundred years old still being practised successfully because of people's greed.
I now wonder if it was a scam in Shakespear's day, "all that glisters is not gold", if it was they couldn't have blamed the eastern Europeans.

Well, since 'fawney' is apparently derived from the Irish word for 'ring', presumably they could blame the Irish. And I don't see why the trick couldn't have been around long before Grose recorded it. Try Robert Greene's A Notable Discovery of Cozenage (1591) for warnings of the perils unwary visitors to London might face in the days of Elizabeth I. Or there's John Awdeley's The Fraternitye of Vacabondes (1560-1), or Thomas Harman's A Caveat or Warening for Commen Cursetors vulgarly called Vagabones (1567), or (Anon) The Groundworke of Conny-catching (1592)!
Saturday 16 March 2013 10.39pm
John C,
Thank you for the further information on what books to read about the subject, I think you have solved my "must read" requirements for the next year.
Sunday 17 March 2013 2.08pm
John C wrote:
Thebunhouse wrote:
JohnC'
now that is very interesting information, so we have a scam that is over two hundred years old still being practised successfully because of people's greed.
I now wonder if it was a scam in Shakespear's day, "all that glisters is not gold", if it was they couldn't have blamed the eastern Europeans.

Well, since 'fawney' is apparently derived from the Irish word for 'ring', presumably they could blame the Irish. And I don't see why the trick couldn't have been around long before Grose recorded it. Try Robert Greene's A Notable Discovery of Cozenage (1591) for warnings of the perils unwary visitors to London might face in the days of Elizabeth I. Or there's John Awdeley's The Fraternitye of Vacabondes (1560-1), or Thomas Harman's A Caveat or Warening for Commen Cursetors vulgarly called Vagabones (1567), or (Anon) The Groundworke of Conny-catching (1592)!

YES - here we go:
from John Awdeley's The Fraternitye of Vacabondes (1560-1)

A RING FALLER.
A Ryng faller is he that getteth fayre copper rings, some made like signets, & some after other fashions, very faire gylded, & walketh up and down the stretes, til he spieth some man of the country, or some other simple body whom he thinketh he may deceave, and so goeth a lyttle before him or them, and letteth fall one of these ringes...etc

According to Awdeley the average amount you'd be duped out of was 10 or 20 shillings (85 to 170 in today's money).

450 years and still going strong. No doubt it was already happening in the streets of Roman Londinium.
Sunday 17 March 2013 6.05pm
John C wrote:
. Try Robert Greene's A Notable Discovery of Cozenage (1591) for warnings of the perils unwary visitors to London might face in the days of Elizabeth I. Or there's John Awdeley's The Fraternitye of Vacabondes (1560-1), or Thomas Harman's A Caveat or Warening for Commen Cursetors vulgarly called Vagabones (1567), or (Anon) The Groundworke of Conny-catching (1592)!
I didn't know any of these, so had a quick look. Amazing what's available on the internet.
Tuesday 19 March 2013 9.50am
I was approached on South Bank,by ITV Centre,strolling along with my granddaughter who was then treated to a lesson in how to deal with a fraudster like this.I agreed with him that it was,indeed, a terrible shame that someone had lost such a beautiful gold ring (rubbish!)and that I'd take it straight to the Police Station to hand it in for him.With that he grabbed it back and I phoned the Police,who are asking for every attempt to be recorded so that they can build up a case against these people.
Tuesday 19 March 2013 12.57pm
A woman tried the scam on me the other week by the Army barracks along from St James Park tube. Just ignored her and carried on walking.
mac
Wednesday 27 March 2013 10.47am
There was a report on the TV news last night about wedding ring scammers in the West End. They seem to be at it everywhere...

http://www.itv.com/news/london/story/2013-03-26/ring-scam-warning/
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