I'm intrigued if this has happened to anyone else. Perhaps there is already a thread? Or perhaps no one else is as gullible?
A man approached me on Tower Bridge Road and said he recognised me from eating in Tower Tandoori – he apparently worked there. He was pleasant, and I found myself feeling bad for not recognising him. I have eaten there numerous times and the staff are very friendly.
Anyway, he told me he was £40 short and needed to pick up his car from the garage. He said his wife had his wallet, and she would bring it to work for him when he started his shift that evening.
Of course, I was suspicious, but he completely threw me with the Tower Tandoori mention.
Anyway, I eventually agreed and got money from the Bermondsey Square Sainsbury's ATM for him.
He said he would call or text around 7pm to collect the money, and then said he would throw in a free curry for being so kind. I didn't want anything from him, but he insisted.
However, as he walked off (money already was taken) he said see you later at Shahi Tandoori. I haven't been there before, and then I think I knew what had just happened, but didn't want to believe I was so foolish.
So, it's gone past 8pm without a text or call. He's also not responding. I decided to go to Shahi Tandoori and ask for him — they tell me this is a scam that keeps happening and that I had been played.
£40 is not much in the grand scheme of things — but hopefully, he hasn't done anything similar to anyone else, or asked for more.
I'm surprised by myself, mostly. I should have known better.
I was approached outside Shahi Tandoori on Grange Road on Friday morning. The guy asking for money to unclamp his van, which has fresh food in it and promising a free curry. I didn't recognise him from the Shahi and when I told him I was going to phone the police he ran off.
The scammer was middle aged, middle eastern / asian, dark rimmed glasses and a black (?leather) jacket.
I see a thread from a few years back describing exactly the same scam. Hope everyone is on alert and he doesn't take advantage of everyones kindness.
He's regularly active in Weston Street, Snowsfields and Long Lane too. He got me on the way home after a funeral so I was a bit occupied/slow to see it coming. Fortunately/unfortunately it was a pay bar at the Funeral so I didn't have much to hand over. Undeterred, he begged me to use the Sainsbury's ATM on Long Lane to get the full £40, but I brushed him off. He also claimed to recognise me from Curry Express in Weston Street (I have never been) as he worked there. He told me I could drop by and collect my £5 the following day. I tried twice but nobody was ever in.
Next time he greeted me with the same patter (clamped van full of food and an anxious pregnant wife at home) but this time claiming he knew me from Cafe Navaz. That was at the corner of Weston Street and St Thomas Street and I shamed in front of dozens of commuters until he ran away. A week later I saw a member of Cafe Navaz staff and told him, he knew of this scam as people have been going there asking for their money back!
This happened to me yesterday: I walked through the new Elephant Park and a very friendly man came up to me and introduced himself as the owner of a coffeeshop which he pointed out. He said his car was clamped and that he had a lot of frozen food in his car. He needed another £40 to pay the council for the clamp, if I could help him. He would, of course, pay me back.
I have not helped him simply because I didn't carry cash nor any credit cards. I did not know whether I could believe him. He was very friendly, polite and apologetic.
I wish my first post could be more positive but unfortunately I thought it was worth mentioning that this guy was out and about yesterday. He approached me outside The Victoria pub at the junction of Willow Walk/Pages Walk while I was out for a run.
I cut him off before he could get too far into the story as I’d remembered reading this thread and told him that I knew it was a scam. Thanks to everyone who’s posted before about this.
"...a very friendly man came up to me and introduced himself as the owner of a coffeeshop which he pointed out. He said his car was clamped..."
I got approached by a bloke close to City Hall. Again, he was very friendly - pretending(?) to recognise me, wanting to bump elbows, and claiming to be the (ex-)owner of the Bengal Clipper restaurant on Shad Thames. Now, given that the place has been closed for over a year, and in any case I hadn't been there for years, I thought this was slightly odd - I'm not especially distinctive! Then, he started going into this spiel about his car being clamped.... I said I'd heard this story before, and walked off.
I should have taken his picture with my phone and sent it to the police. I'd describe him as being maybe 30-40s, dark-haired, olive skinned, a bit swarthy, with quite distinctive upper middle incisors.