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what a bad day.


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted April 13 2005 - 01:40 PM

I woke up this morning, drove straight to the bank to make some deposits and than thinking that the new Errol Flynn box set came out yesterday, drove downtown to pick it up.

I was at a red light when this fairly good looking, well groomed middle aged man in a 2005 Rendezvous rolled down his window and asked me a question in Italian. I don't speak much Italian and had trouble understanding what he was saying so I assumed he was asking for directions. He signaled and jestered for to pull over to the side of the road for a second.

I pulled up beside him at the corner of the block and he jogged over to my window chuckling that he thought I was Italian because of I guess the way I was dressed and my long hair and stubble. He only spoke french and I saw that his backseat was loaded with bags and luggage.

I had trouble making out exactly what he was saying but he mentioned he was from Milan and handed me this business card and said that he was in town for the weekend for an Armani convention or something and asked if I like nice clothes, suits, etc. I said sure and than he started telling me something about how he had some samples for the upcoming Spring collection in his backseat from the convention that he doesnt want to bring back through customs for a reason I forget but made sense at the time and asked if I wanted them.

I of course told him I did and he asked if I'd be willing to just give him like half the cost of one of the jackets... there was a really nice shearling one that I agreed to pay $400. I don't know why the hell I said that because I really didn't need any new clothes nor would I normally ever have bought clothes off some stranger on the street out of the back of a car... but the way this guy presented the situation, it seemed honest. He definitely didn't look like a scheister and he certainly looked respectable as I said before, he was well dressed. He was definitely European and spoke Italian quite well.

I was just caught off guard cause it was such a random thing to happen. I never expected it and the guy didn't make it seem like he was flagging me down to sell me shit either. Anyways, I paid him and didn't even really bother to inspect the clothes other than looking over two of the jackets fairly quickly becuase I didn't plan to wear them... I figured I'd sell them on Ebay and make a few hundred bucks.

Well, immediately after exchanging the money/goods I got a feeling in the pit of my stomach like wtf did I just do and that's when it hit me that I just spent $400 on designer clothes from some stranger on the street, pretty damn sketchy.

At least I wasn't totally stupid - As I drove off I pulled up alongside his car and jotted down his license number and I sort of realized at this point I think, that I'd been taken.

I sped straight over to Les Court Montreal which is a fancy upscale shopping mall and ran into the Armani store where I'm friendly with the owner. I didn't even have to tell him what happened, the second I walked in with the bag of clothes, he said "Oh no... you didn't buy this from some Italian guy who said he had to go to that airport, bla bla..".

Apparently it's a gang in Montreal that's been hitting everybody. I was too stupid to even check the merchandise which was worth less than $10. I drove straight to a nearby police station to file a report but it was pretty obvious they weren't about to put an all-points bulletin out on this dude.

I was so mad, I spent the next hour driving around the area, and sure enough... about 3 blocks from where it happned, I saw a tan Rendezvous parked at the side of the road! I pulled a tight U-turn and paralelled behind the guy halfway onto the sidewalk to block him in and called 911. It took the cops 3 HOURS to arrive on scene! The entire time I spent pacing around the guy's car with clenched fists. They ran his license and basically told me that there was nothing that they could do unless they had the guy on scene. I waited. and waited.

I was already an hour and twenty minutes late for work thanks to the efficiency of the police. I finally got really frustrated and decided to drive back to the station where I filed the report to confirm the license plate with the car parked where I was, just to be 100% so that I could either try and persuade another cop to do something more or figure out what to do on my own.

I went back and astonishingly enough, they didnt even have my report on file! The guy who started filling it out never actually processed it so they couldnt access it to get any info. It took us 20 minutes to fiugure this out. I left and drove back to the scene, only to find out that the car was now gone!

The guy must have been watching me from a nearby building and waited for me to leave, so now the guy got away clean with my money! Best of all... I come home to find a message on my answering machine from work telling me not to bother coming in tomorow. Soo... I went out to buy the Errol Flynn box set which apparently isn't even released until next week, ended up getting scammed out of $400 for some junk clothes, waited around all afternoon for the police only to than have the guy get away after leaving the scene for 15 minutes, and got fired from work to top it off.

Plus I still haven't eaten anything since yesterday at lunch time because I was running around all this horrible day!

I feel like shooting myself in the face.

#2 of 24 Antonio_B

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Posted April 13 2005 - 01:54 PM

You would never believe me on this,but i guess one of those italian guys aborded me 1 or 2 months ago,he wanted to sell me some clothes.Thank god i was not tempted to buy anything from those scammers since i hadn't more than 20 bucks on me that day.

#3 of 24 Edwin-S

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Posted April 13 2005 - 02:00 PM

Quote:
got fired from work to top it off.

An outfit isn't worth working for if they would immediately fire you without asking why you never made it to work. For all they know you could have been in an accident and be sitting on death's doorstep. Did you call and explain that you would not be able to make it in to work?

Quote:
I feel like shooting myself in the face.

Personally, if it was me, I would feel like shooting the motherf#$%er that scammed me in the face.
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#4 of 24 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted April 13 2005 - 02:12 PM

I feel like doing that too Edwin.

And no I didn't call, I guess it's my own fault for not being responsible, but I was preoccupied with chasing down crooks all afternoon and trying to get the police to respond. I also didn't have a cell phone on me which would have made the situation much easier.


I can't believe how stupid I was to do this. I gotta give it to the guy though... that was a brilliant pitch. He honestly had me the entire time. I'm just so happy I didn't end up giving more. He initially wanted $800 for a bunch of suits and coats which he said were worth a few g's each... how did I not see it coming. I'm usually pretty adept / street smart. I feel like such a moron now.


Antonio - where did this happen to you?

I've never heard of this before in my entire life!

I've heard of selling stolen electronics - empty boxes out of the back of a car and similair scams, but a well dressed middle aged European driving around the city with a story like that selling counterfeit suits?!

It's the most absured scheme I've ever heard of before...

#5 of 24 Kyle McKnight

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Posted April 13 2005 - 02:13 PM

You called 911 for that?
Kyle McKnight

#6 of 24 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted April 13 2005 - 02:14 PM

I'm also doubtful the police are actually going to follow up on a report like this... I wonder if there's some way I could get the guy's address with the license plater number I have?

#7 of 24 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted April 13 2005 - 02:16 PM

Quote:
You called 911 for that?



I went to a police station and filed a report.

When I found the guy's car parked on a side street downtown I called 911 and asked them to send a car. That was only after wasting three quarters and fifteen minutes with various stations who kept transfering me and having me call other units. What else should I have done?

#8 of 24 Patrick Sun

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Posted April 13 2005 - 02:27 PM

It's weird, but it seems like every laptop that has been stolen from employees in my company has been stolen in Montreal. Does Montreal have slack law enforcement?
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#9 of 24 Edwin-S

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Posted April 13 2005 - 02:47 PM

Quote:
And no I didn't call, I guess it's my own fault for not being responsible

B.S. You had just been ripped off for four hundred bucks and were probably preoccupied with feeling like an (no offence) idiot for being taken. It is understandable that in all the commotion you forgot to call in to your work place. The least they could have done was ask you why you did not report for work......not just leave you a phone message stating "don't bother coming in tomorrow". That kind of action really shows a lack of professionalism and respect on their part.

Maybe one day you will see this guy and his SUV around Montreal then you can use a tire iron and take four hundred dollars worth of satisfaction out on his truck. Posted Image
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#10 of 24 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted April 13 2005 - 03:00 PM

heh, I was thinking of popping his tires with the steak knife I had in my backseat from my lunch the day before, so he wouldn't be able to drive away but I didnt want to sabotage any potential help the police might've been willing to offer. I should've done it. I'm keeping my eyes out for this asshole and his Rendezvous whenever Im downtown now. It's funny, the cops don't really consider illegal street vendor rings selling false counterfeit merchandise and scamming students out of their hard-earned money a criminal offense. I was told it borders on civil-criminal standing and it's hard to follow through with any charges.

#11 of 24 James T

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Posted April 13 2005 - 05:33 PM

Quote:
It's funny, the cops don't really consider illegal street vendor rings selling false counterfeit merchandise and scamming students out of their hard-earned money a criminal offense. I was told it borders on civil-criminal standing and it's hard to follow through with any charges.
Move to Ontario. They're trying to crack down on counterfit merchandise since the summer.

#12 of 24 Marko Berg

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Posted April 13 2005 - 08:04 PM

So this scam is popular in Canada too, eh? The same thing happens frequently at streetcorners in Italy and Spain as well. A variation of this is that you not only lose your money but the counterfeit merchandise too - after the money has exchanged hands, the guy pretends to pop open the trunk of the car from the inside of the car but then quickly takes off before giving you the jacket or suit you think you're buying.

#13 of 24 Dave Simpson

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Posted April 13 2005 - 10:20 PM

No offense Marco, but come on, man; after a few years on this board, you must surely be aware of the White-Van Speaker Scam, right? What makes designer clothes any different? Cheers.

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#14 of 24 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted April 13 2005 - 11:11 PM

Yeah Marko, I was aware of the situation in Euope... street vendors are everywhere, but this was so unexpected. A well-dressed man stopped next to me at a red light in Montreal, who would've guessed this happens regularly?

Dave, the way it unraveled was just so spontaneous and unusual. The guy didn't pull me over and ask me to buy clothes. He started talking to me in Italian for 5 minutes explaining this scenario which coming from him sounded totally honest. He looked like a well-dressed professional or businessman. The discussion of money only came to play after about 5 minutes and he was just so slick about it, it really didn't register and I'm not normally a gullable or unaware person.

Right now I'm more upset about the loss of my job over this stupid event. I wish I could rewind to yesterday and tell this guy to f**k off, continue to the dvd store and head to work. Posted Image

#15 of 24 Marko Berg

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Posted April 13 2005 - 11:55 PM

Well, I wasn't referring to street vendors. They operate in the same way in Europe - a car pulls up next to you as you're walking or driving. The car is decent enough so that you are not immediately alarmed. The scam artist is dressed well, basically looks like a businessman, and the story is similar to what he told you. He takes his time to get to the point so that you're not immediately put off by him. He will get to the selling part later when your defences are reasonably down.

He has some designer clothes neatly laid out on the backseat - sometimes these are even the real thing and not counterfeit articles - that you can look at and maybe even try on; he might have several sizes of the same jacket. Once you're satisfied, you give him his money, and he pretends to open the trunk, because he wants to give you a brand new jacket instead of the one you tried on. If you're still a bit suspicious, he will open the trunk first. You see a cardboard box or two with neatly packed clothes in plastic bags in it. You hand him the money.

At this moment, he pretends he's forgotten something - maybe utters a surprised "Oh!" and says there's something else he can give you - something extra because you helped him out - and starts towards the driver's door. While you wait for him to come back and hand you the merchandise, he opens the door, leans in, and then to your horror sits down, starts the car and drives off with the trunk still open.

They tried this on a relative of mine in Italy, but the deal was interrupted by something and no harm was done. It's an old trick. Sorry you had to go through it.

#16 of 24 Dave_Brown

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Posted April 14 2005 - 01:28 AM

It sucks you lost your job. Was there some other things in the past that lead to this happening? It seems odd that not showing up once like that would lead to such a drastic step.

As for the rest of the story, I think you're desire to get ahead blinded you to what might have been happening. You said yourself you wanted to buy this discounted designer clothing so that you could then re-sell it on ebay at a nice profit. Had you stopped to question just what you were really faced with, as well as examined the merchandise closer, you probably would have wasted maybe 10-15 minutes instead of 3-4 hours?

Heck, I check things over before I'd hand over $50, approach me wanting $400 (talked down from $800???, that isn't normal) and my inspection goes into over drive. Then again, I'm extremely untrusting of "strangers with good intentions" anyway.....

#17 of 24 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted April 14 2005 - 01:41 AM

I know Dave, I feel like an idiot for getting taken like that. Again, it was all in the presentation, the guy looked like he had just left the Sheraton hotel (he even had a room card on the passenger seat I assumed he forgot to return) and looked like he was on his was directly to the airport. He made it seem like it was just perfect timing - he was in a rush, saw me dressed fairly well in the next lane, rolled down the window to ask a question and it took off from there.

As for work, I admit I showed up an hour late the day before but prior to that was always responsible and on time. Always hard working, never any issues. This was sort of an unavoidable situation though (in regards to me missing work). The timing just really sucks and I really don't feel like calling my manager to debate my position because I've never been fired from a job before and have too much pride to argue with anyone who'll tell me it's over. It's just really frustrating.

#18 of 24 EugeneR

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Posted April 14 2005 - 06:07 AM

I had a guy accost me with the same story in L.A. Well-dressed, nice car, Italian accent. His first question was whether I spoke Italian. I'm guessing that he didn't speak a word of it and didn't want me to suddenly discover that a guy with a thick Italian accent doesn't speak a word of Italian.

#19 of 24 Mort Corey

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Posted April 14 2005 - 08:00 AM

My name is Mort, and I'm from Nigeria. If you will kindly forward me all your banking information I will see that your $400 is returned with interest. Posted Image

Mort (who's checking his genuine imitation Rolex watch to see how long before Mario sends him the info)

#20 of 24 Robert_Gaither

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Posted April 14 2005 - 05:41 PM

Quote:
No offense Marco, but come on, man; after a few years on this board, you must surely be aware of the White-Van Speaker Scam, right? What makes designer clothes any different? Cheers.


It's because the guy distracted him by showing him an "Armani" not a knock off like "Origami" or something.Posted Image

Just kidding, I'm amazed he didn't wait in ambush with a tire iron "receipt" to get his refund.


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