There’s a bloke working a scam near where I work. As you wander back from a (rare) lunchtime stroll round the shops, there he is, semi-respectable of dress, a desperate/cross look on his face and a set of car keys in his hand. “You won’t believe this, my car has broken down,” vague thumb over shoulder, “and I’ve no money on me. Can you ‘lend’ me a couple of quid to get home and sort it out?”
I know this because he’s approached me three or four times. Nothing from me of course. We Parrots know a wrong ‘un when we see one. But it seems he has sophisticated the con. Now he really has a car, presumably on the back of previous ‘work.’
There he was today with a hi-vis jacket with “Priority – Security” on the back. This time he had a car that he ‘proved’ by flicking the security button and a flash of orange lights.
“You won’t believe this, but I ran out of petrol there. I’m hoping you work or live near here and have a car with a can of petrol in the back.”
Nope, I take the train. (My lie)
“The company ditched my petrol card and I’m not allowed to carry cash on me because of my job. Can you ‘lend’ me five quid to get some petrol?” (His lie)
My hands in a European-style shrug, “Sorry, I’ve nothing on me.” (My lie)
Prospective ‘mark’ wanders off feeling no guilt at all. Which is sad. I would have felt myself a better person had I believed the pantomime and helped someone in distress, whether or not the money came back.
Truth is, I’m cynical and horrible. I should have said, “Yes, here you go mate,” and thought nothing of it. Should I be Samaritan or Levite? Looks like I’m the latter.