Recent Neighborhood Scam

Received this from a reader, detaining a recent scam taking place on the eastern side of the hood:

I just wanted to let you know about this scam I’ve stumbled upon in CH. A few weeks ago a friend of mine was walking around Franklin & DeKalb, and from what I understand some guy bumped into him while carrying some plastic bags. After it happened he held one of the bags up to my friend, and told him that whatever liquors bottles he’d had were now broken, and that my friend needed to pay for them. He followed my friend to his door, and some awkward standoff ensued, until a more savvy stranger intervened and told the guy “accidents happen,” at which point the person with the broken bottles left.

Last night, the same exact thing happened to me. I was walking on Franklin & Monroe, and a guy turned the corner sharply, bumped into my brother, and suddenly he was reaching down to open one of his bags. I waited until he shook the broken glass pieces, and I told him that nobody broke his bottles, and that someone tried this scam on a friend of mine weeks ago. He got very confrontational. Some kind of “almost-fight” happened, and he said something about how he works for a living, and how he was going to a New Years’ Party (apparently on the 28th). I told him “This is ridiculous. I’m leaving.” My brother paid him $2 and he walked away. Anyway, the guy is in his mid-30s, dark black, sort of thin & wiry, average height, really angular face. Hopefully the more people know about this scam, the less it will work. Oh, and we went back later to look at the “bag” he’d left on the ground, and it contained the tops to two bottles of hennessy, and the rest of the glass was literally pulverized. If anything about his story was valid, my brother would have had to’ve taken his bag and stomit for a few minutes for the glass to get so broken. Oh, and there was no liquid spilled on the sidewalk.

Have you encountered the glass bottle scammer?

25 thoughts on “Recent Neighborhood Scam

  1. Ben

    Yes! This happened to me about three weeks ago! I live on Waverly near Dekalb, and my roommate and I were walking back from DUMBO around Midnight, when this guy bumped into me on Myrtle near Carlton! He claimed I had made him drop a $27 bottle of tequila! I argued with him, but my roommate, who is more reasonable than me, handed him money and we left. I was so sure it was just a drunk jerk!

  2. conclinton

    This happened to a visiting friend…who called the cops after the scam artist hit him in the face and unveiled a bag full of live rats. No harassment charges were filed.

  3. Jimmy Legs

    yeah, I got got by the glasses scam years ago. these scams can be tough, even when you know it’s a scam, how do you get out of it? hope everybody hears about this one so the guy can’t pull it anymore.

  4. Jeff

    This happened to me in Manhattan a few months ago, and I agree, it is a very frustrating event. Funny that I was just telling my friend this story a few days ago while walking through Ft. Greene. Guess I’ll have to be careful who I walk past now.

  5. blantron

    It happened to us too on Franklin and Gates. We gave the guy money because it seemed like he was going to use the broken glass to slash our faces… What are you gonna do?

  6. Brass Monkey

    Yup, happened to me too. About 2 months ago on Franklin off of Greene. The guy was walking with a female accomplice. He claimed I knocked into him and broke his bottle of booze. There was a black bag on the ground with broken glass and some liquid inside. I assumed it was just beer so I offered to get him a new six pack or whatever. But then he told me it was a rather expensive bottle of courvoisier. It was too late for me to back out of my offer so I walked to the liquor store with him and his female friend (who he referred to as his sister). On the way there he told me the bottle was for a family birthday party that he and his sister were en route to when I “bumped into him”. Of course I was skeptical but it was hard to back out because it all happened so fast and they were very persistent. The man and I went into the liquor store and I bought him the bottle of courvoisier. After we parted I noticed that he and his “sister” walked in the opposite direction they were walking in when the incident first occurred. I guess they decided to take the scenic route to their family party.

  7. brewpez

    Hey, “give the $ says:” You the guy ??? I would call 911 right in front of him & let the cops see. Also take his picture !
    I haven’t seen this guy but I ran into an older guy with a clipboard & old papers trying to get money for what he says is for the funeral of a kid who was shot while playing basket ball…trouble is he asked me twice before with the same story for the past 3 years. He asked me on Dekalb & Clermont about a week ago. Hmmm.

  8. GrandAve

    bewpez, that guy is back? I ran into him about 8 years ago and fell for his “collecting money for a kid’s funeral” story when he rang my doorbell at dinnertime. I felt like quite the fool when I ran into him in the laundromat 2 weeks later and he approached me with the same story.

  9. sara

    I feel better now. The kid’s funeral guy tried that pitch on me a few months ago (on Dekalb nr Rockwell). It’s a very convincing scam, but I told him I’d do some research and contribute later. I did do the research (including checking Clinton Hill Blog!) and couldn’t find anything. I felt uneasy about it, though I was pretty sure I’d done the right thing.

  10. maxl ryaz

    My girlfriends use to lived a couple blocks from there.

    Within the same week this guy tried this trick on her and her room mate.

    This was 3 years ago.

    Glad to see some things never go out of style.

  11. Rob

    This exact guy got me on New Years Day in front of the Atlantic Terminal. He is dark skinned with dark bags under his eyes and some scarring on his face. He bumped me hard – knocked me back two full steps – and I’m a 200+ pound former football player, and in front of my wife and child threatened to settle things man to man, and suggested we walk to an ATM. He made it clear what he was doing, and I gave him all the money in my wallet(11 bucks) and left totally emasculated and feeling terrible. What an asshole.

  12. Morgan

    I encountered this fellow as well, very pushy and threatening. I refused to give him any money since he had run into me. When he threatened to “kick my ass” I responded with “What? you think I won’t hit you back?” and he seemed to give up. I’d suggest telling him to go home and keep walking. Extra points go to whoever calls the police on him.

  13. Atta

    I am reading these posts and going “WHAT?? People actually GIVE money to this guy??” Morgan has the right approach. C’mon people, this is Brooklyn. Grow some friggin’ skin and stand up for yourself. And leave the gentrifier’s guilt back in your university town. The scam works only because people are either stupid enough to fall for it, or too scared to pull out of it. I’m incredulous.

  14. Diana

    Same thing happened to us at Nostrand and Clifton. We reported to the police and they laugh at us. They said that they have never heard such a scam and that we probably did break his bottle. The police are a joke. But during the scam I got lippy with the scam artist and he seemed to back down but my boyfriend gave in to ensure our safety. I’m sure if I would have persisted it would have been too much of a hassle for just a few bucks and that would he would’ve back down.

  15. classon ave

    Tell them you are calling to get the money from your friend or roommate, a police officer who “lives down the block”. Just be calm and serious or pay the $ and walk away. There’s no reason anyone should get hurt over this scam.

  16. ian

    I watched a guy do something similar in Times Square for a bit but he was far less confrontational, had a styrofoam container with chinese take out, someone would walk by and he’d throw it on the ground, they’d give him some money, and then he’d scoop it back up and do it again,

    will watch out for old bag o’ rats, good to know!

  17. Arnaldo Capo

    Man I had to give this guy(maybe the same guy) $70 he said it was 70, I knew it wasn’t 70 but he was high on cocaine and he got very aggressive. I’m new to the neighborhood, this happened in lafayette btw Nostrand and Bedford. I looked @ it in the internet and it was worth 35 bucks and I’m pretty sure he got that from a trash. He said that he was about to go to a party and shit. Always go around,, they were 2 guys and the guy that drop the bottle is just described as this post. I wasn’t aware of this scam but if it happens and you know be careful because you never know what the scammer is capable of

  18. JBD

    This happened to us last night on Classon near Fulton around 8:30. We were walking our small dog at the time. He had his female accomplice with him. After following and harrassing us, his accomplice said that they wanted us to just replace the bottle. He said no, they didn’t want a replacement, and shoved her away. Before he asked us for any money, we were gone. What an asshole. Still, it freaked me out.

  19. Jay

    same story…Clifton pl. and Nostrand on 12/30/10 early in the morning. 2 guys walked past me, one dropped “$40 worth of booze” and informed me that I was going to give him money. The dropper is about 6′, mid 40’s with a jacked up bottom lip/chin scar. I refused to pay and he followed me and my dog around threatening for a good 30 min. before we ended up in a confrontation in the middle of the street. He finally gave up and said he’d get me later. I’ve seen him since on Bedford near Lafayette where he threatened me again but, kept on walking. Good times.

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