There is an economic slowdown going on at the moment. Jobs are at an all-time low and people have a hard time earning a living wage. Poor, rich alike. Some people in these circumstances resort to crime, one of which is scamming the public by asking for help.
These scammers will walk up to you in a public space such as the railway station or bus station and start their story which goes something like this. Areas around Majestic and railway stations are the most infested by these low lives.
They’ll start by asking if you know Hindi. “Hindi malum hai?”. They do this so you know they’re not from here and you must help them. They’ll say that they have been robbed or lost their wallet and they don’t have any money on them to reach home. They will also ask for your phone number and account number and tell you that they’ll transfer the cash once they reach home.
On two occasions I have come across scammers like this. One guy asked me money for petrol. He showed me his documents, his wallet and was adamant that I pay him some money for petrol. I offered him a lift but he declined.
The biggest giveaway is that they start showing you the proof from the word get-go as if they have done this thousand of times and don’t want to waste their time if this doesn’t work out.
Secondly, they’ll be ready with an all-out plan on how to help them and you wouldn’t need to do anything else apart from giving them money.
Some say these scammers are as old as the city itself. There goes a saying that when Tipu Sultan came to Bangalore, he met a similar scammer to who he lost 3 gold coins to. Now there is no reliable source on this but looks plausible and funny.
Now, sure, a 50, 100 rupees wouldn’t be a big loss to most people, the biggest impact these scammers have is on people who are genuinely in need of help. After being scammed once, no one waits to listen to someone asking for money. Be it genuine or not, people don’t want to be scammed twice and so they end up not helping a person in need.
Be wary of scammers who ask for money with their sob story, there are many in Bangalore. Also pay a good attention to these people someone might be in genuine need for help.