DH and I went for a sit down lunch the other day. The closest places were Dennys and Hooters. So as we pulled into the Dennys’ parking lot, we notice a nice gray Lamborghini in the parking lot. We’re in the zebra-striped jeep so not a slouch vehicle yet not up to that tax bracket.
As we walk in I can’t help but wonder who belongs to that car. The hostess seats us where we have a good view of our jeep and the ‘ghini. We’re wrapping up dinner when a couple comes in and argues with the hostess to sit near us. She orders a burger and he glares at her he cancels his meal and says he’ll just have a drink. She leaves the table with her cell phone. His phone rings and he starts giving a sob story about going to his Dad’s funeral (mentions leaving from the airport)and having to take out a loan to pay for it, talks about how the car broke in SLC and he paid $66 for a hotel and he’s now broke (the hotel next to the Dennys is advertising $29.95 per night), the wife suddenly becomes pregnant in the story, and it gets more ridiculous from there and is totally inconsistent. The girl comes back, slips her cell phone in her purse and he keeps talking. Then he hangs up and she slips her hand in her purse and his phone rings again, she comes up empty handed. DH is practically rolling since this team is not even good at the con. He’s speaking too loud and she was just too obvious about using her phone to call him.
Anyway, as we leave, the girl starts to follow us (no way is she preggers!) and DH tells the hostess, just loud enough for the girl to hear, “Thanks for sitting us where we could see the Lamborghini, it’s a pretty car and something to aim for when we’re back on our feet.” The girl immediately turns around and heads back to the table where he is still shouting in the phone about needing $100.
Oh yeah, it was a confidence game. And the Lamborghini didn’t belong to anyone eating at Dennys.
In this economic time there are people in real need and there are scam artists. As a general rule, scam artists throw around a lot of numbers. Real people just ask for any help you can give.
If you aren’t sure but want to help, don’t give money – pay for a meal, buy groceries, pay the mechanic, or the utility bill. Better yet, find a way to help them help themselves – refer to people in your network who may know of jobs. There are still lots of jobs out there.