From Ponzi schemes and ‘419’ frauds, to duff Italian suits and ‘bulletproof’ powers, the Middle East is no stranger to the (often bizarre) arts of the conman.
February 27, 2010 11:03 by kippreport
A Kipp reader was recently approached by two men at a Dubai petrol station, who asked if he wanted any ‘genuine’ Italian suits.
“I said ‘yes’,” says the reader. “And when the guys gave me the suits, it seemed wrong not to give them the AED500 they asked for, which they said was to pay for the rental car they were using. But when they drove off, it turned out they weren’t Italian suits. They weren’t designer label, and they weren’t worth AED20 each. The three suits were also about 10 sizes too big – they were built for a giant.”
This scam is similar to the ‘white van speaker scam’, in which customers are fooled into thinking they are buying premium electronic goods for low prices – when they are actually buying low-grade goods for premium prices.
And so, if you are offered an Italian suit or Bang & Olufsen stereo at a petrol station in Dubai – or any other place – you know what to say…