Some of our readers may remember a scam alert we published exactly two years ago of a young woman asking for money in the neighborhood because she said she had been abused by her husband and was looking for a domestic violence shelter. This past weekend we received another report of a female involved in the similar activity. Here’s what our reader, Elle, wrote:
“I got scammed big time by a woman who stopped me in the street (46th and Spruce) and asked me to help her find a domestic violence shelter. She had a really heartbreaking story about escaping from her abusive husband and she was trying to get to a “safety point.” I let her borrow my phone to call the hotline she said she’d been talking with earlier. After overhearing her conversation I ended up giving her (way too much) money to cover her fare to the safety point in the suburbs. I started getting suspicious after she left and checked the call log on my phone. None of the calls were longer than 10 seconds — she had been pretending to talk on the phone so I would overhear her plight and give her money. It’s a pretty despicable scam, but it worked really well.”
While the account we described in our post in 2011 hasn’t changed too much, this time the description of the woman is different. Elle said that it was “a middle aged white woman with dyed red hair, wearing a sweat suit.”
On Friday, May 10, a reader, Rachel, became a pickpocket victim at Honest Tom’s taco shop near 44th and Spruce. Rachel says that her wallet was stolen and that after talking to the owner, she discovered that she was “hit by a notorious West Philly pick pocket who is known by the alias ‘scarface’.” While we are waiting for a response to our police inquiry about this “well known” neighborhood thief, we wanted to alert other residents about this incident.