By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A con game that targets RVers – could it be true? Sad, but true, in Glynn County, Georgia. A nice Maine couple was passing through the county on January 5. They stopped their rig at the Golden Isles Welcome Center off I-95 and got a “welcome” they won’t soon forget.
Clean shaven, and dressed very nice
Police won’t release the names of the couple, but say they were both in their 60s. They parked their rig at the center and got out to give their dogs a walk, 3:00 in the afternoon, broad daylight. Up walked a “clean shaved and dressed very nice,” man. He had a story to tell.
The man feigned to be working with a millionaire who had a soft spot for folks who liked to RV. It’s really very simple: This rich man will DOUBLE whatever cash you have! We know, sounds way too good to be true. But sad to say, the appeal of free cash money proved to be too much for the couple.
The wife went in the rig and rustled around. After a while she came out of the rig with 10 white envelopes. Inside the envelopes, a bit of cash, eh? Sure enough, the couple reckons there was somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000 in those envelopes.
You can guess the rest
You can guess the rest of the story of the con game that targets RVers. The woman walked over to where the “millionaire” was ready to do business. This time, she found an “unshaven” man who reached out for the envelopes and their precious contents. As the hand-off was made, the fuzzy-faced man said, “Find the queen!” When she tried to grab the envelopes back, the crook got wings on his feet, and jumped in a waiting car and vanished with the loot. Ah, the old con game that targets RVers.
And the husband? If he wanted to help out, he wasn’t able to. Two other guys grabbed hold of the RVer and held him in place while the money went down the road.
Police ask that if you know anything that might help round up these clowns, give them a call. Glynn County Police Investigator Michael Kanago at 912-554-7847, or Silent Witness hotline at 912-264-1333. And here’s a link to their official website.
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My wife and I have run into something similar twice, both times at the southbound rest area next to the weight station, just south of the Savannah River on I-95. Both times we were on the lot between the weight station and the welcome center.
The first time it was someone who had just won the lottery and was giving out $100 bills to everyone from our state. We used the bathroom, walked the dog, and went on our way.
The next time it was a similar story, and we went into the welcome center and reported it with a description of the person who had approached us. Walking out, we encountered an elderly couple, with the husband trying to console his crying wife. We asked if they were OK, and they said they’d just lost about $700 to some crooks on the parking lot. We walked them into the welcome center and asked the staff to contact the police. No doubt the group had scattered or left by then.
It’s real, and for some reason I-95 in Georgia seems to be a popular hunting ground.
35 grand, are you kidding me? If true, this is stupidity on a monumental scale.
I agree. Too stupid to have that much money on hand without any brain cells between their ears
Stupid is as stupid does. Stupid is like grass. It’s everywhere. Go Fund Me! Stupid #2!
Sorry for them, but in this day of credit cards and debit cards why the heck would anyone be traveling with tens of thousands of dollars in cash stashed away in their RV? One break-in, bad accident or fire and “poof” there goes all that money up in smoke! Can’t fix stupid…
Seems one way to suss out scammers is to take a picture of their vehicle and license plate, if not their faces, and see how they react…
Has someone started a “Go Fund Me” for them? Sounds like a story that someone would use to scam gullible people to contribute to a fake cause.
As P T Barnum said there is one born every minute, and he wasn’t speaking about thieves. I feel for the couple that lost all their money but if they couldn’t see that coming they need to stay safely locked in their sticks and bricks home and not be on the road. The need for greed is what put them in that situation, the same situation that causes a poor person to spend their last $10 on lottery tickets, greed.
Feel sorry for them, but still so amazing.
While feel sorry for them? It’s Darwinian Evolution; survival of the Fittest and the least Dimmest…
If you believe that l have a bridge in St. Louis I like to sell you.
How much are ya selling it for? I’ve got about $400K laying around the rig; would that be enough?
Good one, CSayre.
At a rest stop off I-75 just south of Atlanta, we saw what appeared to be a scammer trying to get some other traveler to give him money based on some sob story. The mark had resisted, and the scammer was looking around for a new target. We averted our eyes and kept walking to our rig. I thought about calling the GA Patrol to let them know, but I didn’t have anything other than a gut feeling and a few words of the conversation I overheard.
Even though we’re vacationing and relaxing, we maintain situational awareness, have our heads on a swivel, and keep our powder dry. Scum bags are everywhere, and vacationing travelers are their favorite target.
They didn’t even have to call from Nigeria.
I can’t think of a single sensible (lawful) reason why anyone would carry that much cash. Much less, be ______ enough to tell strangers.
I agree. The story sounds like one of the million Urban Legends floating around the Internet. Plus, an RVing couple that is so COMPLETELY lacking in common sense would more likely be completely broke by their 60’s, and living on Welfare, than to have that amount of money laying around…
I have seen something like this at a truck stop – a “trucker” who claimed to have won the lottery and was matching whatever you had in your pocket. Another guy was walking around telling people about it, and maybe another shill pretending to get his money matched. Tempting, but no thanks.
I was accosted in a California Truckstop with a very similar “game” the main difference was he was giving away $100 bills. They had a 3 card monty going on. I’ve seen the game in NYC near Central Park many ,many times. told I didn’t want his money and he got bent out of shape. Coincidence, 20 miles down the road my TPMS gave an air loss warning on my tow’d right side rear tire. Road side service removed the nail and plugged it.
I had that same scenario in a rest stop in Tennessee in the early 90’s with 3-Card Monte. When I protested because someone grabbed the card and made the guy lose, I felt a knife pressed against my ribs. The guy on the other side of me opened his coat to reveal a gun and said “Shut up, leave, or die!” Obviously I left!
We winter in Green Valley AZ which is an over 55 town average age is 72.
The local news paper has a story each week of people getting scammed. My wife and I are 79&78 and can’t believe what people fall for.
If there’s money to be had crooks will find a way to get it.
For those who think that nobody could be this stupid, I would say just think for a moment about some of the people who vote in this country.
First laugh of the day and true and very much appreciated.
LOL funnier if it wasn’t true.
Not only do they vote, but they procreate.
Doesn’t surprise my for that stretch of I95.
About ten years ago now, my wife and I were headed to Savannah, GA. We stopped at night in Rocky Mount, NC. Pulled into the hotel parking lot and started to unload our bags and a guy pulls up in his white Chevy pickup. gets out and comes over to us. Starts his spiel about how he is in the Navy and doesn’t have enough money for gas to make it back to Norfolk.
I could tell by looking at him there was no way he was in the military. “Sorry, can’t help you”
He drives off and I notice he has SC tags on the truck.
Now, one year later, wife and are headed to FL towing our new TT. We stopped at a campground for the night right on I95 below Rocky Mount and above Fayetteville. There was a little convenience store/gas station on the road outside the campground. It was early Sunday morning and I told my wife I was going to gas up the truck before I hooked up the TT.
I went to the store and noticed it was closed.
Ran out of space.
The gas pumps were still “on” so I started filling up. Dead quiet. Nobody around, and up drives a pickup. A white Chevy pickup and out gets a guy who claims his wifes car is broken down south on I95 and he needs some money to get it towed off the highway. Right then it clicked. White Chevy pickup, guy panhandling for money, and here I am alone and nobody around at all. Tell the guy sorry can’t help you. He starts to walk over towards me and I just grabbed hold of the gas nozzle. When he saw me put my hand on the nozzle he stopped, went back to his truck and as he drove off I could see the SC plates.
What a crazy coincidence! Happy you scared him off.
I don’t doubt this kind of thing happens. My only surprise is the scam was straight-up robbery. I had expected it to be the ole’ envelope switcheroo, where the scammer palms the couple’s cash envelope & switches it for a fatter envelope of trash paper cut up to appear like a larger wad of money.
Ya can’t fix STUPID!
Whether or not this particular incident is true, this sort of thing happens all the time. Older people are sometimes afraid of not having enough money to make it through life, so they don’t think straight when an offer to add to their wealth comes along.
It’s hard to believe anyone unless they were very elderly and/or mentally deficient would fall for this. Sorry it happened to this couple but….I’ll shut up.
To anyone who thinks this is fake, the story also ran in the local newspaper. Check it out: https://thebrunswicknews.com/news/local_news/cops-couple-conned-by-interstate-millionaire/article_48c8d18d-4884-598c-b5c4-92af0f80ddce.html
That is most likely where the story comes from.
Having worked on banking customer fraud investigations for years, yeah, I can believe this. As one large bank chief security officer put it: “One big reason why old people get scammed so easily: GREED!”
One guy in his late 70’s lost $88,000 cash in a lottery scam. He was absolutely convinced he had won a European lottery he had never entered for a million-dollar sports car and just had to pay the taxes. The bank could not convince him it was a scam, his kids could not convince him, and the local PD could not convince him. He wanted that cash and he was mentally competent but stupid and greedy so he got his money. In cash.
And then he went after the bank for letting him withdraw his money. As you can imagine, the documentation and audio/video recordings from the cameras of everyone trying to convince him it was a fraud made short order of that.
The customer was so convinced it was not a fraud he told us where he was mailing the cash. We contacted the local PD and that Post Office and the Postmaster agreed to set the package aside and notify the local PD when someone came to pick it up.
He put it on his desk without any kind of markings.
When the fraudster arrived, the front clerk hunted for the missing package, found it on the Postmaster’s desk, and gave it to the fraudster. While the Postmaster was out to lunch.
Say good bye to $88,000
We opened a case with the USPS Office of Investigations because we suspected that either the Postmaster and/or the clerk was in on the scam but we never heard the results of their investigation.