Marybeth Ramos Nave posted on her Facebook page for her friends and family to be aware of this caucasian male that they have encountered near Manila Bay. They confirmed that this was a professional scammer when they found the photo and the same story here on When In Manila (.com) back in July! You may read the post here.
Marybeth narrates her story of encountering a male caucasian in Harbour Square near CCP complex in Manila. He seemed flustered and lost. He says that he has been scammed by a taxi driver who took his money and he needs directions going to C5. The group of individuals called a GrabCar for him and gathered money to pay for it themselves, wanting to help out a foreigner in need.
Sudden red flags hoisted: He kept saying to not tell the cab driver what happened to him and got the money instead of giving to the driver instead.
After the GrabCar left they immediately phoned the driver saying that they do not know this man and to be careful as they noticed red flags from his story. The driver then confirmed that he was a scammer and he dropped him off nearby and refused to pay him. Fortunately the driver was not harmed.
BE-aWARE: Male Caucasian Professional Scam Artist by Manila Bay
This incident just happened this morning, January 2, 2016, at around 5am.
Upon arriving at the parking lot near Harbour Square & CCP for the regular Dragonboat training, I noticed a foreigner (not a teammate) wearing the same blue colored shirt as our team and talking to one of our fellow paddlers from across the gate. I thought he could be a newly invited person and I went about my business of putting my things in one corner, until that teammate approached me and said “Kausapin mo nga, mukhang nawawala eh”. So I turned to the guy and asked “What’s the problem?”
He narrated a series of unfortunate events (which for me didn’t add up and raised red flags). One story he shared, along with so many, was, “I was riding a cab and the driver took off with my bag which had 3,000 pesos, and I only have 3 pesos with me. Now I need to walk to C5”.
I replied with: “C5 is on the other side. Do you know how to get there?”
He said: “Can you draw how to get there”.
At this point I turned to my teammates and asked who can draw the directions. One teammate tore a page from her notebook and took out a pen so we could give him specific instructions. Another teammate said, “tumawag nalang tayo ng taxi bayaran nalang natin”.
I looked around and no cabs were passing by. One teammate suggested to book Grab Taxi while another said Grab Car would be better because of the fixed rate unlike a cab.
I booked Grab Car for this person. I asked him again for his exact destination. From C5 he changed it to Eastwood Residence Hotel.
The amount that showed up for Grab Car was 392pesos. A bunch of us gathered that amount. While collecting, he said “Thank you very much, I appreciate this, please do not tell the driver what happened to me”-he kept repeating this for me not to tell the driver anything he said (another red flag).
When the car arrived, I opened the door and decided to give the money straight to the driver, but suddenly the guy sat infront and grabbed the money from me and said he will be the one to hand the cash. (Another red flag)
When they left, I called the Grab Car Driver and told him “Kuya hindi po namin kilala yung Tao na yan, tinulungan Lang po namin. Magingat po kayo, balitaan mo ako kung nadrop off na siya”
While waiting, my teammates and I were discussing what happened and we hoped for the best that he wasn’t a scam artist. Approximately 10-15minutes later, the Grab Car Driver called (I was relieved when he called because I thought to myself, the driver is safe).
The driver said: “Ma’am manloloko nga po siya. Nagpababa siya sa Shell Residences dahil may ipaduplicate na susi. Humingi po ako ng kahit isang daang piso (to pay for the ride), hindi ako binigyan. Humamon nga po ng suntukan. Marunong din magtagalog. Hindi na po bumalik”
I told the driver: “Sir buti nalang okay po kayo, ligtas at hindi kayo sinaktan. Buti malapit lang Ang pinuntahan. Sinumbong niyo po ba sa guards diyan?”
The driver said: “Wala nga po mga guwardiya dito, pero sinabihan ko mga Tao dito”
I said: “Sige po salamat, pasensiya po sa abala at mabuti po ok po kayo”
We ended the conversation by laughing at it, being thankful that no one got hurt and greeting each other A Happy New Year.
Now it’s my turn to share this story. Please be careful especially those who exercise early in the morning and to all fellow paddlers who arrive early for training. This guy knows his way around Manila, will say anything to get you to help him, and he hasn’t been caught yet. Let’s use the power of Social Media to warn our loved ones and innocent people.
How does this scam artist look like: He’s pale white skinned about 5’6 in height, could be in his late thirties to early 40’s.
It’s a New Year and A New Lesson. Be careful guys because people like him exist and pop up when you least expect them. I’m thankful no one got hurt. I hope that 400 pesos gets him decent meals if he needed to scam to earn. Stay safe everyone!
RECENT UPDATE: (here is his photo) A friend saw this post and shared the FB post of another person who encountered him. It’s him but doesn’t have the beard and mustache anymore.
Journalist, James Deakin’s personal encounter with this guy was picked up by When in Manila. http://www.wheninmanila.com/bleeding-man-scam-foreigner-al…/
From Dr. Rafael Cabredo of DLSU Manila: “Encountered this scammer several times. First: CCP (vito cruz cor. Roxas), Second: Midas hotel parking lot (along Roxas blvd), Third: near DLSU (along Taft avenue). Looks like his area is within that vicinity. If you see him, report to the authorities.”
About the Grab Car Driver: He has been taken cared of
We urge the public to be vigilant and share this post for awareness. We urge the PNP to have immediate action and investigation towards the detention of this person.
What do you think of this story? Have you been victimized as well?