Neighbor Doug calls in with details of a scam perpetuated on him in the wee hours of Monday morning as he tried to do the right thing to help a man who said he was a new neighbor and needed only a couple bucks. Unfortunately for Doug, the same man — or another bearing a striking resemblance in appearance and manner — has been making the rounds in Seattle for years. His basic MO: I’m new, I’m gay, I’m locked out and I’m a few dollars short.
Doug says his visit started just before 6 AM Monday morning when a man knocked on the door of his residence near Mercer and Malden. The man told Doug he had recently moved to the neighborhood with his partner and had accidentally locked himself out. The man — early 30s, black male, fairly well dressed, Doug says — said he needed $14 to pay the locksmith to let him inside and that he would be right back to pay back the loan. Of course, Doug tells us, the man never returned after he rode away on his bike with Doug’s cash. Doug’s out $14.
“I think I have a fairly healthy skepticism,” Doug said. So do a lot of people, Doug. But that hasn’t stopped similar rip-offs from happening from the Central District to Green Lake. If you decide to give somebody the benefit of the doubt and he turns out to be the Good Samaritan Scammer, do make sure to call the cops. Not all the related activities have been so innocent as a missing 14 bucks.