The Good Samaritan Scammer visits Capitol Hill

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.

27 thoughts on “The Good Samaritan Scammer visits Capitol Hill

  1. This guy came by my house about 8 months ago, only a week after I’d moved in to my building. He didn’t, however, offer to pay me back. I wasn’t sure if he was legitimate or not, but I only had a dollar on me so it didn’t really matter. It’s good to finally get confirmation that it’s a scam.
    I suspected he was casing the place to rob us, so I’m glad I had nothing of value near the front door, no windows on the ground floor and a loud, mean-looking dog he was visibly afraid of.

  2. “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.”

    Don’t give people with a “story” money. Problem solved!

  3. I’ve met this man on two separate occasions on Capitol Hill over the past few years. The first time he approached me and a friend as we were walking down 12th between Madison and Pike around 11pm with the same exact story described above. He also made a point of repeating mention of his sexual orientation and lifting his shirt to reveal some of his underwear to somehow convey to me and my girlfriend that he wasn’t a threat. Then a couple years later he knocked on my front door around 10pm with the exact same story.

  4. On second thought, I suppose it’s also possible he lifted his shirt to show he wasn’t carrying a gun. Regardless, he wasn’t given any money on either occasion.

  5. I think he is older than early 30’s ..as I was shutting the door, i told him I’d read all about him and to go away … it’s hard to shut a door on someone but he has been using this same story for years now, so i didn’t really feel bad.

  6. 1st time about 6 yrs ago – around 5am – taking my dog outside in front of my apt bldg b/4 going to work. He said he needed $10.00 to save his car from getting towed. He said “don’t worry – I’m Gay I won’t hurt you and I’ll return the $” I gave him the cash.Didn’t worry about the return – just doing a good deed.
    He tried again at a house across the street -knocking on the window of a business late at night w/ a lame excuse. I had already spoken to the house occupants. He has tried at the same house and at my apt bldg a few times since. To no avail.

  7. This same guy has hit belltown too. Anyone asking for more than a buck get’s an automatic NO! I’m broke too!

  8. this and the “I’m out of gas” story are as old as they come. Youre a sucker if you fall for these idiots.

  9. Sounds like the very same m.o. used on me 2 years ago, but it was near Licorous, and I had a funny feeling and told the guy to call the cops for help. After I finished dinner, he was still at it.

  10. He came to our house on 24th and Aloha about a year ago. It was around 9pm and I had no doubt it was a crock. I shut the door on him before he could even finish his sob story.

  11. I’ve seen this man in the university district and roosevelt as well, a total of three times over the course of three years. Once at the same house within 6 months. Now, every time I see him I tell him I’ve seen him before and he makes an excuse and gets out of there pretty quickly.

  12. Last week I saw him do this to a local bar that had recently closed it’s doors for the night. It’s a scary situation to have someone banging on the biz door when your biz is full of cash and you’re closing alone. I expect if the door would have been opened, there would have been more than $14 taken for good.

    TELL HIM NO and DON’T COME BACK

  13. This guy has knocked on my place twice in the past three years, over by 14th and Denny. The first time I felt a bit bad, because 90% sure it is a scam isn’t the same as 100%. The second time, I had no such doubts.

  14. Seriously…people are still falling for this? We had 2-3 “neighbors” a week showing up at our door near 16th & Yesler….some working the same story.

    People like this scammer suck, because after people get ripped off a few times they’re less likely to help a real neighbor.

    But think about it: if the story is well rehearsed and really tugging at your heart strings, it’s probably a scam.

  15. Man, this guy needs to be shut down! Right after we moved into our place in Leschi this fall (from Cap Hill) this same guy knocked on our door at about 10pm asking for money to pay a locksmith. We didn’t give him any money but our friends who moved into the place right next door to us gave him a few dollars the day before. I think he cases places to see who is new to the neighborhood and isn’t on to his scam yet.

    I’m glad for articles like this so more people know about this guy and hopefully call the cops (we didn’t but I would if he did this again now that I know…)

    Thanks for posting.

  16. Yeah, I think I met this guy, or a similar guy.

    When I told him I didn’t have any money, he responded with, “What, you don’t like black people?”

  17. I have dealt with this guy 3 different times in the last 5 years. Now when he knocks I just tell him he’s full of shit and he wanders off.

  18. There was a guy on the Hill last year that was doing the gas routine. Wearing a shitty grey suit. He approached my gf and I no less than 3 times over the course of 2 weeks with the same story.

  19. Scammer: Excuse me, si-
    Me: NO (keep walking)

    Giving these habitual deadbeats a second of your time is giving them too much credit.

  20. I agree completely.

    When some stranger stops you on the street, or knocks on your door, you can be absolutely sure he/she wants some money from you. The sob stories are always fabricated. The best defense is to just keep on walking and/or not answer your door.

  21. i was filling my car up at the gas station on 23rd near Garfield and a man and woman, in their 30’s, black, asked if i could pump a galon of gas into their red plastic gas container b/c they were out of gas and had no $. I said I would, and as I started to pour, the woman started chatting me up to get my mind off the gas so it would keep pumping! I figured it out and stopped only a few bucks later :) Eesh!

  22. He came by our house twice almost 2 years ago. The first time he had that same story and I told him to go away–it was pretty obvious it was a scam. He returned about a month later with a different story. I told him I remembered him from last time at which point he looked startled and insisted it wasn’t him and took off. It’s interesting because it happened when we first moved in as well. I have since seen him on Broadway waiting for a bus.