CD Bullies in New York


New York Scams: Don't Take Any Handouts While In Times Square

(with video below) There are a plethora of New York scams out there to avoid if you travel to the Big Apple, but today we focus on the CD Bully Scam. Let's imagine a scenario.

You are admiring the energy that Times Square has and the beautiful vibe that thousands of people are creating in the bright New York. As you are checking out the shops and the huge digital posters around, a street musician hands you a CD. "Hey check out my music, you'll like it. Take this!" He will ask you immediately what your name is, so as you are polite and respond, he starts autographing the CD for you. This way, it's hard to avoid the scam. He also points out at the other 'band members' so you can see there are many bullies around you.

As you take the CD and step away, he starts yelling. "Hey, hold on, you didn't pay! It's $10, don't run away!" Three or four other guys will surround you instantly. Many people get scared and pay $10, just to get away.

Watch the video below to see CD hustlers caught on camera in Times Square:



This is just one of the many scams happening in New York, from show tickets sales to entertainment rides.


New York Scams: How to Avoid the CD Bullies

In regards to the 'musicians' approach, do not take the CD in the first place. Don't be too polite, just don't touch whatever is handed to you.

If you do, when you try to give it back and they won't let you, just put the CD at their feet and walk away. Do your homework if you are just about to go to the New York.

nyc scams


NY Scams: How To Report a Scammer

Warn your family and friends about the CD Bully Scam by sharing this article on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers and any other suspicious activity to the local police or the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here

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While in New York this weekend with the family, I ran into a couple of these scam "artist’s". I was lucky and avoided them the first couple of times. While walking around Times Square we were approached by a "nicer" guy who tried handing me a CD. I politely said no and kept walking. He started complimenting my daughter and wife. He tried giving me another CD so I took it and starting walking away. He stopped me, asking for a donation. I politely said no and handed it back. My daughter gave him a dollar. We spoke for a… Read more »


I was visiting NY this week with my family. We were in the pedestrian island area and my wife and younger son went into a shop. My older son and I decided to stay outside and walk around. One of these scumbag shoved a CD into my son’s hand and demanded $20. He was being very aggressive so I took the CD out of my son’s hand to divert his attention to me. I then told him we weren’t interested and tried to hand it back to him, which he refused and started cussing and accusing me of being racist.… Read more »

Cameron Chan

I just visited NYC a few days ago and i was stopped by a black man with his crew. They were obviously high, seeing that they were passing a blunt around. I guess i was caught off guard. He offered me a handshake and said he was "promoting" his album. He seemed like a friendly guy so I accepted his handshake and showed some support and pulled out my wallet. As i was looking through my wallet to give him a 5, he said caught glimpse of my 20 dollar bill and said he had change. He then told his… Read more »


I’m from the UK and have visited NYC about 5 times. This scam happened to me in 2012 outside Macy’s. The guy gave me the CD like it was a promo freebie, but then asked for tips. I didn’t understand at first, but ended up giving him $2. I’m a big guy and he was on his own. It may have been a bad burn, but this was a blank CD when I got to try it at home. Just got back from vising again (September 2014) and it’s happening a lot more. I was probably offered CD’s about 10… Read more »


Same thing happened to me today in San Francisco at the embarcadero. Ended up getting surrounded by a couple of the first guy’s big friends and getting conned into giving them forty bucks via sneaky change swapping tactics and general intimidation. Decided to cut my losses rather than get smacked while arguing. Welcome to America huh


This happened to me OUTSIDE NYU. Of all places. Same modus, ended up getting scammed $200. 6 guys surrounded me so yeah.


This happened to me while walking along central park. Two black guys are walking straight to me one guy with stretched arms with a signed CD. I immediately said no thanks. I did this without stopping for them. I think I irritated the other guy since he shouted back at me that they weren’t going to mug me or anything. It’s not like I even asked or I was thinking that’d happen. It’s broad daylight. But anyway I continued walking and never stopped for them. I guess they thought I was easy since I had a big bag of souvenirs… Read more »

UK Tourist

Happened to me near Time Square, drew me in with a handshake then gave me an autographed CD, said any donations would be welcome, then basically demanded $20 whilst taking about slavery and implying that we didn’t like him and his friend because they were black I was with my girlfriend and the way they were behaving I thought it best just to take the small loss and learn a valuable lesson. Threw the CDs away at the next bin but wouldn’t surprise me if they were blank anyway Only way to avoid this is simply to not engage in… Read more »


just happened to me. I love music and want to support artists. so much for that! he handed me a CD like it was free. then wanted a donation but kept insisting on an amount. I caved and gave him $5 and the other guy forces another CD into my hand and now wants $10. he saw the 20 in my wallet and then said he has change. I agreed to another $5 for his CD (I wanted out of there). he had 15 in change to give me and I started handing the 20 and he tried to hand… Read more »


happened yesterday outside of NYU, terrible experience, whey policemen leave this alone? they should do something

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