Shoe Shiner Approach

How the scam works:

This usually occurs in poor countries – and maybe should not be considered a scam, but a trick into luring you to pay more.

As you are walking by a busy place and looking around, you bump into a guy who has dropped a brush. He drops it on purpose, knowing that you are behind him, will pick it up, and return it to him.

As he is glad to have it back, he might tell you that the brush is from his great-grandfather and he is happy he didn’t lose it, since all the men in his family were shoe-shiners…

After that, he will tell you he is willing to shine your shoes for half price, just because you were so nice to him. As you usually don’t get a shoeshine, you somehow appreciate what he is offering. During the five minutes you are in his chair, he will come up with other stories about his hard life, how his house was set on fire recently, and how most of his belongings are gone. And how he only has a brush now.

You will probably end up giving him a good tip as well, while his “half-price” is actually a full fee..

How to avoid:

Just accept it the first time; you know you’ve been tricked but you are lucky to live where you live. If you are about to travel soon do your homework before; research your next destination and everything you might get involved in. 

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