Another pickpocket scam ...

Michael Tissington

Mar 16, 2009
Was walking down Sarmiento today with my camera ... I'm convienced that a couple squirted some bad smelling liqued over me from behind and then made out that it was bird shit.... after walking a few paces, they appeared with a water bottle and tissues to help me wipe it off. Durring this time they lifted my wallet from my pocket - I think they wanted the camera, but that was well straped to my body. Imediatley a taxi appears, and they jump in and are gone, I think the taxi was part of the team, as they got into the taxi they had the cheek to ask me to take their picture...

Fortunatley I only had A$70 in my wallet and an ATM card which I imediatley cancelled ... but it still makes me feel angry.
That's pretty brazen of them. :eek: So did you end up getting a picture? If so, post it here... I'm sure we'd all love to see the scamming couple.
DON'T LET RANDOM PEOPLE TOUCH YOU!!! (Unless it's in a club and you have no money. Then enjoy.)


That is all.
Napoleon ... yes, why do random people never touch me? I live with hope.

Actually, apropos to Michael's tale, I have the other uncomfortable effect. My wife and I had been here about a week, and of course we had acquired all the warnings -- mustard, bird shit, pickpockets, liars, seducers, etc. -- when we were having a walk near the Japanese Gardens, by the bucolic little pond with the footbridge, when we stopped to take a picture. My wife placed herself with the bucolic little pond in the background, just beneath the palm trees were pretty little green parrots were squawking, when I felt something land on the cap I was wearing. A young Argentine couple came up and pointed out the parrot poop all over my hat, and on my shoulder as well, and then we noticed that it was down the back of my wife's blouse and down one leg of the trousers of her linen slacks.

The young Argentine couple offered us their bottle of water and the girl pulled out some tissues from her bag, and they tried to help clean us up. But whoa, Tonto, I had read all the warnings, so I knew a scam when I saw it, I am no tenderfoot. So we refused their help and tried to move away from them. I think they got the idea that we were afraid of their help, so they gave up, but the boy left the water bottle for us on a bench, along with a stack of tissues from his girlfriend's purse. Then they left.

But unless somehow that young couple were in cahoots with the parrots who shit all over us from the palm trees lining the pond, we had just stupidly offended the first Argentines who had tried to do a favor for us.

I wish I could find that couple again and apologize to them. I could say, I'm sorry, but we were fed so much BS about Argentine liars and scammers that we had lost the ability to distinguish genuine courtesy from the paranoid tales of woe.

So, back into the bubble, yes?
Michael Tissington, sorry to hear your bad luck.

HDM, haha, 'whoa, Tonto" :)
This scam seems to be common here and other places as well. Our neighbor (from Europe) has been a victim of it twice here in BA, although he was saavy and they never got anything from him. They usually squirt mustard or ketchup, then a woman comes over to tell you and help clean it it while another guy pick pockets the victim.

In India, they have the same trick but with monkey poop. They did this to one of our friends in front of our eyes, and then the shoe-shine guy and his accompliced chased him to clean it. Our friend knew about the scam as well, so he didnt let them touch him and walked with the poop on his shoe all the way back to the hotel.
I am not saying this doesn't happen, I am saying that what one thinks is a scam may be nothing more than paranoia in action. I was pickpocketed by a gypsy woman and her child in the piazza in front of the duomo in Florence, and actually figured it out a few seconds after they moved away, but it was such a small amount of lire that given a second to think about it, realized that they probably needed the six or seven dollars much more than I did, so what the hell. We all have our jobs to do. In fact, in all my very long life, that is the only time I have been robbed, and I could have stopped it, but chose to let it go. Like the flower seller down the street who overcharged me a couple of times (two or three pesos). What the hell! It's a few cents. The cost of daily life.

I have lived in Buenos Aires less than six months. Maybe my day is coming. Maybe next week I will be cheated, scammed, lied to, or seduced (non sexually, I now understand), or run over by a maniac in a car with his horn on the constant blare setting, and then maybe I will be angry and self-righteous and come into ex-pat cyberspace to tell everyone what criminals and wackos the Argentines are, but until then, I cannot make up stuff to bad mouth the people of the city where I have chosen to come. I have the astonishing luxury of freedom of movement, and the moment I am not comfortable here, that I don't like living here, I am gone ... watch the smoke trail. Until then, I am finding this to be one of the finest of the seven fine cities I have lived in during the last 30 years.

Bring on the mustard.
2GuysInPM said:
Our friend knew about the scam as well, so he didnt let them touch him and walked with the poop on his shoe all the way back to the hotel.

One time, at a great aunt & great uncle's ~60th wedding anniversary, my brother ended up in the bathroom for over 30 minutes helping my elderly grandfather with all that he needed help with, but my grandfather gave my brother a little present (unbeknownst to either of them)...

...And my brother walked with the poop on his shoe all the way out to the middle of the banquet room and then back to the bathroom.

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