I was the mark of a very clever, creative scam recently, right here on the streets of London. I was walking my daughter’s dog in Notting Hill when an elderly woman who looked to be from some Andean country came up to me with a gold (colored) ring and said ‘Look what I found, right here on the sidewalk!’ She passed me the ring to examine. It felt too light to be the real thing, but it looked to be the right color and there was some kind of stamp on the inside. I congratulated her on her good luck and handed it back to her. Then she tried to slip it on her finger. ‘Oh, look it doesn’t fit. Here, why don’t you take it?’ I protested, but in the end, she seemed determined to give it to me. So I started to walk off, puzzled that she wouldn’t take it off to a pawn shop rather than give it to a total stranger.
That was when she called out to me, motioning me to come back. When I did she said ‘I’m hungry, can you give me some money so I can get something to eat?’
And then it all made sense. And nice to know that, besides all the thieves and brigands I’ve been victimized by all these years, I still have an innocent face, like I just fell off a water melon truck from the sticks.