Times Square Scams

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joined:5/28/15
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Times Square Scams#1
Posted: 5/28/15 at 5:49pm

So I arrived to NYC today from Illinois, and I'm having a wonderful first day! we went to Bryant park and heard a man singing (he was good, although the song selections were eclectic). We had a couple hours before we could check in at the hotel so we left our bags then walked to Times Square and back. It was a lovely walk until we got to Times Square.


Several young men in their early twenties were handing out (I assumed for free) CDs of themselves rapping. A guy asked me my name, I told him, he then wrote it on the disc and gave it to me. My boyfriend (Mike) and I were then beginning to walk away (as he had been given a demo by another rapper) when the man who gave me mine then was asking for a donation. I, of course (as a rule), never carry cash on me and therefore was super embarrassed. He then was telling me there was an ATM by the Hard Rock Cafe, and he handed Mike 20 dollars in fives, he said that he would give me change, and five or six other rappers were keeping Mike from me. I panicked and walked toward the cafe looking for the ATM, the whole time obviously feeling like an idiot and thinking the worst could happen. I did get 20 bucks from the ATM and gave it to the ringleader and the two of us immediately returned to our hotel to check in. This hasn't ruined my trip or anything, the whole encounter was just frightening. Is this common? i felt terrible that i left him there and spent the whole way back apologizing. i've never felt like a bigger dunce.


Any other scams I should keep my eyes open for? is picking pockets prevalent?

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Mr Roxy
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Times Square Scams#2
Posted: 5/28/15 at 5:53pm

This is on the wrong board


By the way, watch out for Mickey & Minnie and the rest of the gang.

Poster Emeritus
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Times Square Scams#2
Posted: 5/28/15 at 5:58pm

oops! i figured that it geographically was right by broadway, but i guess you're right... haha. i saw lots of creepy characters, including a frightening hulk. one of the elmos had his head off and was actually and asian woman. very odd.

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Times Square Scams#3
Posted: 5/28/15 at 6:02pm

The Woody is the worst, he is terrifying! I also went to a cafe and sat next to an empty Olaf costume just sitting across a table. 


Can we get rid of these ridiculous costumes? Please.

FindingNamo
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Times Square Scams#4
Posted: 5/28/15 at 6:08pm

This reads like that part in Adventures in Babysitting when that one girl loses her glasses.

Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
Updated On: 5/28/15 at 06:08 PM
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Times Square Scams#5
Posted: 5/28/15 at 6:14pm

"This reads like that part in Adventures in Babysitting when that one girl loses her glasses."


Chris I'm begging you, it's really scary here. I've just seen three people shoot up, a bald Chinese lady with no pants on, and there's this old guy outside who wants his bedroom slippers!


 

"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
FindingNamo
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Times Square Scams#6
Posted: 5/28/15 at 6:16pm

Yes, that!


Bilingual had me at:  "heard a man singing (he was good, although the song selections were eclectic)"...

Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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Times Square Scams#7
Posted: 5/28/15 at 6:23pm

In NYC, nothing is free. That's my mantra.

"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
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Times Square Scams#8
Posted: 5/28/15 at 6:35pm

Yes, it's common.  Also watch out for the "monks" who do the same thing — "prayer books" instead of CDs.  Anyone handing you anything in Times Square wants something.  And Elmo will just straight up cut you.

"Tracy... Hold Mama's waffles."
Updated On: 5/28/15 at 06:35 PM
ScottyDoesn'tKnow2
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Times Square Scams#9
Posted: 5/28/15 at 6:49pm

You could have just walked away. Happened to me once when I first moved here and I was like I don't want that just continued walking. Some monk gave me some beads and kept saying peace. I gave her $3 because I liked the beads and she was disappointed and said "$5!" and I responded with "$5? I thought you were all about peace!" She ended up with the $3.

Updated On: 5/28/15 at 06:49 PM
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Times Square Scams#10
Posted: 5/28/15 at 6:49pm

I saw the monks! a lady was writing one a check when i walked by. after i had just been hustled, i assumed it had to be a scam. 

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Times Square Scams#11
Posted: 5/28/15 at 6:59pm

"I saw the monks! a lady was writing one a check when i walked by. after i had just been hustled, i assumed it had to be a scam. "


 The joke is on the monk. It was probably a rubber check. It will go bouncing all over the place.


Definitely stay away from the dirty, nasty costumed characters.

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Times Square Scams#12
Posted: 5/28/15 at 7:03pm

Yes, it's not uncommon.  If it happens again just keep walking.  If all else fails, just scream at the top of your lungs and they will disappear.  

The only review of a show that matters is your own.
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Times Square Scams#13
Posted: 5/28/15 at 7:15pm

As a general rule I don't take anything that anyone is trying to hand me on the street. Don't make yourself an easy target. I've been coming to the city my whole life and have lived here for 7 years and knock on wood have never once been robbed. 

Updated On: 5/28/15 at 07:15 PM
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Times Square Scams#14
Posted: 5/28/15 at 7:53pm

"one of the elmos had his head off and was actually and asian woman. very odd."


Yes, there are people under there. What were you expecting?

"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
FindingNamo
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Times Square Scams#15
Posted: 5/28/15 at 7:57pm

I'm more a fan of an Asian female Elmo that a big chicken hawk Elmo.

Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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Times Square Scams#16
Posted: 5/28/15 at 8:11pm

I don't accept anything from anyone in Times Square. Because it's a heavy tourist area, there are always going to be people trying to scam unsuspecting tourists who aren't familiar with the city and its habits. I'll take flyers from Broadway shows that people pass out, but, that's it. Don't accept CDs, prayer cards, or pose for photographs with any of the costumed characters. This is not Disneyland, this is New York City. I would think it would be common sense among people, even tourists, to not accept 'free' gifts from complete strangers. It will cost you.

"Mostly, I loved the size of these people's emotions. Nobody has emotions this size anymore. Outsized emotions. Operatic emotions. Kushemski and Vanda are like Tristan and Isolde, they're Paolo and Francesca. Nobody's in total thrall like this anymore. Nobody's overcome by passion like this, or goes through this kind of rage." Thomas, Venus in Fur
FindingNamo
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Times Square Scams#17
Posted: 5/28/15 at 8:13pm

… and she woke up back in her hotel in a bathtub full of ice cubes… and the message GET TO A HOSPITAL was written on the mirror! ...


 

Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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Times Square Scams#18
Posted: 5/28/15 at 8:29pm

I'm sorry this happened to you. These idiots are all over the place. There have been several news reports about it, and I'm surprised this is still going on. Be careful out there and enjoy your trip!

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Times Square Scams#19
Posted: 5/28/15 at 8:59pm

I was swindled by the costume characters with my grandma one year. Once they smell you, the swarm closes in.


Also had someone give me one of those CDs and when they asked for money I said I didn't have any and ripped right from my hand it was.

"Hi there, we represent The Broadway Better Business Players for a Better Tomorrow. We're trying to start a petition to get second rate shows taken off the marquee and with your help we can stop Mamma Mia from ever playing again." -Brad Jones in Suburban Knights

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Times Square Scams#20
Posted: 5/28/15 at 9:20pm

Classic pickpocketing ploy, so be careful. While one person engages in this kind of "transaction" others may be dipping into your purse or tote bag or bumping into you to lift your wallet.

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Times Square Scams#21
Posted: 5/28/15 at 9:49pm

Do these costume characters need a licence/permit to be there--like buskers in a public place ?

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Times Square Scams#22
Posted: 5/28/15 at 10:01pm

wow...why in the world would you take anything from anyone in times square??? wow..just wow

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Times Square Scams#23
Posted: 5/28/15 at 10:21pm

Yeah, the CD thing happens all the time. 

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Times Square Scams#24
Posted: 5/29/15 at 12:11am

In Rockefeller Plaza while the Today show is being filmed, there's a guy who stands out there "claiming" to be collecting money for a soup kitchen. The way he obtains "donations" is by handing you a baseball hat and guilting you into giving him at least $10 for it. While I certainly hope the money is going to charity, I have my doubts.