While taking a neighborhood walk Monday morning, Historic City News reader Debra Valenti-Epstein reported that she and her husband were approached by a man who told them he needed cab fare for his daughters.
The encounter might have been dismissed, Valenti-Epstein said, except that at about 10:03 a.m., the man came onto their South Street property, walked up to them in their yard, and said he intended to come back to repay the “loan” if they could lend him some money.
The fast talker, who she described as a white male, 6′ tall, stocky build, no facial hair, wearing a cap, in his mid-to-late 30’s, told them a detailed (but completely fabricated) story that he is their new neighbor, he lives “around the corner”, his wife was at work, and he had just gotten off third-shift. The unknown con man said that he had just found out that his daughters were coming home in a taxi, and he only had $20 on him.
Valenti-Epstein’s husband felt empathy for the stranger and decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. They asked the man to write down his name, address and telephone number, he explained that they had just moved in recently and he still had his New York phone.
On investigation, of course, Valenti-Epstein reported that she discovered that the hustler calling himself “Dan” was using a fake name, the local address he gave isn’t his address, and the phone number is that of “a very nice man on Long Island”.
Valenti-Epstein warned that this flimflammer has been making the rounds for at least a week now. They were able to capture his image for a full 10 minutes on their home surveillance video and intend to turn that over to police.