Swindles, the ones I use to call “on the road”, are so widely proportional with human fantasy that a digest itself wouldn’t be enough to spell the list. The swindlers are such a kind of multitasking-minded people, who make the worst use of their creative cleverness, besides they are very skilled talkers, if we mean communication as a “rational act“ performed by someone who perfectly knows how to adapt his talents to the goal he aims to, in a particular circumstance. This ability is essential for a cheat to work, and it’s not so easy to save oneself from the trap. The old swindles, even thanks to the media outcry, are now widely known and identifiable by most of people who can oftenescape, but a swindler needs to survive too, which means that by a fewarrangements and a bit of experience he can ever work out new trickssuitable enough to hit the mark. So, just remember that when you park your cars in front of a supermarket, someone is looking over you, and if you hold a shoulder-bag, or a waist-bag, especially if you are alone, the trap is ready to go off. Once you get back to the car, after you’ve put your stuff on the nearside, you start the engine and leave, but only just later you realize something is wrong, and suddenly an other car comes alongside yours, and someone makes you gently notice that you have a flat tyre. What you probably can’t guess at the moment is that the same gentleman who is now offering to help you change the wheel, is the offender himself who previously saw to get your wheel deflated. And that’s it! While you curse and bustle about your spare-wheel, your kind-helper’s accessory steals the bag you had left unguarded, inside the open car, and after all who would lock his car while changing a wheel? This is known as the “flat tyre swindle”. One more amazing and ingenious trick is smudging your outside rear-view mirror, or the bumper of you car, with a coloured chalk exactly the same as the offender’s car. At this point, the swindler waits for you to overtake him, both while he is speeding along or stopping at the side of the road, then he finally reaches you and ask for you to stop. His aim is to make you notice that his car got damaged, because of your passing. He wants you to believe you have a responsibility towards the matter, once he can show you the scrape of your car that matches the colour of his! You admit your fault and he can lead you to compensate for the damage. This is known as the “chalk swindle”. But it could even happen that someone makes you softly crash into his car, and by chance the impact makes a most expensive cell-phone (such an I-phone or a Samsung Galaxy 3, both expensive, but not new, and that is the trick!) fall from the glove compartment and gets the display shattered; what you certainly can’t know is that, in spite of the brand, the object was already dented, since it had been bought second hand, old and half-cracked, for next to nothing, on E-bay. It is the “dent-phone swindle”. I could go on, or even invent myself some kind of new swindle, but what’s more is that such tricks so properly work because in many cases it’s just us who prefer to be cheated. We often pick out to avoid a pointless expense or a waste of time, and so keep off the Insurance Companies, or sometimes we feel the need to be free from a fussy, hot-tempered spouse, which leads us to accept a short-cut; it’s exactly what a swindler relies on. As he knows that since we wish the matter was closed here and now, we actually lay open to a swindle. Now that I think of it, in the early 80s, a comedian trio from Naples, used to repeat a slogan at the end of their comic tv-show; they were the Trettrè and their slogan sounded “Bear in mind that saving is never earning”. Thanks to this successful quip, we may even end the argument, with a simple advice: do never negotiate a deal with anyone, on the road; if and when somebody invites you to settle any account on the spot, without involving the Insurance Company, in order to avoid a rise in costs, feel even free to accept, but only in the presence of a Police patrol, since the cops may write an official report and moreover check the real identity of your opposite party. At this point, a swindler chooses to drop his plan and give up his unlawful trade, but if it all is true and hides no cheat, your interlocutor is surely willing to wait for the Police to arrive. So, do never pay anything when you’re alone on the road. At all events, remember to jot down the number- plate of the questioned vehicle, in order to report it to the Police, and prevent any other unfortunate-one from being cheated. When it is possible, take a picture of your interlocutor’s car, as he moves away, paying attention not to be seen as well: it could be of use to any possible inquiry.

By: Opportunity suits the thief. The neighborhood watch

Francesco Caccetta

Traduttore: F. Falvo

Editore: MGC Edizioni

Anno edizione: 2016