CTA train stations and bus stops are ideal places to panhandle, or better yet, to try and scam people. There are plenty of potential "marks," and stations and bus stops are big gathering spots.
Some might wonder, "How could you let yourself be a victim?" It really depends on the circumstances, and it may be easier to get taken than you think.
Here's what happened to Orlando earlier this week:
"I got scammed this morning and while it's too late to get my money back I'm hoping you can warn others.
"I was on my way to the California Blue Line stop rolling my suit case as I had a morning flight out of O'Hare. A guy in a business suit rolling a suit case approached me and was nearly in tears. He indicated that his car was towed and it had his laptop in there and that he would be fired if he didn't get it. He asked for money to take a cab to his home in the suburbs get his ID, get his car out of the pound and get his laptop.
"If I had asked questions I'm sure I would have been able to poke holes in his story. I gave him $80 and my information and he gave me bogus info. What makes matters worse is that he has my home address and knows I am leaving town, now I have to worry about him robbing my place because they think it's vacant. While losing the money hurts I am still in a position where I can pay my bills. I fear that his other victims may not.
"I have the feeling this guy is going up and down the Blue Line perpetrating this scam. He is a white male, slim to medium build around 5'10" in a dark suit rolling a dark suitcase. While I feel like an idiot I want this story out so that others don't get scammed."
Thanks for sharing, Orlando. He did call police, but couldn't file a report since he technically "lent" the money.
I've seen other scammers invoke children in their entreaties: needing diapers, formula or some sort of medication, often for asthma.
So, be sharp, be aware, be careful.