2008-10-23

Scammed and looking for advice...

I was scammed last spring by an Ottawa U professor who reminded me of Mr. Bean. Here is the sequence of events:

1) I met Mr. Bean at a conference in a European country. Mr. Bean confesses that he has no cash, and can't even buy himself a cup of coffee because he can't get the bank people to understand him and for some reason he can't get a cash advance on his credit card.
2) Aggie, realizing that he is from Ottawa, the city in which she lives, hands over 50 Euros to Mr. Bean, along with her business card, saying, "Here. Borrow this. I know where you work."
3) Mr. Bean is grateful, and says how embarassing it is, but takes the money.
4) Aggie does not hear from Mr. Bean.
5) Aggie decides to email Mr. Bean in late August, reminding him that she is there.
6) He responds with photos of the conference, good wishes to Aggie, and says he is heading off to Paris for another conference.
7) Aggie responds with, "Have fun in Paris. Don't forget to bring your Euros this time!"
8) Mr. Bean doesn't respond.
9) Aggie's work colleague who also met Mr. Bean at the conference runs into him by chance on the Ottawa U. campus and says, "Hi. Remember me. Aggie's friend. Remember Aggie, the one who so generously bailed you out." He mutters, "Oh, yes." then rushes off.
10) Aggie's colleague recounts this chance meeting to Aggie. Aggie is now pissed off at this scamming bastard and sends another email, this time saying. "Ok, Mr. Bean. Write me the check for $80 and send it to this address"...
11) Mr. Bean responds curtly with a "Yes". No thank you. No Sorry. Nothing.
12) That exchange was a week and a half ago. No cheque has arrived.

So, blog readers. I am asking for your advice here. What are the next steps? What should Aggie do?

12 comments:

Bandobras said...

I offer a very reasonable knee breaking service. If I just crack it instead of a full break the first whack is on the house.
I'm sure that Ottawa must have similar services but things can be arranged.

Wandering Coyote said...

You know what? I don't think you can do anything, unfortunately. You were very kind to help out this guy, but he is obviously a turd and there's nothing you can do about it.

But, do you believe in karma? What goes around comes around!

Anonymous said...

Public shaming is an option.

Harmony&Melody, former Barristers-and-Solicitors-at-Law-among-other-things said...

Ah Aggie. This is the time to play hard ball. As a former player, I offer the following, which has worked in the past for me at about a 98% success rate: Wait one more week. If the $$$ don't arrive, send another email, this time including a deadline. "Pay me by Nov. XX, or I will take appropriate action to recover my money." No threats, no specifics. Once that deadline passes, there are various things you can do, too long to get into here. But the most important thing is KEEP THE EMAIL WHERE HE SAID YES. That's an admission he owes you, good as gold.

zoom said...

I agree with anonymous. Send Mr. Bean the link to your blog post, and a deadline for payment. When that deadline passes, publish his name.

Audrey said...

I think you have done all that you can do, Aggie. Let it go. Life is too short to worry about 50 euros. Maybe he is going through a divorce or maybe his investments have declined. Be thankful that you are such a kind, generous person.

Aggie said...

Thanks all of you for your wonderful suggestions. The yoga-practising, peace-loving side of Aggie wants to just 'let it go'. Wandering Coyote - I wish I believed in karma, but I have never really embraced the concept. The cigarette smoking, war monger side of me just wants the money back. I'd be happy to give 50 Euros to one of my friends. But Mr. Bean is not my friend. Think of what you can do with 50 Euros:
1) buy some shoes.
2) go for dinner.
3) go on a little LCBO shopping spree
4) buy 4 bags of special needs cat food.
5) there is no fifth.

Woodsy said...

It seems that all the requests for the return of the money have been made by email or through a third person. Have you considered going to his office in person and politely, but firmly, asking him for the money? If he turns you down again, then I agree with EH! (ex-harmony!} that you should send an email threatening to take "appropriate action."

PS You say there is not fifth... what about a fifth of whiskey?

coyote said...

Seee... this is why I keep asking the pertinent question, "No fifth of what...?"

Milan said...

We could collectively seek to make this man's non-repayment one of the first things anyone who Googles him will see. (Unless the person's name is extremely common.)

Just threatening to do so may lead to payment.

Woodsy said...

Milan, that's evil! I like it!!!

Conch Shell said...

I'm with Audrey. Let it go, and realize that there's something wrong happening with him. At least it makes for a good story.