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Old 12-20-2007, 08:27 PM   #1
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Windsor , Ontario
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Be on the alert at Florida rest-stops !!

Group :

As our parents have all past away, the wife & I have become "escapees" in December & take a trip down to the Tampa area to get out of the Canadian c'c'c'cold for obvious reasons.

I am posting an alert to the community that we were approched by a (mid 20's) fellow, at 2:30 in the afternoon at the State of Florida Welcome Center, who attempted to have me follow him away from our Airstream & TV...claiming that there was..."a lady over here who had just won $164,000 in the lottery" & that I should follow him to congratulate her.

I realized it was a scam & told him to lead the way & as we rounded the front of our TV, he kept on walking along toward the front of the truck parked next to us, while I stepped left & got into my drivers seat.

As I was getting seated, I looked to the back of our trailer & here were three more fellows standing beside the back of the truck next to us who seemed "very interested" in wanting me to join them at the back of the truck.

I just waved & called back to them that "we were in a hurry & to have a great day !!"

We were hardly down the ramp to get back out on to I75 when I was on the cellphone to the 911 opperator.

Of course, for obvious reasons I thought it best to relate the events to the community in the hope that others might also avoid such problems.

I was also hoping to hear some comments as to situations that some of the rest of you may have also encountered...with hopefully as happy an ending as our "little encounter" turned out to be.

Fa-La-La ,
Paul Ouellette,
Safari 25 #8800

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Old 12-20-2007, 09:43 PM   #2
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Thanks for passing that on.
It always pays to follow your intuition. Some call it instinct, gut feeling, sixth sense, womans intuition. We all pick up things subconsiously that we often aren't aware of on the conscious level, often until later. Then we may say "I thought something wasn't right" or something similar.
If you ever have a chance to read "The gift of fear" by Gavin DeBecker, do so. He has 3 books that deal with personal security, one of them specifically geared toward parents and their children. Great read.
I'm glad you're safe, and hope your 911 call made a difference.

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Old 12-20-2007, 10:07 PM   #3
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That is a new variation of the "ponzi" scheme that has been around for 30 years. It is pretexted on the greed of the passerby.

A person approaches you, posing as the seond person has associated with a person that has " just found, won, happen-aponed" a large sum of money.

The person that approached you will cut you in on the huge fortune if only you will give them earnest money of XXXXXXX dollars to establish your interest.

In all cases, get away from them, and call 911 immediately when you are safe.

Give the 911 Center the details as to the suspect's physical descriptions and the suspect's vehicle descritpions. Keep the 911 Center on the line, call 911 if you disconnect while traveling.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:23 PM   #4
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I'm glad to hear you and your wife are safe! What a creepy thing to happen. It's a good thing you have sharp instincts!

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Old 12-20-2007, 10:47 PM   #5
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Wow, scary stuff. It occurs to me what the fellow was thinking - why would you want to go and congratulate someone for winning a bunch of money that you don't even know. What would be the point in that?

It's a good thing you had the presence of mind to just get back in your vehicle and head out rather than try to ignore them and hang out. Moving on is always a good option, particularly if you can move to where there are more people around in case they decide to get aggressive.

Gosh, maybe staying home at Christmas and shoveling snow for hours on end while you look at your Airstream buried up to it's windows in snow isn't a bad thing? On second thought, nah, head South and enjoy your time.

Merry Christmas,
Barry & Donna
Life is short - so is the door on a '51 Flying Cloud (ouch)
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:48 PM   #6
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I don't want to sound paranoid but I travel with at least one gun. I don't know if you live in Florida or not but it is legal to carry a loaded gun with you in your car with out a permit. Having a conceeled carry permit allows you to carry it with you away from your vehicle and many other states recognize each other's permits. I always travel with protection and thankfully haven't needed to use it, but I want to be prepared. I'm glad you were able to get out of that situation, I think they were trying to set you up to rob you.
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:06 AM   #7
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My parents some time ago had this exsperience at a restop in Oregon. DAD said it was late and dark. They pulled in a restop to find a woman who appreared to be crying setting on a guard rail at the far end (exit) of the rest stop. DAD stoped and opened the window of the truck to ask if there was a problem. The woman was crying very loud and asking for help according to MOM and DAD. My father got out, and being the cautious person HE is, put HIS hand inside his coat on His S&W 38. He had a flashlight and shinned it on the woman and looked behind Her to see a man crouching in the weeds behind the guard rail. So My DAD backed off and ask the woman if she wanted the police. The woman said NO...she just needed someone to give Her a ride. My DAD ask who the guy behind the railing was and at that time they both took off running and jumped into a car and out of the restop. AN AMBUSH FOILED. BE CAREFULL..ITS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS.
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:47 AM   #8
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It happens at rest stops everywhere. Nothing different about Fla. That's why we just pull over on a side road and use the TT facilities.
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:11 AM   #9
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Sadly criminals are everywhere.

Stay aware of your surroundings, be alert and listen to your inner voice/hunches or whatever you want to call it. It's natures early warning system.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 12-21-2007, 08:17 AM   #10
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Same basic scam was tried on me back in the '80s while driving a 18w.
Seems like it is always something you have just got to see, back over here.
Your opinion is valued, please not your opinion of someones else's opinion.
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:53 AM   #11
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This has happened to me at rest stops without a trailer! Just follow the old adage your mom probably told you, and you will be ok..."Don't talk to strangers!"...unless, of course, they have an Airstream!

Did some posts get deleted from this thread or am I losing my mind?!
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Old 12-21-2007, 11:42 AM   #12
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Step back over here and I'll show you where its at.
Your opinion is valued, please not your opinion of someones else's opinion.
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:36 PM   #13
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Some kind of Jedi

Ya know. A few years back I was approached at a truck stop in Florida with a similar scam.

Some guy knocked on my trailer door, ranting that someone "over there" had just won the loto or something…giving away money for free… waving his hands around like some kinda Jedi, and telling me I should just run on over and get some.

I told him "what do you think, you're some kinda Jedi knight waving your hands around like that, I'm an Alummanarium, those mind tricks don't work on me, only ALUMINUM!"


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