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The door-to-door, "locked out of my house" scam

January 9th, 2011 · 24 Comments

This tale of a current urban scam was sent in this afternoon by Myra. It’s virtually identical to one that our sister site My Green Lake reported on in September:

I live by Roosevelt & 75th. Around 1:30 today a man claimed that he and his boyfriend were new to the neighborhood and they were locked out of the house. He said his boyfriend worked for Microsoft and he worked for UW. He needed $3 to pay the locksmith, but his wallet was in the house and he was on his lunch break. I thought $3 was manageable so I gave it to him. Then he said he needed $13 and I said I didn’t have cash, but that my boyfriend would be home soon and I could ask him. He claimed his name was Patrick Lewis.

He said he would be right back with my cash. After thinking about it, I realized that the locksmith would have waited for him to get his wallet out of the house for payment. Or the locksmith would have billed him. Nonetheless, I was bilked out of a small bit of cash, but I thought I send a heads up to you since we’re in the same neighborhood.

Thanks, Myra. In the My Green Lake scam, the man supposedly locked out asked for $75. Amy, the My Green Lake editor, noted the locked-out scam was reported in October 2008 in the Central District News.

The man introduced himself as a new neighbor living in the condos next door, which are actually townhomes. The man proceeded by saying that his partner is caucasian and works for Microsoft. Then he explained that he locked himself outside and needed to pay the locksmith $25 but he only had $21. He asked if my boyfriend could give him $4.

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