Make every day your adventure!

The highway scammer

In the 90ies people tried to scam tourists and travellers on the highways of many European countries by making them stop, telling a beautiful and poor story and making them to pay money for gas, food etc. They offered “gold”-jewellery, which they were carrying on their body in return as a refund giving the unknown victims the feeling that they would get their money back. In most cases the scammers even added a beautiful percentage of interest.

Those scammers on the way to the ferry in Denmark betrayed us. A German Mercedes with the Plate nr “B WT 5610” was standing on the side lane on the highway and waved at us. We stopped because we wanted to make sure that they are ok. We thought that they would wave at us because we also had a German licence plate and they had difficulties talking Danish or whatever we thought!

The Guy called himself “Aly Kaweb” and gave us a business card of a car yard in Bochum/Germany and told us that he lost his bag with CC, Money, Passport etc and that he was on his way to Copenhagen to sell cars to some Russians and that he needed money for gas because they were running out of it! He promised us that he would pay us back 500-600 € once he gets back to Germany the next day but that he had to sell the cars and had to get there in time. In his car he had his wife and his older son and two youngsters.

We were really suspicious but didn’t think that he would be a scammer because he had his whole family in the car. He filled the car with very expensive Danish gas and I paid with my Credit Card and even added two cokes for the kids.

We made a written contract with him but when he was supposed to write down his name he had to take out his business card to check the surname. I got suspicious but didn’t say anything (my own stupid fault), he also had a business card with an address in Bochum and a licence plate from Berlin (another hint).

Once they left we continued driving towards Hirtshals. For curiosity I checked the website on the business card and found a land line in Germany and called it asking for Aly. The guy at the other end of the line immediately told me that I got scammed when I asked for “Aly Kaweb”. He said that he gets about 3-4 mails a week and that he already reported it to the police!

Unfortunately we waited too long when they left and that is why we had no chance to follow them. As we had little time to get to the ferry we even had no time to report it to the local police.

But my GoPro got him. And I already sent the video to the Federal Police of Germany!

I guess I will never see my money again. I paid 112 €, a lot of money when you are travelling on a budget! And all I got is a necklace and two rings worth about 3 € each.

I tried to help somebody and got betrayed but I think I would do it again if I think somebody is in need!


There he is got him in fully size, stupid fat idiot!!

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27 comments on “The highway scammer

  1. Stephanie - The Travel Chica on

    Sucks that you got scammed. But awesome that you got the photo and reported him to the police and put his photo here.

    I worry sometimes that travel in Latin America has hardened me and made me unwilling to trust others. Even though you may sometimes lose a few bucks, it is probably better to be the type of person willing to help others in need.

    • seba on

      I think so too. I notice that I’m more careful but I’m still easily willing to give money away to strangers in need.

      Unfortunately, they never got this bastard 🙁 He’s a pro who is doing this for years!!!

    • seba on

      That is the easiest way. I should have been more suspicious and listened to my gut instincts. At the end 120 € divided by 3 wasn’t that bad anymore… but it still sucked!

  2. Abby on

    Ugggggh that sucks!!! I agree with Stephanie. We don’t want to get too hardened. 🙁 But that’s awful. I am proud of you for wanting to help!

    • seba on

      As long as it is “only money”! I guess we are ok. And shared by three it wasn’t that much anymore. Still with 40 € I could have bought myself at least one more beer in norway 😛 It’s so expensive up there!

  3. Hogga on

    That’s crazy!!! Sucks, but you can’t help it if you have a heart to help people that create these stories. Horrible because what if that actually happened to someone and no one would help them for fear of a scam…

  4. Erica on

    I would rather be scammed and know that I have an open heart for those truly in need than be mean and ignore people?

    I give you major props for trying to help.

    • seba on

      I know rej… and I agree, I really hope they get what they deserve!!! But I still think I would have done the same and I would still do it!

  5. Stu @ Wheres My Passport on

    I have never heard of this scam before. Its a strange one to say the least becuase all they got was a car full of fuel. However on the plus side the nifty GoPro has captured the priceless moment. Lets hope they get caught.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

  6. What a con! on

    This is incredible. It happened to me at the German Polish border yesterday! So it’s mid 2015 and it’s still happening! I suppose because it’s still working! On chumps like me!

    They were driving, as you say, a Mercedes E class with much the same German number plates and they flagged me down.

    They used the same story about selling the car in Budapest. I had a GPS that said the next petrol station was only seven km away and I told them to drive with me there and I would help them fill up.

    The guy was so smooth and fast talking I was somehow convinced to give them the money on my person. Including for some reason my British pounds.

    It wasn’t that he said he would pay me back, more my desire to help out a fellow motorist. I’ve picked up hitchhikers before without problems.

    They have me the business card with an invalid email address and a necklace and some fake gold rings.

    I hadn’t eaten or slept enough that day. My critical thinking faculties were down. And the fast talking left me very suggestible.

    I was a bit suspicious as it happened so fast. I stopped at that petrol station 7km later and the petrol station owners asked me about it and that’s when I realise I’d been duped.

    Why oh why am I so gullible. I’m embarrassed and angry, too. I pride myself on being helpful but this disgusts me.

    Trust is a funny thing, these con men work on the idea that most people want to be helpful and act in good faith.

    The important thing is to have learned something. In the scheme of things it’s not that expensive for such a lesson, and these are the travel experiences we go traveling to see. Otherwise I’d continue to remain in my naive backpacker bubble, sheltered from the messy world that I only read about. To have experienced it is really something.

    I prefer to be more trusting, and in my home cities I can be. Out on the road though, well it’s open season. Those at the petrol stations making an honest living are lovely people.

    A darker side of human nature on a sunny day. It’s hard for a sheltered person like me to experience this any other way really. And part of the travel experience is to want to another side of the world, even its more unpleasant bits.