Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Italian Suit Scam comes to Doha

See if this is familiar to you . . .


Today I was out for a walk in the neighbourhood when a car pulls up to ask me for directions. The two guys said they were Italian, from Milan, and were in Doha for a fashion show (really? Doha doesn't have a lot of those.) and needed directions to their hotel. I gave them directions and they were so grateful he gave me a business card and wanted to give me a "gift". They had a lot of extra high-end designer suits in the trunk, and could sell some to me at a huge discount. They said they were flying out tonight and didn't want to take the suits back with them as it would be subject to customs tax.

I said no thanks and got out of there fast.

Why, because it's the Italian Suit Scam! The following links tell how it works (you're paying a lot of money for cheap knock-offs)


http://scam-detector.com/face-to-face-scams/italian-fashion-man


http://gothamist.com/2014/06/05/armani_jacket_scam.php


Looks like they were in the UAE a while ago.

http://7days.ae/looks-like-the-dodgy-suit-sellers-are-back-again



I guess the scammers get around, the name on the business card was practically the same as the second link (last name on the card was Mario). The business card had a Hotmail address -- another red flag that this person does not work for a well-known fashion company.


So spread the word that Italian Suit Scammers are wandering around Doha now.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought I was sensible enough not to fall for scams, but I was conned a couple of years ago in the Mega Mart car park by these guys. Only one this time, but with the same story. It started with 'Can you give me directions to the airport' followed by 'Can I give you a gift'.

The suits come out 'I don't want to take these samples back as I will have to pay duty' and then 'I was hoping to buy and iPhone for my wife at the Duty Free shop, but I don't have enough cash'. Then the free gift becomes 'these Emporio suits are worth $1000 each.' 'I have three in your size. Perhaps you give me 2000 QAR so I can buy the phone.'

I wasn't prepared to spend on three suits, but one seemed a good deal so I offered 400QR, which he took and gave me the suit.

I began to have doubts about the whole transaction on the way home from Mega Mart. The first thing I did was search the internet, and sure enough, the scam was reported from across the Gulf and elsewhere in the world. At that point I felt really stupid.

It's not a bad suit for the price, but obviously not what it says on the label and I guess I probably overpaid. And the ridiculous thing is that I rarely wear suits, so it has hung in the wardrobe since then.

You have been warned!

Glen McKay said...

Sorry to hear they got some money out of you. I figure the suit is worth less than QR 400 or else they wouldn't have accepted the offer.

The real issue is that if they keep getting money out of people they'll keep doing this scam. I wish I had taken their license plate number but I wasn't 100% sure it was a scam. Something in the back of my mind that I had heard of this before so I Googled it when I got home. Maybe a couple of years ago they approached a friend or something, I can't remember.

Derryrhumba said...

I was approached by them today in Hyatt plaza. Same story almost, they were from Milan, looking for airport and we're having a suit exhibition. Have the car registration but wondering if it's worth trying to report!

Glen McKay said...

I think you should report it to the police, I wished I had remembered to get their license plate. On the DohaNews website they reported about this a couple of weeks ago and many commentators there had been approached by them. I think one guy was trying to get people together to report the scam to the police, if enough people complain the police will hopefully do something. Go to Doha News (dohanews.co) and look at the comments in their article.

Anonymous said...

OMG, a friend of mine told me the exact same story almost one year ago, it was at the Radisson/Ramada parking lot, they were 2 guys, they were asking for directions to Villagio and he wanted to buy an iPhone for his girlfriend!

Hope he's not too upset when I tell him

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