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New York, NY - NYPD: Beware of Glasses Scam

Published on: March 29, 2009 03:30 PM
By: NY Daily News
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New York, NY - You’ll never see them coming.

A handful of clever grifters have been scamming unsuspecting passersby in midtown with just a pair of broken glasses, cops warn.

The con artists bump into their mark, flash a pair of prebroken glasses to the ground and then begin angrily demanding cash to pay for the “smashed” specs.

The scam has become so widespread that cops from Manhattan’s Midtown North Precinct put out flyers with the photos of some of the worst scammers - known as “fraudulent accosting recidivists” - for the sheer number of times they have run their schemes.

“The scam is an oldie but a goodie. The victims get flustered and sometimes turn over the cash just to get the suspect to shut up and leave them alone,” a police source said.

Nair (Naim) Jabbar had two pairs of broken eyeglasses in a bag when cops arrested him last month. The ex-con bumped into his latest victim on W. 53rd St. and Fifth Ave., court records show.
“You broke my glasses! You own me $125!” Jabbar, 41, yelled.

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But when his victim asked him to come back to his office to figure out a solution, Jabbar slunk off, court papers said.

Jabbar’s 29-year-old lookout, Jshawn Lewis, had $1,478 in cash in his pockets, police said.

Jabbar has upward of 40 arrests - and more than a dozen convictions for similar scams - so cops expect to see him again.

“They run the scam, get caught, do a short time in jail, come out and do it again,” another police source said. “The only way to break it is to wise people up to the scams, so they don’t get taken.”


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1

 Mar 29, 2009 at 02:37 PM scamCam Says:

That guy should sit for a long time, but its a pretty clever scam.

2

 Mar 29, 2009 at 02:36 PM ely Says:

In this economic times people are creative to find a way to earn money.

3

 Mar 29, 2009 at 02:44 PM robroy560 Says:

Call the police... A few years ago in the burbs someone claimed I hit her car and broker her mirror. It was already broken and I didn't touch her car. So what happened? I told her to call the police and we'll sort it out. She got in her car and drove away. I copied down her license plate number and reported her scam. The cops took a report and nothing happened.

4

 Mar 29, 2009 at 02:50 PM Anonymous Says:

I had it happen to me with a broken bottle of booze I laughed at the guy and he left me alone after some shouting

5

 Mar 29, 2009 at 02:50 PM Anonymous Says:

I was scammed by one guy on 34 st. I was so scared for his anger that I told him I only have $60 and he took it. I was walking months later on 7th ave. And he bumped in to me again trying to scam me but this time Itold him that not again and he started running away.I hope he gets his time

6

 Mar 29, 2009 at 03:09 PM Anonymous Says:

if u own a home with a side walk in front of it . make sure it is paved or if made of cement make sure squares are evenly set. Otherwise you are looking for real lawsuits

7

 Mar 29, 2009 at 04:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
ely Says:

In this economic times people are creative to find a way to earn money.

A creative way to EARN money???????

8

 Mar 29, 2009 at 04:24 PM Eyin tachas eyin Says:

BLIND THEM!!!

9

 Mar 29, 2009 at 04:45 PM Babishka Says:

I was scammed a few years ago by some lady in a parking lot who claimed that I scratched her door when I opened my car door. I looked at the scratch and it was old, so I drove away. The crazy lady got in her car and CHASED ME DOWN through the parking lot. I told her to call police and report me for "dinging" her car, and I drove away again. I never heard from her again.

10

 Mar 29, 2009 at 06:19 PM Shaul in Monsey Says:

Happened to me a few years back, this exact scam - I had just stepped off the Monsey Trails behind Port Authority and was busy Blackberrying when I shouldn't have been - when this tall dude pulled this broken glasses shtick. Funny thing was while I believed him at first, I had exactly $3 on me - and when I showed him the $3 he actually said he'd take it instead of the $200 he originally demanded. So I handed him the $3 and said to him that if he needed to panhandle, he didn't have to lie - as long as he didn't buy drogas. He smiled and laughed and told me us Jews were just too dang smart for him as he walked away.

11

 Mar 29, 2009 at 06:40 PM It's Not Nice Says:

Reply to #10  
Shaul in Monsey Says:

Happened to me a few years back, this exact scam - I had just stepped off the Monsey Trails behind Port Authority and was busy Blackberrying when I shouldn't have been - when this tall dude pulled this broken glasses shtick. Funny thing was while I believed him at first, I had exactly $3 on me - and when I showed him the $3 he actually said he'd take it instead of the $200 he originally demanded. So I handed him the $3 and said to him that if he needed to panhandle, he didn't have to lie - as long as he didn't buy drogas. He smiled and laughed and told me us Jews were just too dang smart for him as he walked away.

Your comment was not nice. It is racially biased.

12

 Mar 29, 2009 at 07:03 PM Anonymous Says:

This happened to me on 8th ave and 38th st a while back, a big black fellow started screaming at me that I bumped into him and broke his glasses. I told him I have no cash and needed his address to send a check. He cursed me and ran away. But it was scary at the time

13

 Mar 29, 2009 at 09:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
It's Not Nice Says:

Your comment was not nice. It is racially biased.

It may be wrong but it's defintly true!

14

 Mar 29, 2009 at 09:27 PM Robert Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

This happened to me on 8th ave and 38th st a while back, a big black fellow started screaming at me that I bumped into him and broke his glasses. I told him I have no cash and needed his address to send a check. He cursed me and ran away. But it was scary at the time

I had the same thing with a tall skinny black guy a coupla' years ago in lower manhattan on John / Fulton Street area. I was scared to death. I stareted to walk away and he followed me for a block. I gave him $ 20.00 and he wasn't happy until I finally got rid of him

15

 Mar 29, 2009 at 09:37 PM Robert Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

This happened to me on 8th ave and 38th st a while back, a big black fellow started screaming at me that I bumped into him and broke his glasses. I told him I have no cash and needed his address to send a check. He cursed me and ran away. But it was scary at the time

With all these scams you have to be very careful. Unfortunately, If you are not diligent enough they can get you. I was accosted a few times even by jewish looking people with similar stuff mainly in the following areas:

Grand Cenrtral Terminal
Broadway and mid-30 streets
Court Street in Brooklyn (Fulton Mall)
and even in Williamsburg. What I do with them is proven with 95 % success. If it doesn't help that you can fargin it to him. You use the same rationale with everybody.

1) Can you spare 1.50 change for a fare ? I have 0.50 and need to get home ? Answer: I have a metrocard. Let's wait for the bus / subway, Lets go into the subway station etc. And I'll swipe you. I never had to swipe
2) I need to go to the LIRR fare costs 18.00 I have only 3.00 can you spare me $ 15.00 ? Note: This guy is nice enough to even give you his address supposedly. Answer: OK Lets go to atlantic avenue dont worry about your 3 bucks. I'll buy you a full fare ticket. In 5 seconds you see the guy vanishing not wanting you to spend so much time.
3) You broke my glasses. Answer: let's go into the nearest cohen optical at the corner. I'l pay for your new frame. Unfprtunately THIS scam cost me some money as at that time I didn't use this eitzah
4) Can you spare me 2.00 for a sandwich ? (these types I get a lot) I tell him to walk with me in the nearest restaurant and he can pick himself whatever he wants. This NEVER cost me a dime so far

Doesnt matter of it is 0.50 cents or 50.00 same rationale usually works all the time. and if the guy is really hungry ar really needs your help then give it to him

16

 Mar 29, 2009 at 10:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Robert Says:

With all these scams you have to be very careful. Unfortunately, If you are not diligent enough they can get you. I was accosted a few times even by jewish looking people with similar stuff mainly in the following areas:

Grand Cenrtral Terminal
Broadway and mid-30 streets
Court Street in Brooklyn (Fulton Mall)
and even in Williamsburg. What I do with them is proven with 95 % success. If it doesn't help that you can fargin it to him. You use the same rationale with everybody.

1) Can you spare 1.50 change for a fare ? I have 0.50 and need to get home ? Answer: I have a metrocard. Let's wait for the bus / subway, Lets go into the subway station etc. And I'll swipe you. I never had to swipe
2) I need to go to the LIRR fare costs 18.00 I have only 3.00 can you spare me $ 15.00 ? Note: This guy is nice enough to even give you his address supposedly. Answer: OK Lets go to atlantic avenue dont worry about your 3 bucks. I'll buy you a full fare ticket. In 5 seconds you see the guy vanishing not wanting you to spend so much time.
3) You broke my glasses. Answer: let's go into the nearest cohen optical at the corner. I'l pay for your new frame. Unfprtunately THIS scam cost me some money as at that time I didn't use this eitzah
4) Can you spare me 2.00 for a sandwich ? (these types I get a lot) I tell him to walk with me in the nearest restaurant and he can pick himself whatever he wants. This NEVER cost me a dime so far

Doesnt matter of it is 0.50 cents or 50.00 same rationale usually works all the time. and if the guy is really hungry ar really needs your help then give it to him

how about you tell them to "get lost", "take a hike", whatever
People like you encourage this garbage. you probably pay the squueegee men to dirty your windows.

17

 Mar 29, 2009 at 10:07 PM moshe klass Says:

Kudos to #15 even if you're straying off topic slightly. I did similar things but not as often. I offered a car ride to a teenager collecting money for a ride to the hospital to visit his mother. He changed his mind.
A guy collecting money for his brother's tombstone. I offered to help if I was involved in the arrangement. Didn't need it.
I did give a guy money to buy medicine for his wife who just gave birth and the Bris was tom. I checked the location and nothing doing or planned.

18

 Mar 29, 2009 at 11:29 PM Robert Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

how about you tell them to "get lost", "take a hike", whatever
People like you encourage this garbage. you probably pay the squueegee men to dirty your windows.

If you tell them get lost they can hit you. Beleive me this is proven 99%. try it out once

19

 Mar 30, 2009 at 06:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
Robert Says:

If you tell them get lost they can hit you. Beleive me this is proven 99%. try it out once

It is all in the way you present yourself.

If you tell them to get lost with confidence, they get lost. If act like a scared rabbit, they want to intimidate you.

Here are some other approaches. They ALL work if you have a confident act:

What? YOUR Glasses? Those are mine. YOU OWE ME $250. Damn! Those were expensive glasses. Give me the money right now, or I call the POLICE!

Or...

My G-D! What an Amateur! Here give me the glasses, and I will show YOU how to do this scam. Learn something from a pro! But, first give me the $150 you got off that last sucker!

Or....

You are under arrest. Hands behind your back, moron, You have the right to.....

Or...

(pulling out your cell phone) Okay! We got him (and name the corner you are on, and start describing him. (look at him and say, "You freeze, Boy") Use derogatory words to describe him.)

-----
Scam artists are some of the least aggressing people. They may put on a good act. But, they fold quickly if you call their bluff.
Also, remember, bullies and bad guys pick on the weak. If you act scared, they can try to intimidate you. If you SHOUT at them to get lost, they will get. If you say it softly... or shaking... it is like saying, "Hit me"... but most still will get lost, as they are not the agressive type.

20

 Mar 30, 2009 at 04:36 AM Anonymous Says:

The way to combat this particular crime, is to carry around a pair of broken glasses in your own pocket, and produce them as well and start screaming at him he owes you money! See how fast he turns tail and finds another victim. Then you can chase him down demanding his money!

21

 Mar 30, 2009 at 01:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
ely Says:

In this economic times people are creative to find a way to earn money.

Somebody should put together a book about every single possible scam to look out for, I personally think there would be at least 5 or ten volumes. Perhaps even an encyclopedia. People think of everything it is unbelievable how sad.

22

 Mar 30, 2009 at 07:17 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Somebody should put together a book about every single possible scam to look out for, I personally think there would be at least 5 or ten volumes. Perhaps even an encyclopedia. People think of everything it is unbelievable how sad.

The number of possible scams is infinite, to match the infinite stupidity of its victims.

Sorry, folks, but one needs to get an education somewhere. This one is a cheap one.

23

 Mar 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

It is all in the way you present yourself.

If you tell them to get lost with confidence, they get lost. If act like a scared rabbit, they want to intimidate you.

Here are some other approaches. They ALL work if you have a confident act:

What? YOUR Glasses? Those are mine. YOU OWE ME $250. Damn! Those were expensive glasses. Give me the money right now, or I call the POLICE!

Or...

My G-D! What an Amateur! Here give me the glasses, and I will show YOU how to do this scam. Learn something from a pro! But, first give me the $150 you got off that last sucker!

Or....

You are under arrest. Hands behind your back, moron, You have the right to.....

Or...

(pulling out your cell phone) Okay! We got him (and name the corner you are on, and start describing him. (look at him and say, "You freeze, Boy") Use derogatory words to describe him.)

-----
Scam artists are some of the least aggressing people. They may put on a good act. But, they fold quickly if you call their bluff.
Also, remember, bullies and bad guys pick on the weak. If you act scared, they can try to intimidate you. If you SHOUT at them to get lost, they will get. If you say it softly... or shaking... it is like saying, "Hit me"... but most still will get lost, as they are not the agressive type.

Or.... Just break out in a Giant SMILE and say, "Oh Great! I just LOVE arresting Idiots like you. Get your hands behind your back...."
They usually just bolt and run.

Or.... Look Angry and say, "Oh Crap! Now I got to arrest you. Who has the time for this? Get your hands behind your back...."
Sometimes they will PAY YOU to let them run away.

24

 Mar 30, 2009 at 11:11 AM techie Says:

I had this done to me last year, I was in the train station on 50th st train station in manhattan and this guy between 18-21 bangs right into me, then starts screaming that I broke his glasses and he's cursing non stop,
I just kept walking and told him if he wanted to then he could try to stop me. he followed me for 2-3 minutes then disappeared. :)

stand up for yourself guys!!

25

 Mar 30, 2009 at 04:02 PM Ben Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

Or.... Just break out in a Giant SMILE and say, "Oh Great! I just LOVE arresting Idiots like you. Get your hands behind your back...."
They usually just bolt and run.

Or.... Look Angry and say, "Oh Crap! Now I got to arrest you. Who has the time for this? Get your hands behind your back...."
Sometimes they will PAY YOU to let them run away.

I cant imagine too many VIN readers can look like a cop, never mind an undercover one for that matter, unless these are the same guys who all just bought guns from the other article!:)

26

 Mar 30, 2009 at 03:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
It's Not Nice Says:

Your comment was not nice. It is racially biased.

can you explain the racism part? I must have missed it....all I read was s/t about a tall dude....

27

 Mar 30, 2009 at 05:55 PM mr613 Says:

I think somone was teaching these guys Bovah Kamah. lol

28

 Apr 02, 2009 at 07:32 PM Anonymous Says:

I actually had this happen to me tonight. I asked for him to pay for my shoes to be fixed which he had stepped on the back of while starting his act. He gave up pretty soon after that.

29

 Jul 02, 2009 at 12:44 PM lk Says:

I had this scam happened to me on 39th Street between Broadway and 5th Ave. I was walking minding my business, and in front of me was this husky looking black guy. I thought I had passed him but apparently, my hand bumped into his left hand and his glasses fell to the ground. I said sorry as he was picking them up and I thought everything was ok, so I kept walking. About a minute later when i crossed over to 5th Avenue, he approaches me and starts to huff and puff like he's about to punch me or worse, and he shows me this ridiculously huge scratch on the glasses. At first, I couldn't believe that the ground caused that big a scratch. And I said I was really sorry because I didn't know if this guy had any intentions. Then he tells me that these glasses cost about $4,200!!! I don't think you can even buy a pair for that much, but in anycase, I offered him $40 just to get him off my case, he said that's not enough. Then I said I'd give him $100, but I only had $70 in my wallet. So he said that I can go to an ATM to get more. Just so things didn't get worse, I went over and got another $40 and gave it to him and apologized again and moved on. Now that I saw this article, I can tell that this guy's a con artist. I hope he goes to hell!

30

 Apr 21, 2010 at 09:48 AM Anonymous Says:

the same happend to me on 86street and lex ave two black guys where walking very slowing becareful they creep up next to you..i pass by him he bumped me just a bit and droped a pair of glasses on the side walk and said i broke his glasses saying its costing him 200 dollars to fix i walked away don,t give him shitt! theses two guys are geting every thing thats comeing to them and then some

31

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