The con basically works like this. The scammer targets an unsuspecting person to bump into on the street, drops and breaks a purportedly expensive item -- in these recent cases, a fake pricey bottle of wine -- then blames the victim and demands compensation. "Hey! You broke my super-expensive bottle of wine!" (Shows him/her receipt proving super-expensive cost of wine.) "You owe me sixty bucks! Now pay up!"
According to police, the latest incidents have targeted Asian tourists:
Tourist-targeting scam artists have started going BYOB, police warn, bumping into pedestrians, dropping purportedly pricey bottles of wine to shatter on the sidewalk, then demanding compensation.Don't fall for the broken bottle scam! Tell those fools to chill, and you're not giving them a dime. Then hand them a Penny Saver coupon for BevMo and tell them to get lost. More here: Scam Artists Targeting Asian Tourists in Wine-Bottle Ruse, Police Warn.
The crooks often brandish receipts that "prove" the wine's value, said Inspector Timothy Beaudette, commander of Midtown North Precinct.
"They drop it and they got a receipt and they say, 'You broke my wine bottle. Give me $60!'" he said at a recent precinct community council meeting.
"It happens to the tourists, particularly they seem to pick on Asians," Beaudette said. "I don't know why. Nine out of 10 are young Asian men."