Highway rest stop scams and swindles


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North America » United States » Kentucky
June 18th 2008
Published: June 19th 2008
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Three card MonteThree card MonteThree card Monte

The cards would be bent in the middle and there would be bends on the corner, but I just couldn't do that to my deck.
This is the second time that this has happened to us. The first time was last year in southern Indiana at a rest stop on I-65 and today at a rest stop along I-75 in northern Kentucky. Both times there was an urgent knock at the door. The only time George left the coach was the first time, so we can’t be certain it was the same.

It starts with an urgent knock at the door. There is one man standing outside. He’s nice and friendly and has an air of urgency about him. We’ve heard the following lines:
“Michigan, Michigan you‘ve got to see this. Come with me.”
“Do you have a CB? Have you seen the news? The RV that was on the news is at the other end of the parking lot. Come on and see.”
“Is you husband home? I need to show him something about the tire in the back.”
I’m certain there are dozens of lines to entice people to go with him to the scam, and he uses whichever he thinks is appropriate to the person who answers his knock. Today when we declined the first invitation, it was a while later and there was a different knock and a different reason to go out of our coach.

The one time George went, he was taken to a game of Three Card Monte in the parking lot. They had gotten several people to go down there. This is his recount of the event:
There was a man dealing three card Monte. He was giving away the winning location. There was no way to lose! (Yeah Right!) While some bystanders were urging me to play, one man asked me to hold his money. I wasn’t born yesterday! I walked away quickly. The end.

Both days I noticed several people heading back to their vehicles or trucks and the atmosphere of a carnival quickly dissipating. It seems like a great way to have a mobile scam. They can swindle some money and be back on the highway in a short period of time. Be warned….don’t play…you can’t win!!!!

For more info on Three Card Monte just do a search or check out the following websites:

http://www.pagat.com/misc/monte.html

http://people.howstuffworks.com/question590.htm

http://www.goodtricks.net/three-card-monte.html


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20th August 2008

Thanks for sharing this info
I would not expect to find this kind of thing going on in a rest area, thanks for the warning! We visited Kentucky ages ago and had a great time at all the historical sites. Maybe now that Mikes retired we'll travel again. Enjoy your trip, I'll be looking for pictures.
12th April 2013

3 card monte scam at Ohio Rest Stop
I feel so stupid but the con men got to me at the east bound Ohio rest stop on I-70 just west of Columbus Ohio. It's a beautiful rest stop and I had pulled in for a quick break for me and my little dog. As I was walking my dog this guy comes up and say hey that trucker over there just won it big at the casino and he's giving away $100 bills to folks stopping at the rest stop. I told they guy I didn't want any of they guy's money but he said well at least go congratulate him on his big win. I figured what could it hurt. When I got over by the semi, there's the "big winner" and two other guys. The "big winner" gave a $100 bill to each of the other two guys and then threw down a piece of cardboard and started the 3 card monte scam. Of course it was easy to pick the winner and he gave more money to the "winners". Then he gave me a $100 dollar bill and I told him I didn't want his money but just wanted to congratulate him on his big win. But he insisted I take the money. As things progressed, he said he was just having a little fun giving away some of the money and said, look, I'll give you double whatever amount you have in your wallet. So stupidly I open my wallet and within the blink of an eye he's high tailing it out of there and his three accomplices are stepping between us still acting as if they lost their money too. At that point I finally realized that all 4 of the guys were working together. I don't think it was actually truckers who pulled the scam, I think it was probably local con artists preying on tourists passing through. I did stop at the next highway patrol office I could find to report it. I don't think they will catch the scammers but I just hope other travelers will be aware this kind of stuff is going on in the state rest areas.

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