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Often on the Indian road, most commonly in places with a lot of traffic, men, women, children moving around with a pitiful face, pleading the passerby for money. Hunger or cold or whatever the reason maybe, the sight of them is so much unpleasant that even a man like me can be great victims. Since the time I started getting my pocket money, to about a year ago when I realized the great beggar’s mafia that seems to be ongoing, I was a victim of this scam. I always handed spare change to almost any beggar I saw. At times I even gave larger sums of money to children whom I have a great affection towards.

The Plot:

The beggar’s mafia often goes in crowded areas. The ideal scene would be outside shopping areas, train stations, bus stops, etc. Trying to appeal to the general public to give them money by carrying and showing the most horrific scenes.

The Con’s Play:

This is often very easy and hard to catch. A Con normally manages to put a child with a disgusting looking person (no offence but often I never see the similarity between the child and their parent, probably because the kid was recently kidnapped maybe?). There were times when reports were of beggars carrying dead babies(SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE?). There is only one word to describe it – DISGUSTING. But if you think this was the only extent to which these mafias go, you are gravely mistaken. They also run the Shemale/Gay begging strategy. These Shemale/Gay begging strategy doesn’t target the “human conscious and pity for human life” but rather, the “fear and society’s disgust towards it” to extort money. This generally happens in trains and traffic signals.

The Story of a Girl:

So I was here at a tailor shop. While my mom gave her clothes for stitching(classic ladies, taking a day or two to get their work done), I stood outside and I was watching a beggar kid take help from a fairly well groomed and decent looking girl for counting the money he gained. To my utter shock and surprise, she separated the money into 100, 100, 100, 300. Being the usual myself, I approached the girl and asked what she was trying to do with this much money of the beggar. While she looked up, I could see the shocked expression of some random stranger coming up to her and asking her this question. But as she looked up, I smiled and offered her to join me for a cup of coffee in the near by cafe. However, hats off to the classic Indian Girl answer that saved my money, I was offered a seat next to this pretty girl and she continued to explain in Hindi,”I feel pity for these kids, but this is how it has to go. 100 for the policemen, 100 for him, 100 for their clothes(CLOTHES? YES CLOTHES! A BEGGAR’S CLOTHES) and 300 for keeping this place. For these children to keep in this location, they need to pay a few people. You might be thinking very low of me but this location is good for them and their families, and I am trying to help them.” At that instance the kid responds,”Jhoot mat bolo didi(Do not like Elder Sister)”. To which she suddenly gets up (in embarrassment) and says she had to leave and leaves.

The Victim’s Play:

As much as the victims being the beggars, we ourselves are also victims of this scam. However, the only reasonable thing I can think of to do is, AVOID PAYING THE BEGGARS. If the source of income for these thugs and goons are cut off from this type of scam, we can probably see these kids do some honest work and gain money. It is classic entrepreneurship lesson. If the business fails, the business will close and the workers switch jobs.

Cop Gonna fine

The very first trick and very often employed by small organized con groups. I would call this the great Indian Con Cop.

Plot:

The trick is very simple, dress up as a Traffic Police, station yourself on a somewhat isolated road where you know not many cops would bypass. The target location would be ideal if it weren’t on a straight road, rather the street corners what would enable easy getaways and help in catching a lot of violators of rules.

The Con’s Play:

Study:
The very first duty of the con men would be to set up a perimeter of target area. It would be appropriate to consider a higher number of target locations, say about 7-10. Each location must be scouted for police vehicle movement over the week and a proper amount of police patrols in the area must be noted for each day. It can be assumed it might be the similar schedule every week. Once this is done, you can map down your “heat” time(more possibility of cops like mid-day or early evenings) and your “con” time(Early Morning, Lunch Time).

Position:
An ideal group of con men would have a team of 6 each one paired up and deployed at scouting distances. Only the pair in the middle are the one with the maximum smooth talking people who are the best to convince the victims to pay them a bribe(Or rather be convinced to letting the victim go with a small bribe), it would be eminent these two do not show them looking for signals from the two scout groups. At the two ends will be the scouts, already mounted on the bikes, ready to signal and get away in case of a approaching cop.

The Con:
Con man makes you believe you have made a mistake. No matter what. If there is a slightest hint of a under confident driver or a smallest signs of the victim getting afraid by seeing the policemen, the con men know you are hiding something. They would generally do a stress test by waving randomly at vehicles in the air, if you see that and get stuck, you are in for good. No matter what papers you carry, you are bound to be fined as the con men would eventually turn up something or the other against you, all because you are afraid.

Con’s Reward:
The collection in one target location can easily see more than 100 “violators” in a hour, giving upto 2,000Rs if each violator paid a bribe of 20Rs.

The Victim’s Play:

The most easy way to be safe is driving without a guilt. How can this be achieved? Well, do not break the rules.
However, you need to additionally, avoid eye contact on the road with the cops. Remember the Indian rules, they can’t stop you unless you break a rule like not wearing a helmet or over speeding or breaking an apparent traffic law.
The story is different after you are stopped. One you are stopped, look for the “ham” radio. Con men generally leave this out because it is costly to get ham radios unless this is a repeating offender for ages or plan to repeat offending and conning people for more than a mere month.
Ask for Sub-Inspector or Inspector. Remember, not even the head constable can give you a fine without them.
If your suspicion is overwhelming, there is no harm in calling up Traffic Police helpline (103 ), and asking them for verification directly.
However, remember if you are calling the bluff on these fake cops, there are chances they’d go violent and things could turn ugly. It is best you get the smallest chance to getaway and take it otherwise you would be out numbered by a gang of criminals.
Also, it does not harm to know the rules and regulations and how much fine can be charged for each violation that you come into. Remember, receipts given might be fake as well.
Finally, always keep your smartphone handy and click a couple of pics of the cops when you get the chance and later find out about them.

FACT: At times, even real cops intend to take bribes in public. They are nothing better than another con man. Get this into the notice of the authority.