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The real Hustle – The Window Tap Scam

Posted by Awareness

The Definition: The Window Tap Scam is a simple case of misdirection, the same as any amateur magician might use. While you are focusing your attention on some mundane task, your valuable items are being secreted away by one of the scam artists.

The Mark: Any careless individual who is not paying proper attention to the location of his or her valuables. An item that you cannot see, or are not touching, is grist for the hustler’s mill.

The Scam: One of our light-fingered scam artists has noticed a young woman at a café, who has foolishly hung her pocketbook on the back of her chair. She cannot see it; she cannot feel it; and very soon, she will not have it. This mark will pay the price for her trusting nature.


After casing out the scene, our dip in the café notifies his young female accomplice, stationed outside the café and down the street, that the mark is set up for the hustle. He positions himself behind her, and waits for the misdirection to begin.

Having gotten the call, or the text message, our pretty hustler begins her journey along the sidewalk, looking for all the world like a busy lady striding purposefully towards an appointment or a meeting.

She walks briskly along, but then suddenly stops in front of the café and taps sharply on the window, garnering the attention of the folks inside. Looking directly at the unsuspecting mark seated at the table, the scammer asks an innocent question through the glass about directions, or perhaps the time of day. In the few moments it takes the victim to answer, Hustler #1 (remember, he is inside the café sitting behind the mark) confidently walks behind the victim’s chair, lifts the pocketbook, and continues out of the café to blend in with the pedestrian traffic on the street.

Who knows how many minutes will go by before the mark finishes her coffee or tea and reaches for her purse? By the time she discovers the theft, our hustlers are long gone in search of their next victim – a Good Samaritan who will be rewarded not with a thank you, but with a theft.

The Lesson Learned: It’s the most basic one of all. Keep your valuable possessions in your hands when you can, but if you cannot – always keep them within sight. When a hustler is keeping a closer eye on your pocketbook than you are, it will very soon belong to him.

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