As supplied by Tez:
I just got done ALMOST getting conned by Elliot not far from the Boston Children's Hospital.
I actually bought his story about a flat tire and he added in he had a sick son waiting in the car for him to drive him to the hospital. "You're really helping out my son, not me, and I appreciate it." I ended up taking down his info (I mean, he gave me his name right off his Mass ID and even his real cell number, I called it, it rang!)and gave him the requested $60. He walked away and I returned to the papers I was going over. And then I remembered just at that moment the article I had read in the Metro a few months back. I could be mistaken, but I think the article said he has been spotted doing this around the Boston area for 18 years now.
I ran after him and said "Hey Elliot, I'd just like to walk with you to your car." I asked for the money back and he handed it over without a fight. He responded by saying he was headed in the other direction to look for a cab because he hadn't seen any on his walk from where his car was. "OK, but let's go back to your car first, I'd like to see your son." He comes up with 20 excuses for why that can't happen. I gave him an ultimatum, let me go with him or find someone else to ask for help, and at this point he really starts emotionally blackmailing me about how can I be so cold hearted as to turn my back on a desperate father trying to help his son.
As I turn to walk away the cocksucker says "And you call yourself a good Samaritan? How could you!" Yes, that is a verbatim quote. God, I wish I had punched the duplicitous parasite in his face. But I figured there was always a non-negligible chance he just had the terrible fortune of being a good match for the con-man described in the paper and actually did need help. So I got my money back and split. As soon as I got back to my office, I googled his name and here we are.
I called the Boston Police department, told them "Hey, I found the con-man they wrote about in the Metro! I've even got his phone number if you want to set up a sting or something" and the officer on the phone said "What do you want me to do about it? He hasn't broken any laws if people give him their money of their own free will. Lying isn't a crime, unless it's under oath." It's nice to see our tax dollars go to the salaries of such fine upstanding public servants.
OK, sorry if that was a bit long winded. Getting to the useful bits, here is some info that might actually be helpful if anyone wants to find this scumbag.
-Elliot was very short, maybe 5'5.
-I actually think 50s is a little old. I had him at around maybe 45. Then again, maybe I was just influenced by his story about being a father caring for a sick child; 50-something just seemed old for someone bringing his son to the Children's Hospital.
-He was well dressed in what looked like an expensive leather jacket, a dress shirt, wire framed glasses, slacks, a leather belt and dress shoes.
-Our encounter took place maybe 8 blocks from the Boston Children's Hospital. I am in my 20s and was sitting on a park bench going over some papers when he approached me. Apparently he mainly targets college students. I am also part Japanese and apparently he targets Asians frequently.
-When I told him I wanted my money back, he actually gave it back right away without a fight but asked that I delete his cell phone number from my contacts since now he didn't think he could trust me. Nice use of deflection, I'll give him that. But since a bunch of people kept his number, maybe we—the concerned citizens interested in putting the prick out of business—can figure out something to do with it. Like I said, I managed to hold on to my money but that doesn't mean I don't want to nail the creep. Since the cops won't do anything about him, I guess it's up to us. I don't really know what we could do though without breaking the law ourselves (which is not the only thing I'm tempted to break; for instance, what passes for Elliot's spine). But hey, let's come up with something.