Brown Line 3 Card Monte

So yesterday my friends and I jumped on a Brown Line train at Belmont heading north and walked into a screaming fest between two women talking about how “I told him to give me my $40!” and “I seen those same guys doing that last week!” and “Aint no way I aint gettin’ my $40!!” They got off at the next stop and we noticed that a slightly calmer bench of people were in the process of calling 911 which definitely sparked our interest, what had we just missed? Turns out we’d missed a classic Three Card Monte scam and the guys doing it had just walked off the train, after taking quite a bit of cash from people they were able to talk into playing with them. We talked shortly with the other train raiders about how bad that was and illegal and all that but as we were walking off the train we started talking to ourselves – sure con game are illegal, no question about it, but in 2007 is there anyone who doesn’t know Three Card Monte is a scam and completely unwinnable? I guess there are but who thinks it’s a good idea to gamble on a train for crying out loud? These folks didn’t deserve to be scammed, no one does, but I can’t quite shake the “wow, that is the oldest most cliched trick in the book and these guys found someone to fall for it – social darwinism at work” feeling.

3 Comments so far

  1. Erica (unregistered) on April 30th, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

    I see those guys on the train constantly, and I am ALWAYS amazed at the people who get suckered in to play. I totally agree with you–who DOESN’T know they are going to lose money? But yet some poor schmo always buys into it…

  2. Neil (unregistered) on April 30th, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

    I run into the scam on the Red line once in a while. I go up to the guy with the bottle-caps (there are three in the team), and calmly, politely, tell him, “Not in this car.” He might not get too irate; he might call me a faggot (the first insult, almost invariably; I have several answers by now, beginning with, “You wish!” or “In your dreams!”), but I’ve never been worried for my safety. They know whose side the cops would be on.
    After more or less theater, the crew gets off the train. Either they jump to the next car, or wait for the next train, but I’ve done my bit.
    It’s pretty easy.

  3. K. (unregistered) on April 30th, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

    With all the signs on the train about reporting suspicious activity and whatnot, they can’t post a sign about this being a scam? I mean, one would think everyone would know by now, but obviously people don’t.

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