Beware of the “Ketchup Trick”

Ketchup (from Unsplash)Happy New Year! To kick off 2017, a tip about a new scam:

The “ketchup (or mustard) trick” is popular among scammers internationally. But it looks like some of these scammers are coming to the United States to try to make a fast buck—though it didn’t work out that way for four Colombians as they got busted in the Miami airport after trying to flee their New York City victims.

, “The scam typically works like this — one member of the crew keeps an eye on a bank branch, looking for someone withdrawing a large sum of cash. The thieves coordinate with cell phones, and someone squirts ketchup — or, in this case, a brown make-up like substance — on the victim. Then, another member of the crew moves in to offer help, cleaning the victims out while cleaning them up.”

In the New York City example, the police know that the scammers robbed at least two men: a 52-year-old man for $3,000 and an 80-year-old for $350. .



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I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

4 Comments on "Beware of the “Ketchup Trick”"

  1. That’s not a scam. It’s a pickpocketing method used for centuries.

  2. Not ketchup, but warm coffee/milk. All of a sudden something warm and wet hit me in the side/back of my head. Immediately there was a man there wanting to help me clean up and go across the street where his friend could help me. We refused and quickly determined it was not a pigeon with traveler’s diarrhea! We had just gotten off a train after a day trip out of Barcelona in March 2014.

  3. Linda Offenberg | January 2, 2017 at 11:16 am | Reply

    A similar scam has been going on in Buenos Aires for a number of years. Instead of using ketchup, they use an awful smelling liquid. Their target is tourists.

  4. This post was a great eye-opener! Thanks Johnny for sharing!

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