Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Street Repair Scam

Hard at work - apparently - filling in a pothole in Bogotá's Samper Mendoza neighborhood.
Perhaps you've seen one of these guys, toiling selflessly and interminably filling in potholes for the common good.
Here comes a car!

Unfortunately, what you saw was probably a scam. The guy was likely only pretending to work, to squeeze donations from sympathetic motorists.

I've also seen these guys at 'work' sweeping pedestrian bridges. One time, I walked past one of these public-minded individuals sweeping away on a pedestrian overpass. On my way home hours later I passed him again, standing in the same place, sweeping the exact same spot.

It's a bit sad to think of the good people handing over money, even if it's just a bit, to these scammers. But perhaps the good feeling the donor gets is worth more than the pesos.

And if the city wants to shut down these scams, I'll suggest a simple method: Actually maintain the streets and pedestrian ways.

'How about donating a couple thousand pesos, man?'

Check out also the spilled food trick.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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