Thursday, 23 May 2024
WorldA hitchhiker roams France with complete impunity thanks to a perfect scam

A hitchhiker roams France with complete impunity thanks to a perfect scam

Thanks to a perfectly crafted scam, this hitchhiker has been scamming many motorists for decades. Beware!

If certain scams have become very common, such as telephone scams both by call and by SMS, or online scams via email for example, or even those at home, others are more original. It’s hard to think, for example, that it is still possible in 2024 to be scammed by an individual hitchhiking on the side of the road!

However, it is thanks to this old practice that a man has allegedly scammed hundreds of motorists on the roads of France for several years. Many testimonies from drivers tell how they lent money to a hitchhiker without ever getting reimbursed. It is often only too late that the victims learn that they have faced “Max the Swiss”. A simple Internet search reveals the extent of this hitchhiker’s misdeeds. Answering to the name of Max, Claude or Gérard, the scammer is now 80 years old according to various testimonies. He would have applied the same modus operandi for decades.

“Max the Swiss” always presents himself as a businessman or a doctor (now retired) whose car or wallet has been stolen. It is thanks to this story that the hitchhiker manages to attract the sympathy of his victims and convince them to lend him money. Promising to repay the sum, sometimes up to several hundred euros, the retired man communicates false contact details to the drivers who of course never receive the money lent.

As indicated by BFMTV, this scammer was arrested and tried before the Brive-la-Gaillarde court in Corrèze in 2009. However, he received no sentence because the courts considered that the money had been lent voluntarily. motorists. Therein lies the hitchhiker’s modus operandi. Thanks to a false and touching story, the latter does not break any laws by simply accepting the money offered by the victims. This explains why the majority of drivers ultimately did not file a complaint due to lack of real reason. As Alain Aeschlimann, Swiss consul in Montpellier, indicates in a France 2 report in 2012, Max “accepts that we lend him money. So from a criminal point of view, there is absolutely nothing which may give rise to prosecution.”

According to testimonies collected by BFMTV, the scammer continues to travel the roads of France despite his advanced age. The last known action of the hitchhiker dates back to December 29, 2023. As the media indicates, a woman named Nadège would have crossed his path in Ambazac in Haute-Vienne. She recounted her misadventure to Le Populaire du Center: “He told me that he had just come out of 53 days of intensive care in the hospital because of Covid, that he had his things stolen and that he had to returned home to Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin). He was coughing and had difficulty breathing. He really saddened me.” The man in question claims his name is Isaac Roven and presents himself as a retired urologist who worked for years in Strasbourg.

The victim added: “He told me that his wife, who suffers from cancer, and his daughter were in Israel. He showed me photos. We talked for a while, and then I I didn’t question his story.” She then decides to buy him a train and bus ticket to Strasbourg and takes money from him. The scammer leaves her his phone number and promises to reimburse her. It was only afterwards that Nadège was seized with doubt and understood what had happened to her after quick research on the Internet. She discovered numerous testimonies similar to hers… “Max the Swiss” continues, him, his way.

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