An Edmonton man is warning other would-be Good Samaritans after he says he was ripped off trying to help a woman he thought was in trouble.
Keegan Gibson says a woman approached him on Friday near Jasper Avenue.
According to Gibson, the woman said her van was broken and she was asking for money to pay for a tow truck. She even gave him what she said was her husband’s phone number to prove everything was on the up-and-up.
"It's really cold, you know, she's an older lady ... so I said 'OK, I'll give you $20."
At her request, Gibson then handed over another $20 to help pay for a taxi home.
However, when he returned to the spot where her van had been parked a few minutes later, both the supposedly broken-down vehicle and the woman were gone.
"That's the moment I realized that this maybe wasn't the smartest thing," said Gibson.
He then tried to reach her at the phone number she had provided – but was met with an automatic message saying the customer was unavailable.
Gibson later searched the phone number online and found he was not the first person to be taken in by the alleged fraudster.
"I'd found another five or six people citing that exact phone number, saying they had been essentially scammed."
Gibson says he went to police for help, but was told they couldn't do anything because he gave the money voluntarily.
"I felt like I guess my generosity had been played a little bit. I felt like a bit of a sucker," he said sheepishly.
Now, he is trying to spread the word about the apparent scam in the hopes that others will not be taken in.