Today, while in Nanning, I almost fell victim to a scam on the airport shuttle bus.
- Date: May 25, 2020 (morning)
- Location: Train Station <=> Wuxu Airport, Airport Shuttle Bus Stop
The general situation was that an older lady pretending to be a ticket seller stopped me and claimed that the bus for this trip had already left early due to being full. She then used other excuses to increase my anxiety and tried to convince me to carpool in order to achieve her goal of scamming me.
Here are the steps of the scam:
- Creating the illusion of missing the bus to make passengers anxious: The lady pretending to be a salesperson, referred to as Lady 1B, claimed that the bus was full and had already left. She said we would have to wait for the next one.
- Using information asymmetry to intensify anxiety: Lady 1B repeatedly emphasized that if we waited for the next bus, it would take an hour and a half to get to the airport (when in reality it only takes forty minutes). She also emphasized that due to strict inspections during the pandemic, the check-in process would take longer and it would be easy to miss the flight.
- Presenting a choice (beginning the scam): Once the anxiety was created, a carpool driver, referred to as Driver 2B, came in to play along and convinced passengers to carpool in order to achieve their goal.
How I saw through the scam:
- I arrived at the airport shuttle bus stop seven to eight minutes early (my first time there).
- Lady 1B was standing at the front of the bus, dressed like a ticket seller. She told me that the bus was full and had already left, and her reasons seemed reasonable, so I almost believed her.
- She kept asking about my boarding time and mentioned that if I took the next bus, it would take an hour and a half to get to the airport, and the security check during the pandemic would take even longer. At this point, I started to see through their scheme because it didn't match the information I had.
- Then, a man, referred to as Uncle 2B, came over and suggested carpooling. The two of them collaborated to convince me. Despite my repeated refusals, they lowered the price from 70 to 50. At this point, I had already seen through their scheme.
People who are easily targeted:
- Elderly people and children who are not familiar with these scams.
- People who are rushing to catch a flight by taking the airport shuttle bus. If they are delayed by these scammers, they might actually miss the bus.
PS. The "B" in the picture stands for "Bitch" because they truly are bitches.
This behavior is shameful and malicious. After getting on the bus, I wanted to turn around and give her a piece of my mind, but unfortunately, they had already disappeared. As I leave Nanning, this experience has lowered my impression of the city.