The Old Fiddle

The Old Fiddle

Dog in the bar, prize dog

The Setup
A man walks into a bar, he doesn't look very 'well to do'. He orders a drink and realises he can't afford to pay for it. He says to the barman he will go get the money, but leave his fiddle as a deposit. He exits and leaves the fiddle behind.

He eventually comes back and goes to pay for his drink. The barman being a nice guys offers to buy his fiddle from him, and for a good price. They barter for a while, as the man doesn't really want to sell it, but decides in the end he needs to. The barman gives him a whopping £300.

The Con
So where is the con, after all the barman offered to buy the fiddle for that price. You may have guessed that the fiddle is worth nothing. But why did the barman offer to buy it in the first place. Well to answer that we have to find out what happened after the man left, but before he returned.

Enter con artist number two. They enter the bar and notice the fiddle. They ask if it is the barman's. After learning it isn't his, the con man leaves their business card telling the barman they will buy this fiddle off of the owner for £2000 and leaves.

When the first con man returns, the greedy barman offers to buy the fiddle at a hugely reduced price. Once the purchase is made and the man leaves with his money, he calls the number on the card which rings a disconnected number.

This scam can be preformed in any communal location, and with any object. Famously done with a dog in a bar.

The Score
Depending on how greedy the barman is, anywhere between £50 - £500

How to avoid being scammed
This scam works on the greed of the barman. Morale of the story, don't be greedy.