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To not let a stranger on the streets borrow my mobile phone?

(79 Posts)
Whitlandcarm Mon 19-Jun-17 19:27:38

I was out in a city that I don't know on saturday. It's a snooty city known as a sanctuary for rich londoners etc, so obviously the vast majority of people were very smartly dressed. (Not of course that matters)

Anyways, I was walking with my partner and we were approached by a man and a woman who looked a bit er dodgey if that's the best way I can describe them confused

She asked if either of us had a phone she could borrow for a minute.... my partner apoligised and said we'd left it at the hotel

I had been carrying my phone in my hand at my side, so tried to slip it into my pocket discretely

But she spotted it and shouted annoyed at us with "he says as you slip a phone into your pocket" angry

I don't know whether I feel guilty as she genuinely could've been in need and a minute on the phone costs nothint these days. I sure know I'd hope someone would help me out in a time of need.

But then the other half of me is saying, what if they were to run off with the phone? (Iphone- so not a cheap throw away)
Could they not ask the museum/cafes/shops/hotels around the square to use their phone? There was even a red telephone box nearby.

Where we being unreasonably selfish? Overly cautious or right in out reaction?

fuzzyfozzy Mon 19-Jun-17 19:28:38

I would have done the same, not sure it makes it right 😁

FanaticalFox Mon 19-Jun-17 19:28:48


harderandharder2breathe Mon 19-Jun-17 19:29:43

Yanbu, I wouldn't either

If you felt bad you could've given her some change for the phone box (do they even still take coins actually?) but no obligation to do so

Aquamarine1029 Mon 19-Jun-17 19:30:18

Not a chance in hell I'd hand my phone over.

NellieFiveBellies Mon 19-Jun-17 19:30:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VimFuego101 Mon 19-Jun-17 19:31:01

YANBU. I wouldn't have wanted to risk it either.

derenstar Mon 19-Jun-17 19:31:25

Why did you think they looked dodgy?

purits Mon 19-Jun-17 19:31:58

I wouldn't physically give them the phone because they might run off with it. I might make the call for them, though, unless it sounded like a premium rate number.

MotherOfBleach Mon 19-Jun-17 19:32:01

It's a well known scam round these parts. You kindly hand over your phone in good faith and then they scarper.

I'd only do it if it was a parent with a distressed child or an elderly person in clear need of assistance. A young, healthy adult - not a chance in Hell.

Trb17 Mon 19-Jun-17 19:32:52

Nope. Especially as they'd need you to unlock it so they could use it. No way would I hand it over.

CookieLady Mon 19-Jun-17 19:32:59

I have let a stranger borrow my phone but my gut feeling wasn't that they were dodgy. I don't think you were being unreasonable based on how you felt.

AperolOnIce Mon 19-Jun-17 19:33:06

Why did you think they looked dodgy?

Not sure that matters really. We are born with instinct embedded and popular wisdom seems to suggest it's there for a reason.

abbsisspartacus Mon 19-Jun-17 19:33:52

I did to a child once (early teen) she had lost her mom and asked if she could use my phone I handed it over then thought twice about it 😂I would have thought twice if it were an adult though

shinynewusername Mon 19-Jun-17 19:33:57

YANBU though it would have been better just to say, "Sorry, no" politely, than to lie.

If somebody had an emergency, of course I would make a call for them but handing your phone over to dodgy-looking strangers is going too far.

SweetChickadee Mon 19-Jun-17 19:34:25


BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 19-Jun-17 19:36:10


IamScarfaceClaw Mon 19-Jun-17 19:44:45

It's a your username your location? Could be identifying if you post regularly and also discuss things with friends etc.....

pigsDOfly Mon 19-Jun-17 19:44:52

I obviously have no idea how much your iphone costs OP but I'm assuming a few hundred £££. I doubt anyone would just take a large amount of cash out of their pocket and hand it over if asked by a complete stranger so why would anyone expect you to do so with an expensive phone.

No is a perfectly reasonable reply to such a request.

WorraLiberty Mon 19-Jun-17 19:45:39


A couple of years ago, a young woman came running out of a side street, literally screaming "OMG my Mum! My Mum! Can you lend me your phone a minute? My Mum's just been involved in a car crash!!"

I said "Fuck me, your Mum's a shit driver then. She did the same thing twice yesterday and 3 times the day before, according to people in the local Facebook group. Oh and yes, the police have been informed".

She just looked at me and ran off.

She was still pulling the same scam a couple of days later, but in a different part of the borough.

KungFuPandaWorksOut16 Mon 19-Jun-17 19:48:17

worra 😂 bet you took the wind right out of her sails.

WorraLiberty Mon 19-Jun-17 19:49:09

She actually looked confused KungFu until it clearly dawned on her, she'd been rumbled grin

Whitlandcarm Mon 19-Jun-17 19:50:22

Okay good, thanks for the replies all! I'll make sure not to even doubt myself in future.

It was just gut instinct that they seemed dodgey ee seemed to be loitering

I don't live there no, thanks for the concern scarfaceclaw... just a special place to me for reasons nobody knows grin

Whitlandcarm Mon 19-Jun-17 19:50:49

That's hilarious worra!

leighdinglady Mon 19-Jun-17 19:51:03

I did this one and the woman called her drug dealer to ask for "one dark, one white!" - right in front of me. Bold as brass! Obviously thinking I wouldn't understand. I called the police immediately and gave them her dealers number. Cheeky mare

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