Hello my friend …
That would be the opening line for many hustlers and con men and it typically continues like this:
Are you alone or in a group? - (I’m on my own - aka: Sitting duck).
Where are you from? - (Denmark)
Oh… I have a nephew / sister / brother / friend / cousin / daughter / whatever, who lives in Denmark. It’s a very nice country.
(From here on it could go)
Listen, maybe you can help me. You know, the postal service in Cuba is very poor. It will take 6 months at least for a letter to get to my friend in Denmark. Could I write a letter for you to bring with you. I can write it in the bar just around the corner. I also have a picture of my friend, you can see…
Arriving at the bar, the bartender will set up 3-5 glasses. One for you, one for the hustler and the rest for his girlfriends. You’ll be expected to order a drink for all of you - and to carry the tab.
But this is just one out of maybe a thousand ways.
The main idea is like fishing:
- Cast the fly with a solid hook and an interesting bait
- Make sure there’s a good bite and just
- Wheeeel it in.
I can offer 4 pieces of advice:
- Most importantly. Don’t let it discourage you from talking to the ordinary Cubans
- Try pronouncing the name of your country in your native language and with a distinct accent.
If they don’t recognise the name it’s hard to continue the scam :-)
- Use your common sense. If it’s too good or too coincidental to be true, it probably isn’t true
- Most Cubans don’t have money for fancy jewellery or for teeth of gold; so consider that if you “strike” gold, in many cases, maybe you haven’t