An american conman - beware

Three weeks ago we ( David and Sally McEwen, 16bis Chemin des Tines, 34700 LODEVE ) were visited by a man who claimed to be:-

1. A U.S. Citizen called MARK JOHNSON, 176 RUE DE WARNETON, 59850 NIEPPE, FRANCE.

2. A retired I.T. Consultant from Texas.

3. The owner of property in California.

4. The owner of an e-mail address - - which he has answered from!

5. A Freemason.

We run a Painting Holiday Center and also offer B&B so those in trouble are often directed to us .... so ...

Johnson told us that he had been given a ride down to the Midi in a friends car which on leaving he had mistakenly taken their son's backpack which was identical to his own. Alas his contained his phone, wallet and credit cards and he was unable to contact the driver. We were told that he needed to return to Nieppe by rail and so could we lend him 100Euros for train and transfer tickets. After talking to him for some time we lent him the money ( Doh ). Johnson asked us for our Bank Deatails so that he could transfer the money to least we weren't stupid enough to give them to him.

Of course, despite several e-mails back and forth ( in one of which he wrote that he had posted the money ) no money has arrived and now Silence is the grim reply when we e-mail him.

We know, of course, that we were stupid and that we'll never see our money again but we always try to support those in trouble .... Ah, well, there we are.

It's a good idea to inform the American Embassy, we did, it'll help them build up a dossier on this disgusting creature.

husband said yes he did have a tooth missing but no signs of injuries.

oh yes..... question for you. Did he have one of his front teeth missing?

He told me that he had fallen down an old stone staircase in the house in Banon that was rented by his friends. He told me that he had gone to the emergency entrance at Sisteron hospital where a dentist was called in to 'sew him up' !

So it seems Amanda that it was around the same weekend!! If you need any help/backing up then let me know.


Dear Sally,

It's been nice talking to you.I feel just as stupid.....having gone through exactly the same experience when MARK JOHNSON knocked on the door at my B&B on Sunday the 19th of October.

He also told me that he had been given a ride down to Banon in a friend's car and he had picked up their son's rucksack out of the boot when they left.

Stuck with no money, train tickets, glasses, phone or proof of identity he felt that only a British or American citizen would believe his terrible situation & help him out........

I think that he probably though that we were just more gullible !!!!!

Yes he did get a restaurant meal out of me, 120 euros for the train tickets to Lille and the taxi to get from Lille to Nieppe......even sandwiches, a book to read on the train & a pair of (old but repaired) glasses to read the book !!

He wrote to me a couple of time using the same address as Sally.

The money never arrived and now he has stopped replying.

I've decided to file a complaint. It's not for the money, I would have tried to help him out if he had told me the truth to start with.

Has has probably given a false name, but I gather that he specialises in British B&B's so let's hope we can stop him before he tries it on again with someone else!!

It is hard not to resist these sort of people, especially when you want to do good.

We were conned by an Englishman near Calais who said that he had run out of petrol and just needed fifteen pounds to get him back to UK. He took our address, but, of course, we never heard from again.

All I can say is we may feel stupid, but at least our consciences are clear.