Long time Wallingford residents and storekeepers may remember Big Hands Guy. From a 2010 Wallyhood post on him:
he usually has a NY accent, says he’s from Alaska (he’s real friendly, see), and his 8-month pregnant wife is sitting in a coffee shop down the street, and she has all the receipts in her purse. this is after he’s scouted the premises, found a high-ticket item, and brings it up to the counter to “return”.
He’s about 6’2″, about 210 lbs, has dark hair that’s short but curly and often a mustache. Oh yeah, and big hands.
Well, he’s back. Emily from Seattle Mosaic Arts writes:
…is back. I wasn’t sure who to inform, but figured the blog is a good forum. I’ve read about him on the blog in years past, and now I’ve been duped by him, unfortunately.
He came into our little mosaic studio last Wednesday, early afternoon, August 27. He fits the same description as before – about 200lbs, maybe 5’10″, dark short curly hair, very friendly-seeming, and the signature big hands. I was in the back room when he walked in, offered to answer any questions he might have, and went about my tasks. I had completely forgotten about the existence of this scammer, having been 3 or 4 years since hearing anything about him, and I wasn’t feeling well that day, so I didn’t have my radar in full tune.
He brought me a pair of glass cutters, saying his wife had bought the wrong tool, and could he return them. He put on a good show to make it seem as though he/his wife was interested in mosaics, glass cutting, etc. She was supposedly in a cab around the corner, too tired to come in and do the return herself. His story this time was that he was from Alaska, and was down here working on a large ship. He was super sweaty and went on about how hot it was working in the hull of the boat. He even mentioned something about his hands having swollen, telling me his next stop was the hospital. Had I been in top form, I may have remembered the previous stories from Wallyhood about him. Alas…
My biggest mistake was not asking for a receipt! Our little community is so wonderful and trustworthy, that I didn’t think twice. Silly me. I refunded him the money – the tool was worth about $40 – and he went on his way. My boss today put the pieces together that this was “Big Hands Guy”. I am infuriated and I am upset with myself for not having put it together that day. I feel very violated and duped.
Be warned, tell your employees, tell your neighbors, and be on the look out for this guy.
(Photo by Ariel Schlesinger. Not the actual hand.)