‘Professional scammer’ targeting people at airport in south-west France

Passengers are warned to be alert to a well-dressed man who often pretends to be an airline executive

The well-dressed scammer pretends to be an executive who has lost his wallet, and is helpful and charming as a way to gain his victims’ trust

Passengers at Toulouse airport in south-west France (Occitanie) are warned to stay alert to a ‘professional scammer’ pretending to be a senior executive at Airbus.

Victims report that the man is well-dressed, and approaches passengers in the airport under the pretence that he is returning from a business trip, but has mislaid his wallet. 

He sometimes says he is an Airbus executive, and asks victims to transfer him a small sum - around €30 - to help him get home. He promises to send them a transfer back as soon as possible, and offers to help them carry their luggage in the terminal as a favour in return.

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He even takes the victims’ phone numbers and calls them to “prove” that he will be in touch and pay them back later, only to block their contact details later.

One victim, Karine, who posted about the scam online, said that his “lines” seemed “well-practised”, and made her think he must be a “professional scammer”.

Repeat offender

Since the post, several others confessed to having been scammed by the same man.

“He's been around for a long time. I met him there last August. He helped me load my suitcase,” said one user. 

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"I've been told that he even pretended to be the boss of Airbus, or that he was also more active near certain shops [in the terminal],” Karine said. Airbus, the aircraft manufacturing giant, has its HQ in Toulouse.

"Each time, he seems to ask people for a small amount of money so that he can put petrol in the car or pay for his ticket. People don't complain because they only lose a few dozen euros. It's a shame, because it makes us less trusting,” she said.