Thanks so much for all these information, it’s such a shame that these things happen when you want so much to have faith in humanity, but the reality is this is life!
We have just left Colombo on the Mirissa express train and got ‘done’ by a local. We were rushing a bit as we had got delayed so there was a bit of commotion finding our carriage and prep-booked seats, and this seemingly nice looking local jumped out from the train to help us with our bags and took our ticket and showed us to our seats, very helpful. we assumed he worked on the train.
Once we were sitting down he came back with a piece of paper with various photos and writing on to explain he was deaf and showed us pictures of himself and information on a charity for the deaf. He then showed us another piece of paper with a list of handwritten contributions from other people.
So we paid him a small amount, and put our names down, reciprocating the kindness. He then left, all smiles, thumbs up, and It wasn’t til a few minutes afterwards that I realised he’d left with our ticket, and we’d paid him for the privilege!
I walked down a few carriages to see if I could see him but he was no where to be seen. Luckily I came across the train guard and explained what had happened and he was nice about it and crossed our seat numbers from his list.
If I hadn’t had seen him then I’m sure we would have got thrown off the train later when he came round or asked to pay again. I’m not sure what will happen to the train ticket the man stole, likely will be used to scam some other traveller.
Anyway this wasn’t a major scam but our first experience of it 2 days in and will be much more wary from now on! Let’s hope it is the last one!