Blogs

Profile

duesseldorf’s Blog

Meta

Safety Warning: Scammer wanted for theft

written by duesseldorf - 2017/05/01 21:56
We want to warn you about a specific threat which we have just become aware of. 

A person claiming to be a 23 year old lawyer from Lithuania and living in Norway has been reported to police in Austria for stealing money from a host in Vienna while at his home alone. He had claimed in last minute hosting groups and accommodation requests to hosts using the name "Karlivas" that he had been robbed and urgently needed a place to stay until he could take his flight.
 The same story he had also used in the UK (Newcastle, London) and Spain (Mallorca). After his profile was banned by BeWelcome, he reappeared in Milan with a similar profile and story using the name "Karolis24". He allegedly also uses Couchsurfing.com. 
 
He has used these photos on his profiles:
 
 
 https://www.bewelcome.org/gallery/img?id=57858
 
He is described as about 1.90m tall with short, blond hair and usually well dressed. He may change his appearance or his story. If you receive a message from someone you believe is this person or if you have any information, please share it immediately with the BeWelcome Safety Team at safety@bewelcome.org or through one of the "contact us" links on the website, selecting "report safety issue" (https://www.bewelcome.org/feedback?IdCategory=2). If you are with this person, please make sure first that you and your belongings are safe. 
 
In the 10-year history of BeWelcome this is the first time that a crime has been reported and that we need to warn members of a specific threat, beyond the advice we always give members and which are outlined on https://www.bewelcome.org/safety. Based on the past ten years BeWelcome is very safe to use, especially if you apply good judgement and instincts when interacting with people you meet for the first time, and when we all help others make informed decisions by reporting problems we become aware of. 
 
Here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself in general:
 
- Read the requests you receive and the profiles carefully. Look out for clear pictures of the person requesting your hospitality and at arrival make sure they correspond.
 
- Communicate through the BeWelcome messaging system whenever possible.
 
- Apply the same if not extra caution to last minute requests claiming emergencies. Don't rush your decision. If it doesn't feel right, don't accept.
 
- If you are already hosting someone about whom you have doubts or when you have concerns for your safety or your belonging, it is generally best to ask the guest to leave. You are never obliged to let anyone stay in your home, even after accepting. If you cannot or do not want to make an unwanted guest leave, you can ask to see identification, as a precaution or at least to know who exactly you are dealing with. Get help from friends or from police if necessary.
 
- Don't tempt guests with unattended valuables. Only leave people alone in your home or give keys to them when you believe you can trust them.
 
 We wish you many safe and enjoyable interactions with fellow members. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
 
The volunteers of your BeWelcome Safety Team
 
 
 
 

 

Comments

Profile

written by sebastian123 - 2 years ago (i)
www.lvz.de/Nachrichten/Panorama/Couchsurfer-bestiehlt-systematisch-Gastgeber
Profile

BE FRIENDLY, BUT WISE

written by California2017 - 2 years ago (i)
This is simply a personal suggestion as a precaution:

- Do not blindly trust any stranger; one can
still be friendly while yet being wise.

- Review passport identification and write
down the passport name and passport
number.

- Verify the passport picture is the same
person you are hosting.

- Verify that the airline ticketed name
matches the passport name.

- If the travel documents and name do not
match the person being hosted then
decline hosting; practice safety first.
Profile

written by prz_ - 2 years ago (i)
I disagree with one thing in this post - until we don't have strong suspicions, it's not fair to simply kick someone out of your house when our arrangements were different. That's not really humanitarian, especially in the place where it's hard to find a hostel and/or is quite dangerous.
Profile

written by wind - 2 years ago (i)
I also don't think this is a reason to get crazy about safety. In the end too much safety and fear would destroy the hospitality.

But the idea with asking for passport or ID is pretty good. One time I had a bad feeling with the guest, so I asked for the passport and one time I was asked by the host to show my ID. They handed over key to me and felt a bit strange about this, so they asked me for my ID.
Of course this might feel strange, but asking for passport is better than feeling strange all the time.
Profile

german police

written by fransinmokum - 2 years ago (i)
German police spokesman said; "Publishing a photo of a suspected criminal is a deeper engagement in the personality rights of the offender and must therefore be requested by a prosecutor and approved by a judge "
Profile

This man is a fraud - he was at my place

written by deliase - 2 years ago (i)
He did not steal at my place, because he sensed that I was suspicious. He used the bathroom and viewed the property, and then left under a pretence. Very strange for someone who claims to have been robbed and who sends you an emergency hosting request.
Profile

another one

written by ffred - 2 years ago (i)
Some of people who have a bad intention could contact you right on your phone. Using this method, it's easier because they don't give email or adress or real name.

I 've decided to host a guy who stole me my computer, it was 3 years ago. later we 've written to the team (it was on WS) who have contacted afterwards all of member in Toulouse (France).

this guy stole many people everywhere (Paris, Marseille...), he was also on the list of the 10th people wanted in Hungary. We met again this guy and he paid. He decided by himself to go to the police, we're all around him.

http://www.delmagyar.hu/szeged_hirek/top_10_a_megye_legveszelyesebb_bunozoi/2149717/

just my advice to you is to read comments and don't accept request by phone only.



Profile

written by musti - 2 years ago (i)
He applied with me but I was busy at that time. I advised him to go to his embassy for help.

Don´t panic: Always review if there is something to steal at your place. Most of the stuff is worthless or too heavy to carry anyway.
Profile

written by Alex81 - 2 years ago (i)
I don't agree with some of the proposed advices. It is ok to listen to your instincts, and if you don't like a personfor some reason just tell him/her and ask them to find another place as soon as possible. But trust is the underlying basic idea of free hospitality - without that, bewelcome has no sense to exist.
I find the idea of asking for ID card or passport really awful! We cannot act like police officers, I would leave immediately if a host asked me something like that. Moreover, this request can make trans people very uncomfortable, because their "official" name on the passport doesn't match with the chosen name.
Profile

written by leoalone - 2 years ago (i)
actually if the story that one had been robbed were true it is also possible that the person be unable to show something that had been robbed !
Profile

written by ana_behibak - 2 years ago (i)
I would actually refuse to stay at someones place who would ask for my passport :))
Profile

written by wind - 2 years ago (i)
I had probably more than 100 guests in BeWelcome, Couchsurfing and Hospitaltiy Club together. In 98% of cases I felt totally safe and comfortable. But in 3 cases I had a weird and strange feeling. I also leave my guests alone in the apartment and I give them a key. So what would you do in these 3 cases, if not asking for the passport. Do you think to ask the person to leave is a better solution?
Profile

written by bzalex2000 - 2 years ago (i)
if someone has his id card name maybe we can try to find him on facebook to know maybe where he is or I my wrong?
Profile

written by Radius - 2 years ago (i)
I'm very surprised at how naive people can be. Children that haven't grown up perhaps and their universe is full of roses, good intentions and unicorns?
Of course you need to ask for passport or ID. While on CS I had my credit card info stolen (from a Visa bill that had arrived while I was out and that my guest had found). Next thing I knew, he had purchased an airline ticket and was on his way home. Of course, his profile had been deleted on the same day. Probably a false name too.
Let's not be paranoid but let's be cautious. Once burnt twice shy (as the saying goes).
Profile

I was lucky enough

written by Heri_Paris13 - 2 years ago (i)
I have hosted this person early june last year for some days thru Couchsurfing. Fortunately, I was quiete aware as I felt not so comfy having him at home. Fortunately, I never let him alone at home and no valuable around. He was a kind of freeloader that I did not appreciate.
So be careful,

if needed

written by Heri_Paris13 - 2 years ago (i)
He is still in my fb friends list, so if any authority ask for it, please send me pm
Profile

3rd option on preferences

written by subaculture - 2 years ago (i)
I suppose its hard to identity all the types of communication each member wants/doesn't want. As its the first time in 10 years, I am not sure it requires another box to click. Currently, bw email preferences indicate whether.

I want to receive periodic news about BeWelcome by mail Yes No
Notifications about local events yes/NO

A third might be safety alerts.... or would it be overkill.

written by subaculture - 2 years ago (i)
Another issue - from CS - http://www.stern.de/panorama/stern-crime/couchsurfing--mann-gibt-sich-als-tourist-aus-und-bestiehlt-gastgeber-7433792.html
Profile

written by ana_behibak - 2 years ago (i)
I would just rather be upfront and say, hey I am sorry I do not think this is going to work out... definitely I would do that, in fact I have done it, rather than asking for an ID or a Passport! We need to feel safe but the negative-weird vibe is not going to change just because I got to police someone and got his Passport details...
Profile

He´s in Madrid now with new profile

written by Uxia - 2 years ago (i)
He's posting today in Madrid groups with a new profile. But the profile is now deleted.

This is the post:


Hello people of BeWELCOME

Let me introduce myself I´m a guy from Lithuania, Kaunas I was born and raised there, but for more than 6 years i keep living in England. Im 23 years old guy. Somethings about me is that I work as a stock broker in a company there. I was doing bewelcome since maybe one month ago so Im not super experienced with that but I host people at my place too!. Let me explain my shitty situation right here. Problem is yesterday I got pickpocketed in the metro I actually had to leave yesterday Madrid. Unfortunately these people stole my passport and wallet in the bag and I couldnt even feel it notice it it was really a disaster, I contacted my embassy for a tempòrary passport, so now unfortunately I will have to go back to Lithuania not London and make a normal passport. My flight is in few days from today got my friend to book it so im super lucky about it haha. I would like to ask you guys, I dont have much to share or give at this kind of moment, but maybe any of you would be able to host me for few days until my flight. I would be in such a super big favour for someone out here, you wont even believe me. I will leave my social details so it would be easier to contact me ! So here it is : <snip>
Profile

pk

written by Playgame123 - 9 months ago (i)

<a href="www.google.com">google</a>

pk

written by Playgame123 - 9 months ago (i)
[url=www.google.com]google[/url]

Please log in to add a comment.