Scam: Tourist Charged $310 for Photo with Times Square Mickey Mouse

mickey mouse
image: wikicommons

For those of you visiting a city like New York for the first time, there are lots of scams to look out for during your trip.

Last year I wrote about a tourist who paid $400 for a free trip on the Staten Island Ferry. In a new scam that I recently came across, a tourist was taken for lots of money by Mickey Mouse.

For those of you unsure of how Mickey Mouse can scam you, I’ll quickly explain.

If you visit Times Square, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see tons of cartoon characters wandering around, offering to take photos with you. No these are not friendly New Yorker’s dressed as your favorite characters, they’re looking to get paid.

These kind of characters can be seen in cities all around the world. My advice- stay away!

T+L reports that “A New York City tourist paid a man dressed as Mickey Mouse $190 for a photograph in Times Square only to later discover that he had been charged $310 for the picture“.

I can’t imagine how any tourist could possibly agree to pay $190 to take a photo with someone dressed in a Mickey costume! Now imagine the horror when they found out they were charged over $300!

The 21 year-old tourist from Tennessee agreed to pay the man dressed as Mickey, Lee Mengersen with a credit card. Instead of charging the tourist $190, he charged him $310 through Square.

Luckily the tourist found out he was charged $310 by his credit card company and informed police in the area of what took place. The scamming Mickey was arrested 45 minutes later and has been charged with grand larceny.

The NYPD told T+L that this was “the first on-record incident of a tourist being scammed via Square“.

I knew prices to visit Disney parks are crazy expensive but who knew taking a photo with Mickey Mouse could get so pricey in New York!

5 thoughts on “Scam: Tourist Charged $310 for Photo with Times Square Mickey Mouse

  1. I am from China, I cannot understand the mentality behind being in a photo with celebrities, stars or look-alikes, what a show of insecurity and lack of self esteem. If your kids think pound with Disney characters made their day, I’m sorry sorry your kids.

    1. I don’t being from China has much to do with understanding tourist scams; many of my relatives are from China and I visit China often but I’ve seen plenty of similar costumed character scams and Chinese families falling for them. If you’re from China you surely must know how much the Chinese youth love photos with celebrities (real or fake), too. Even Japan has similar scams; it’s universal 🙂

  2. cmk- I don’t think it shows a lack of self esteem. I see no problem with people taking photos with celebs. Paying a costume character crazy amounts of money is another story.

    Penguin- These scams don’t discriminate. You just need to be careful in your surroundings.

    Lee- Yes! I also laughed when I read that part!

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