'Balikbayan' dupes taxi driver by paying him fake dollar bills
A passenger who introduced himself as a "balikbayan" duped a taxi driver by paying him fake US dollars and asking for P1,500 in "change," an exclusive report by GMA News' Vonne Aquino on "24 Oras" said Wednesday.
The report said taxi driver Noriel Puerto picked up the suspect in Cubao in Quezon City on Tuesday night. Puerto said the suspect, who identified himself as Steven James Tood, asked to be brought to Buendia Avenue in Pasay City.
When they reached Buendia Avenue, they stopped in front of a convenience store where Tood reportedly engaged Puerto in a conversation that lasted for half an hour.
Puerto said Tood claimed he was from the United States and even gave him two imported chocolates as proof.
It was during this conversation that Tood offered Puerto $200 as payment.
"Sabi sa akin, 'Kuya, pwede ba kitang bigyan ng $200. Ito yung pinakabayad ko sa 'yo. [Pero] bigyan mo ako ng P1,500 para meron akong pangkain'," Puerto said.
Puerto said Tood did not put the money in his hands but on the vehicle's dashboard.
"Sabi ko, 'Bakit parang iba yung kulay ng pera.' Sabi niya, 'Kasi iba na ngayon ang presidente namin. Si Trump na'," Puerto said.
Puerto said Tood immediately left after he received the P1,500.
The report said Puerto learned that the dollar bills were fake when he went to a money changer.
"Sabi sa akin [nung kahera], 'Kuya, na-budol budol ka'," Puerto said.
Puerto then went to the barangay hall to report the incident, which was caught on CCTV. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News