“He’s harming our country, legally we can’t do anything”: hitchhiker Max the Swiss, elusive scammer grandpa

“He’s harming our country, legally we can’t do anything”: hitchhiker Max the Swiss, elusive scammer grandpa

The storyteller never asks for money and waits to be given to avoid legal proceedings. MAXPPP – Philippe Turpin

For more than 20 years, a hitchhiker who calls himself Max the Swiss has been plaguing the roads of France. To the great dismay of the representatives of Switzerland but also of certain victims who would like to see him arrested and judged. Others, on the contrary, do not blame him despite the scam.

"Oh my God… Max the Swiss again ? He has made new victims ? He is harming our country ! But the problem with this gentleman is that legally we cannot do anything against him" sighs Aniela Tréanton, former honorary consul of the country of the Helvetii, whose headquarters is based on the outskirts of Montpellier, when we mention the recent passage to the region of his supposed compatriot.

The latter knows perfectly well the stratagem of this hitchhiker who has been plaguing the roads of France for at least twenty years.

Nearly 600 testimonials on a dedicated blog

He therefore claims to be from Switzerland, to have had his papers stolen, often at the Marseille station and he has to go to the consulate or to see a very ill relative, without having a single cent in pocket.

"He operates in such an intelligent way… He says he was robbed but he doesn't ask for anything and people take pity on him and give him money, he promises to pay it back and gives a false address< /em> continues Aniela Tréanton who often then alerted the consulate general in Marseille, being unable to do anything else.

On the dedicated blog which lists hitchhiker scams, to avoid possible disappointments for other motorists, nearly 600 people testify. Its favorite areas are represented on a map: Hérault, Gard or Ardèche, Marseille, Rhône-Alpes or even Poitiers.

“He’s harming our country, legally we can’t do anything”: hitchhiker Max the Swiss, elusive scammer grandpa

The scammer in a photo published in 2009 is active in targeted sectors of France. FREE NOON – Sophie Wauquier

Some only gave a few euros or bought a coffee for Max, Ulrich, Carl or Edgar, it depends. Others had a more generous hand, inviting him to their home, or lending him 100, 200, 500 euros or even more…hellip;

"Me, he took 800 €… I'm waiting or not waiting for my chocolates ?"

"I’had the same speech… 800 euros… I'm waiting or I'm not waiting for my chocolates ?" grinds with humor Marine, scammed with always the same promise& ;nbsp;: a bank transfer to come for reimbursement and, as a bonus, chocolates or meat from Grisons, Swiss specialties, or even an invitation to the superb Alpine chalet of your beautiful country. hellip;

"I imagine that the very special Grisons meat or the little stay at your place I can put it wherever I think… Hat… I haven't seen anything" comments a Marseillais in 2019.

"He walks around for free and takes the money playing on these beliefs that the Swiss have superior means" analysis of the former honorary consul. Among people abused by the octogenarian with the immutable branch shirt, different attitudes stand out.

Those who immediately forgive the Christian charity anchored in the body: "We regret nothing, and if we had known in what distress you are probably in reality, we would have given you more" write two ladies who even ask for news.

"It’is the François Damien of the roads… I say hats off to the artist"

"Better laugh about it. If he reads these lines, he will perhaps push the elegance he showed to repay me" also writes a missionary priest in the Amazon, dispossessed of 200 euros intended for "to the truly poor".

C’was in Montpellier, in 2021. Another, robbed of 50 €, with whom he had engaged in a long conversation about the musician Franck Zappa&nbsp ;the tax of "François Damien of the roads without a hidden camera, I say hats off to the artist".

But others are bitter and promise him hell if they find him. What happens, as an Audois witnessed in a Swiss newspaper… In 2009: "Near Narbonne, I came across him after being tricked. So I congratulated him, telling him that he was a good liar and a scammer and he reimbursed me, apologizing.< /p>

"There is cause for prosecution"

In 2017, in Rodez, a cheated motorist picked him up by hitchhiking, Max recognized him and reimbursed him immediately… Others claim to have found him and taken his bag in which there were hotel bills and a stock of white shirts. Finally, some put down handrails, want him to be arrested and punished in prison.

What happened in 2009, near Brive-la-Gaillarde, but the courts considered that the people had given the money of their own free will and that the offense was insufficiently characterized.

"From the moment he uses lies in order to obtain sums of money, even if he does not request it not directly, using the credulity of the person, there is grounds for prosecution, it is a fraudulent maneuver characteristic of fraud" considers nevertheless Me Baptiste Scherrer, criminal lawyer in Nîmes.

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