A few years ago, I published a story about a con man in Boston. I spoke to several sources that were encountered by the con man, Elliot Davis. They all told the same story.
A well-dressed Davis approaches someone on the street and tells them a sob story of a flat tire. He only needs a few bucks to buy a fix-a-flat, he pleads. This “few bucks” has been as high as $80 in some stories. Con artists usually ask for a non-rounded amount of money–$12, $14, $22– in hopes that his prey does not have exact change and ends up giving $20 or $30 flat. For those who do not have cash on them, Davis points to an ATM conveniently located right around the corner. He is rather convincing because many people do go to the ATM, but still others do not.
Davis carries around business cards with his name and most likely a fake number and gives it to his victims in hopes of establishing a trust between the two.
Davis has been exposed several times, once when a previous victim of his saw him laying his sob story on another man. The previous victim took out his phone to take pictures. This infuriated Davis who began to make a scene in the nearby Starbucks, shouting and threatening the man with the camera. The police were called and Davis fled.
After I originally published that story, I heard from several others who had been victimized by Davis. One man was approached twice by Davis. The second time, Davis once again asked him for the money, to which the victim replied: “I’m still waiting for the last $40.” This made Davis flee again.
On March 15, 2014, I was informed that Davis had been called to court in West Roxbury for charges of assault and battery. The details of this arrest seem hazy, but there is a report of Davis’s arrest for assault and battery from 10 May 2010.
But just this week, I heard from another victim of Davis’s.
Taylor Scanlan was heading towards Flann O’Brien’s on May 17, 2016, and was approached by Davis at 9:30 pm on the corner of Tremont Street and St. Alphonsus Street in Mission Hill by Brigham Circle. He began his con by asking if Scanlan spoke English, and then proceeded to tell the fabled flat-tire speech. Fooled by the well-dressed man in a suit, Scanlan bought in and went to nearby ATM and got $30 for Davis. Davis told Scanlan that he would pay him back tomorrow morning and even gave a phone number.
I’ve called the number several times to no answer, only a voicemail with the recording saying: “Please leave a message for” followed by Davis’s voice: “Elliot.”