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Times Square Mickey Mouse Charged Tourist $310 for a Photo

Travel + Leisure logo Travel + Leisure 2/16/2017 Travel + Leisure Staff
Mickey Mouse Ripoffs NYC © Erin Nekervis/Flickr Vision Mickey Mouse Ripoffs NYC

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.

Lester Mengersen, dressed as Mickey Mouse, was working for tips up and down Broadway last week when he somehow convinced a 21-year-old tourist from Tennessee to pay $190 for a photograph via credit credit.

But instead of the agreed-upon $190, Mengersen charged the tourist $310 via a Square device attached to his phone, NYPD told Travel + Leisure.

The tourist discovered that he was incorrectly charged via his credit card company and alerted police patrolling the area. Mengersen was arrested 45 minutes later. On Monday, police charged Mengersen with petty larceny. He is due in court on April 10.

Travelers visiting New York City and hoping to snap a photo in Times Square should pay all tips to costumed performers in cash only, and agree upon a tipping price before taking the picture. Last year, a performer dressed as Minnie Mouse was arrested for harassment after aggressively demanding a $20 tip.

This is the first on-record incident of a tourist being scammed via Square, NYPD told T+L.

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