You know that ruse where you pretend to be absorbed in your cell phone to avoid talking to someone? Well, apparently that deception also works if you want to get out of paying for thousands of dollars worth of plastic surgery, at least at one San Francisco doctor's office.
San Francisco plastic surgeon Dr. Larry Fan is, according to his website, "an award winning, Harvard trained leader in aesthetic plastic surgery." One thing he apparently isn't, however, is a doctor who asks for identification and payment up front.
On Monday, reports KPIX, a "middle-aged man" visited Fan's office for "thousands of dollars worth of fillers and laser treatments," but was reluctant to give out any personal information at his appointment.
“He wanted to provide as little information as he could. He was hesitant to provide a phone number and an e-mail address,” Fan told KPIX.
Apparently that reticence was no barrier to getting what Fan described to ABC7 as "the works": Botox, an anti-wrinkle treatment, injectable fillers, and laser resurfacing, totaling between $5000-$6000 bucks.
After the man got his treatments, he pulled the old cell phone trick to get out of paying the tab, Fan said.
"In the process of checking out, instead of checking out and providing payment, he ended up pretending to be talking on his phone, and then continued to walk out the door and sort of said a quick 'I'll be right back,'" Fan told ABC7. Needless to say, he wasn't.
The man, who called himself "Paul Harland," is described as about 40 years old, 6'0" tall, and with dark hair. He was caught briefly in surveillance camera footage, viewable below.
This might not be the first time "Harland" pulled this scam, Fan says. The makers of Botox emailed San Francisco plastic surgeons last April warning them about a similar crime. As Botox reportedly lasts about four to six months, it seems like "Harland" was right on schedule.
There still might be time to catch "Harland" following this go-round in the doctor's chair, though: Fan says that the unpaying patient should be swollen and bruised for the next few days, so be on the lookout for a big guy who looks a little beat up.
And after that? According to Fan, we should all keep our eyes peeled for "the best looking thief in San Francisco."