Originally Posted by ibbo
Your using scp which is a file copy util not a dir copy util.
SCP is not
restricted to files, '-r' switch in scp copies/ uploads directories recursively so your statement is false. Neither is rsync for directory transfers only, nor it is best for simple ftp-style operation.
Back to original question, try ssh to the machine you're trying to copy files from and go to the directory you're trying to download. If you can get there, try creating and deleting a file to see that you actually have permissions to it, if not, then you need to check those to start with.