Skip to comments.I Was Scammed by a Homeless Person... and Other Stories
Posted on 12/01/2012 5:13:46 AM PST by LoveUSA
Just yesterday I was leaving the food store with my 83 year old mother in my car when we encountered an old woman holding a piece of cardboard that said "homeless" (quotes were included). This old woman made eye contact with me and her scraggly gray hair, her worn clothing, and her pathetic help me expression really stirred up my sympathy. When I stopped at the stop sign near where the begging woman was standing I said to my mother, "Let's give her some something, it's Christmas". We came up with a five dollar bill and my mother waved it out the window. The begging woman took it and smiled with the few teeth she had left.
Then the semi-toothless, pathetic-looking, scraggly-haired old woman said, "Thanks! My grandkids want a video game for Christmas."
Hopefully I'm not the only idiot who gets scammed because I was raised with Christian compassion.
Tell me your stories, I could use a good laugh.
Help the homeless by giving to or shopping the thrift stores of the Salvation Army, Goodwill and similar organizations. If you personally know someone in dire straits, then you can help them one-to-one, but many beggars are scammers.
I offered work to a homeless man and he refused. He said he could make more money holding his sign. When I told him he was “making” nothing he was merely taking handouts he said, “same thing”.
Why are you paying someone to be homeless?
If she looked as you describe her, I doubt she was going out for a steak dinner, had much more than a cardboard box to sleep in, or a long life expectancy. She may be nuts and probably doesn’t even have grandkids.
Hate to be that way but people like you described ruin it for people who really need help.
Most homeless asking for money are scamming you. And most have drug and alcohol issues.
When I am asked to “give” to these folks and always refuse. But I make a mental note and give $10 for every time I am asked to the Salvation Army.
Years ago, I had one come up and ask me for money for food outside my place of work , and I gave him my brown bag lunch, and he threw it down on the ground and left disgusted...
He used to sit out in front of the Walmart in Roswell, NM with his dog and a sign. At that time he really did live under the bridge.
He could make $300.00 on a monday afternoon, more on the weekend, just a couple hours and then he was off to the dealer.
Thankfully he has been clean for almost 10 years now.
If you want to truly help someone, find a person you know or a program you trust and work that way. Anything else is like throwing money out the window, literally.
a couple of years ago there was a man that would solicit in the parking lot of the mall I would go to. Not just once or twice but constantly. His claim was he needed some money to pay the hotel bill his family was staying at while they traveled across the country. This went on for about four months. I never gave to him. I did ask him how long he was going to stay at the hotel and he took a swing at me. He left that parking lot after that.
When I lived in Arizona, there was a reporter who investigated the “homeless” people with the cardboard signs on the corners and freeway off ramps around the valley. What he found was shocking to most people. The majority of the beggars were well-off, lived in nice homes, drove nice cars and were not destitute. He interviewed them anonymously and many were quite frank about why they did what they did. Some of the reasons they gave were: it was easy to get cash from people, they didn’t have to report it to the IRS, they didn’t have to punch a clock at a regular job, they found it easier to make a good living begging than than working like most people did. Many of them did quite well and reportedly made upwards to $75,000 a year begging on the street. They’re only expenses were driving and parking near their most lucrative locations, some old dirty clothes and the cardboard sign. No one ever checked whether they were at work or how hard they were working. The police never bothered them. They were left to their own devices to do as they pleased. Remember this the next time you feel compelled out of compassion to give money to a street beggar. The majority are nothing more than professional scammers and con artists.
Scammers are everywhere. One way to tell the true homeless is an unmistakable grundge on their skin. It isn’t that they smell, but they only get to “bathe” by using plain water and a paper towel. They have a definite “dark” tinge to their skin. They seldom have access to soap.
Lol...Bum outside of 7/11. Said he was hungry and so I brought him into the store instead of giving him five bucks. I gave him a can of stew and a coke...He asked if there was anything better I could give him.
You are not an idiot. Please don’t beat yourself up. Christmas time is a perfect time to play on the sympathies of Christians.
I had someone scam me into supporting a whole family for Christmas one year. I found out this person play a pity card every Christmas season, and pretends she needs money for her children’s Christmas.
She will sucker others, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Just know that God knows the heart, and that you gave the money with love.
Now you know to use your discernment before giving. Some people spend so much more. Think of the filth that person has to live with, that is in their heart! Oh my- YUCK!
So, praise God for the lesson, and rejoice that He is watching over you.
You are not an idiot, you are a child of God. BIG difference. HUGE difference.
My husband and I were leaving WalMart when we drove past a young couple holding a small sign written in pen, so it was hard to read. They were out of gas and needed to get 100 mi down the road. He explained that he had gone up to DesMoines for a “sure thing” tech job, but when he and his wife arrived, they did not hire him after all. Then the car broke down and they spent most of their cash to fix it, and here they were.
We only had about $10 on us, so gave them that, then brought them to the gas station right there and filled them up using our debit card. It could have been a BS story, but that doesn’t matter to me. I have children, one has been VERY down on his luck in the past, and I hope somebody would do the same for *my* child. We were happy to help them.
That is so true. Scammers are everywhere. ESP where they know they will have a soft target, and can claim anonymity to manipulate people’s emotions. Groups for veterans, Christians, Patriots, Elderly are like Neon signs for scams.
Be careful out there.
“Help the homeless by giving to or shopping the thrift stores of the Salvation Army, Goodwill and similar organizations. “
Good intentions and bad economics. Expect to get more of anything that is subsidized. Salvation Army, etc. are run by lefties and they subsidize failure and poverty. What they do is grow the parasite class larger.
Other ways to size them up is the condition of their shoes, glasses, haircut (e.g. nicely trimmed neck). Many times I have seen clean pair of jeans, clean hands, . . . the unshaven look with a beat up, dirty coat is not enough. Notice the quality of writing on some of their signs.
One regular stood on the corner with a sign that he lived in the woods and his wife was dying from cancer - that went on for at least a couple of years. I was always tempted to ask him how his wife was doing after a year, but engaging some of these people might pose a physical hazard.
Another time I saw a guy crossing the intersection with a backpack talking on the cell phone. When I came back through the intersection 30 minutes later, he was in the median with his homeless sign, playing destitute man, etc.
I say a prayer for help that the Lord give me the ability to see the needy and not become cynical and blinded by the scammer.
Only in America do we have well-fed well off “homeless,” some even rich.
I see them too, and give a few dollars. I’ve also bought food for people who said they were hungry and had them reject it.
But you never know. I was homeless too once for about a month. That’s why I give to them, but never more than a dollar or two. Instead, I give to our local community food bank and women’s shelter. I buy toys at the local toy store and drop them off for Toys For Tots because every child should get something nice for the holidays. I bring food to my animal shelter when I buy bulk. These charities I know will give to people who truly need it.
I had a couple of people approach me at a gas station at different times with the same story, they said they were trying to get somewhere and were out of gas (they were in a car).
I was feeling generous that day and gave them money, but afterwards I was PO’ed after realizing their story made no sense. They just asked at the right time when I didn’t feel like thinking.
One time in SF my then manager and I were walking down the street and a beggarly guy came up to us and I gave him a quarter. He then turns to my manager and says ‘and you sir, what about you? My beggar turned out to be a hustler simply selling his act and he’s not the only one. There’s so many of them everywhere it seems.
I agree that many panhandlers are scammers but to some extent Goodwill is also.
If you begin researching Goodwill more and more articles like this keep popping up.
But my brother told me a story of when he was working in Baltimore City and was standing outside his workplace having a smoke. This homeless guy came up to my brother asking for change and my brother asked him So why do you need money? The scruffy guy looked my brother straight in the eye and said, To tell you the honest truth man, I really need a drink. My brother was so impressed with his honesty that he gave him a $10 bill, telling him not to spend it all on booze but to also get something to eat. He also pointed to the Catholic Church across the street and told him that they had a soup kitchen and also had regular AA meetings there. My brother BTW was not an alcoholic but had a good friend who got sober in AA.
Many years ago, early 1980s, both my brother and his wife were out of work, were waiting for an unemployment check and didnt know how they were going to make ends meet live alone how to have any sort of Christmas for their three young children. My husband and I were helping as much as we could but we, being newly married and struggling ourselves with me also having just lost my job at the time, could not do much except help them with some food.
But that Christmas Eve morning they found a great big box on their front porch filled with toys, wrapping paper and ribbons along with a crisp $100 bill. To this day they have no idea who their anonymous benefactor was; either a neighbor or a former co-worker or someone from their church who knew of their struggles. But every Christmas since, when my brother and his wife can afford to do so, they find a family in need in a similar circumstance through a neighbor, a friend of a friend, someone that one of their now adult kids know, someone from their Parish, etc. and they do the same thing and do so anonymously. I think now days its called Paying it Forward. They were so grateful for what someone did for them that they feel a need to do the same for someone else.
And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
I was going to visit my Mother via Greyhound. Had a 4 hour layover in Chicago and I’d never been there so wandered around the downtown area for a bit.
Bought a skein of floss for the cross stitch project I was passing my bus-time on and then made my way to a cafe for dinner. It was misty with fog coming in off the lake and chilly.
A woman holding a toddler had two other children in tow and asked if i could help her. She said she’d lost her bus transfer and couldn’t get home. The children were clean but none had a coat or jacket. I asked her how much a bus transfer cost, she said $2. I gave her the 2 bucks, told her ‘God bless you’ and went into the cafe.
The waitress asked me what the woman had wanted, I told her, in disgust she said that the Mother probably makes a pretty good living asking for bus-xfer money.
As I ate I examined how I felt about probably being scammed and found I didn’t care. I’d sleep well that night, any guilt necessary belonged to the woman and it was possible she really was a stranded Mother.
Hey, don’t beat yourself up. The scammer in chief is back in office placed their by a scammer electorate.
I had one of the “I’m stuck out of town and need gas money” many years ago. I had my nephew with me. Was a bit of an uncomfortable conversation when I didn’t give to him, but that cleared up a week later when we saw him doing the same thing in another part of town (yeah, not another guy doing the same thing - but the same guy).
I have been panhandled at gas stations a couple of times - hood up, need a part, family in the back. Guy has a cell phone, no credit card...tells me he has no family (mother, father, brother, sisters, friends) to call for help. It did not add up. Two months later, I see the same scammer at another gas station with the hood up, approach me and . . .
Even better. . .panhandled at the airport baggage claim in Philadelphia... scammer wanted 200 to stay in nearby hotel so he could catch his next flight. Showed me his drivers license, had an i-phone (I only have a flip phone) and promised that he would mail $250 the next day. I asked him how he bought his airline ticket why Motel 6 was not good enough for him, no debit card? no credit card? and when I asked him if he thought of calling his parents on his i-phone for help . . . he left.
When ever we invite my brother and his wife over for dinner, I make them hold up a handmade sign that reads
WILL WORK FOR SHRIMP CREOLE while I take their picture.
Is that mean?
Down in Worcester MA the low life beggars are on just about every street corner. While I was waiting at a light I saw a beggar working the line of cars. He was walking up to each car with a very pronounced limp, the light changed and the limp suddenly disappeared.
Here’s a bum-scammer video.
I’ve let my guard down in the past and gave to a bum or two - no more....I’m going Galt on Bums:)
in 1990 my company selected two families for xmas spirit with skip and I being the ramrods. Both of us visited COSTCO and really got the xmas spirit. On 24th we had to use skip’s station wagon because of so many stuff for just one family. We loaded the 1st family’s gifts which filled the back completely. Arrived at home with middle age woman and 14 year old teen. All she could do was complain because we didn’t get the shoes she wanted. We felt like two suckers. The next family was a mother with three kids 7,5,adn 4. The two oldest tried helping us carry it in. The mother cried from the moment we arrived until we left.
In the mid-90s a DFW TV station did a report on panhandlers — those who ‘sell’ roses or wash windows, hold up ‘work for food’ signs, etc., at major intersections.
Reporter interviewed one panhandler and asked why he did it. He responded that it was better than working for a boss, as he could ‘work’ whenever he wanted. He went on to say that he collected around $25,000 (tax free) per year from his panhandling.
“He was walking up to each car with a very pronounced limp...”
A friend of mine went shopping and her kids saw a man in a wheelchair. He had a sign that said “Please help, hungry, disabled, can’t work”. Well, her girls just felt horrible and begged their Mother to give him some money. She said she didn’t think he was truly wheelchair bound... his legs were muscular. Long story short, she saw him a few days later wheeling behind the shopping center so she followed him via her car. Sure enough.. he walks out of his wheelchair and into a pickup truck. I think what annoyed her the most was the “guilt” that her girls imposed... or tried to impose. All in all, it was a good learning lesson IMHO.
I try to avoid panhandlers but I use my intuition and hope it is right but if I do the right thing, it doesn’t matter, I can feel good about it.
OTOH, I mostly give to people I know. The guy who had a traumatic brain injury and just walks around town, he rarely asks for anything and when he does it is for milk or Dr. Pepper. He has also brought me chocolate and if I ask him to do something is always willing. He voted for Romney and almost cried when he lost.
There is a group home for mentally challenged adults near where I work and they often walk by so I offer them treats and like children they are very thankful and, I think, happy that I talk to them.
The miracle guy with AIDS who needs rides occaisionally.
Then there are just the regular people that have low paying jobs who are in tough circumstances. I am meeting a woman this morning to show her how I want my MIL’s storeroom cleaned. I got started on it yesterday and got overwhelmed and thought about how she was having tough times and called her. It is something she can do anytime of the day or night and still do her regular job and I get to help her and relieve myself of an onerous burden.
I suspect the recently well publicized incident where the police officer bought boots and socks for the bare footed homeless man might have involved at least some well thought out planning, if not some actual scamming. Was it good luck that the bare feet were so prominently visible ... right beside a shoe store?
You gave me an idea. I want to get some fake dollars with King BOZerO’s image on it and hand these out to beggar/scammers. Fake president on fake money for fake beggars.
How’s that for a trifecta-—or rather a tri-fakeya?
Good for you, that's the only thing that really matters......
I try to shop at my local Meijer store early in the morning between 5:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. Usually at that time the cleaning crew, which is made up of hispanics from south America rather than Mexico, are finishing up. I watch them when I'm there and they are never idle or talking to each other. They are constantly on the move, doing their jobs.
I picked up three money gift cards this morning at the store and I intend to put $50 in each and pass them out to three of the ladies.......In sure they can put it to better use than my nieces and nephews....and it'll make me feel good.
Although I have not seen him recently, there was a man with a sign that varied in message, at Exit 59 on I 81. Curiously, he was sometimes at Exit 77 on I 81 about 90 miles north.
he was clean but always had 3 or 4 days whiskers.
could he make money? Perhaps $10 or $12 per hour, more than many jobs?
I think so.
John Stossell did a whole show on begging and he did it himself for a day to see how money he could make - very informative.
It’s not idiocy to do something you thought was good, that ends up being a scam.
Last time I felt so inclined to help someone it was a kid. I told him that I wasn’t going to give him money, but that if he were truly hungry I’d by him a meal at the nearby fast food store - BUT - he would have to admit to me what he was using. He denied, I started walking and he then said...yeah you’re right. he was on heroin and something else. I ordered him a meal (he switched the drink to a shake for a little extra money when i wasn’t paying attention, a fascinating thing to me, as i’d have bought it if he asked me).
I chatted with him for a few minutes. Completely hopeless, no way he’s ever going to get off of it, which is what I expected.
I believe my dialog with him was the only honest discussion he’d had that day.
No you're not, you helped someone you thought was in need and that's all you need to know.
Please don’t use the ‘xmas’ term. Spell it as Christmas.
Let the unbelievers have the xmas they so desire. Keep Christ in Christmas. Thank you.
A man approached my husband as he was leaving church one morning and asked for money because he was hungry. Hubby has a policy of not giving money but meeting said need so they went to the very nearby convenience store. Hubby looked in his billfold and all the cash he had on hand was $5 so he told the many to pick out whatever he wanted but it had to be no more than $5. The guy chose some food items including a bag of chips and when the checker added it up it wasn’t quite $5. Hubby was pocketing the change when the man asked “Can I have MY change?”. Hubby was hot and gave him a very stern warning to take the food and move along. A side note: the man was not malnourished in the least.
You gave her cash money with no expectation of how she'd use it in her life. You were NOT scammed, you just don't like what she said she'd use it for.
I find it interesting you and most others, claiming to be Christian, choose to see avarice and deceit where you could've recognized something else.
It took 14 posts before someone said LoveUsa did the right thing. Thank you, Truth 2012!
It took 14 posts before someone said LoveUsa did the right thing. Thank you, Truth 2012!