Skip to comments.Vanity~Ever hear of this scam?
Posted on 06/22/2008 10:50:07 PM PDT by Hi Heels
I live next to the church in the caretakers house. Often people show up at the church to ask for things, food, gas money, etc. Sometimes I can help, sometimes not. Often I just make them a sandwich and that's plenty.
A couple years ago I had a guy come by with a broken windshield and asked for help citing he was from another congregation in another state. We helped him and found out later he wasn't with the congregation, but it was no big deal. A couple months later he resurfaced and offered us a car. One of the single moms in the congregation could have really used the car, so we were grateful. He went with our officer down to have it smogged and left it at the garage. When we went to pick it up, the garage said he changed his mind, took the money and ran off with the car. A couple years later he showed up in a truck with an Organ in the back. Before he even started talking, I said, "um, pal? You've already taken us twice. Do you think third time's a charm?" He left.
Well, about the same time, a guy showed up asking for money to buy his daughter insulin. I gave him $10, all the cash I had at the time. I think he forgot about this incident, because he showed up again today during service.
He said he's having trouble getting his wife's high blood pressure meds. I have high blood pressure. We agreed to meet him this evening to go to the pharmacy.
He got the time wrong and showed up early, got annoyed when we were not there, more annoyed when we wouldn't give him the cash, irate when we made him transfer the RX to our drug store. When both pharmacies were found to be closed, I offered him some of my own meds for the evening and directed him to county hospital. He stated the last time he went there it took two days and blah blah blah. He got annoyed and started to raise his voice. He refused the meds I offered, the exact same kind. Then he started to get mad. Fortunately, I had a large man with me, so he had to back off.
Now, here's my problem. What's the scam? I figured he had a drug store employee that refunded the money when he returned the prescriptions a couple hours later, but the pharmacist would have to be way crooked since that's against the law. Then I thought he could sell them, but we're talking plavix and blood pressure meds containing no narcotic effects. So, whadda think? My elders and I are meeting this guy again tomorrow. All my alarm bells are going off, and my elders say I'm just cynical. It just feels wrong. I also called the local PD and they have nada on the guy. They just told me don't give him cash. I can't figure out how this guy is making money on RX that has no party value....or are people so "entitled" now that they can walk up to complete strangers worshiping in a church and DEMAND whatever they want getting annoyed because we don't appear to be helping him fast enough to suit him? Got any ideas?
Google the famous quotes of P.T. Barnum...
I was on the council at my last church (UMC, me ex-wife’s denomination) and we had this all the time, as we were near a half-way house and a probation office. If it smells funny, refuse. Charity is not mandatory.
I know the nature of the scam but unfortunately I have to go because the electric company is here trying to turn my power off which will kill my internet and my wife’s dialysis machine. Could you please FReepmail me fast with a valid bank account and routing number that I can give to the Electric company worker in order to pay my bill? Tell the elders it will be much appreciated.
You sound naive about the ways of the world if you get taken that often.
Thanks. Good to see you, too.
I see no reason to insult you like others have, so I will answer your question.
Prescription meds are sold as many things that they are not. I’ve seen asprin put into an Rx bottle and sold so I wouldn’t dismiss this guys ability to turn a profit on it. You should also be aware that there are a good number of people out there that just simply get their jollies off of scamming good hearted people. When in doubt it is no sin to say no. If he really needs it he will be willing to jump through some hoops for it and you can feel justified in making him do it.
Also, what is the BP med in question? Some do have a bit of street value. One that I am on is known to increase production of HGH and is therefore valued by bodybuilder types.
However, if I want to be insulted by bored men with Einstein complexes, I certainly know who to call in the future, thank you.
excuse me, my car ran out of gas on the freeway , my wife is pregnate and waiting in the car, can I have 5 dollars for gas.
Vicodin and other drugs are relatively cheap and easy to get. Just go to your local college. Plavix and a few others that are easy to get a script for are hard to buy.
As far as church charity, there is a concept called "NO". I would have to get out my Bible to make sure, but I believe it's covered in 1 Timothy that some take advantage and some don't. What if God is trying to break a guy that is a drunk and you keep giving him money? Are you helping are hurting? Some discernment is involved in shepherding the Church's funds.
If a person is truly a Christian getting “scammed” is nothing to be ashamed of. Christ said to love others, help and pray for them even when they do you wrong. I think you showed what the gospel (good news)is all about when you helped the guy out. Ive never heard of the particular scam you described but I’m sure its been done before. Nothin new under the sun.
A guy stopped by our church building and told the song leader he needed money to fix his car. His transmission had just gone out. He handed the song leader a list of references. The song leader started into the building. The bum asked him where he was going. The song leader said he was going to check the references. The bum grabbed the list out of his hand and peeled rubber in his car when he drove out of the parking lot.
I don’t know about where you are but here it is illegal to share prescription meds.
What your congregation needs is a bridge. I have just the one you need... FReepmail me for details...
Sometimes in giving you get taken, and then you can thank the Lord for giving you an opportunity to forgive someone. Isiah 58 can be a difficult road to travel, but there is no other way to follow Jesus Christ.
Yeah I’ve seen this before. There was no wife needing bp meds. There was no daughter needing insulin. They’re junkies. They let each other know how and where to run the scams to get money for their crap. The first guy may have sent the second guy after you wised up to him. I’d bet a tener that they wear long sleeve shirts when it’s too hot out to be doing so. That’s to cover the scabs on their arms from the needle tracks. Really bad teeth are also an indicator.
one possibility: He’s trading the Plavix with a person who is selling their oxycotin prescriptions, for a barter exchange. Or some other pain killer. The other person could be on Medicaid, Plavix and name brand blood pressure meds are expensive for those dependent on Medicaid. But they can doctor shop for cheap painkillers, and well, drugs make it’s own economy.
So, did he also ask assistance paying for statins?
But yes, plavix is not cheap at approx. $3 to $4 a pill for Medicaid patients. So it could be legit.
Medicaid and Medicare patients are least likely to get dietary counseling while on statins, if your church can refer this guy to a local agency for that, could use it as a card in your deck dealing with the guy.
There you have it. My brother is a raging alcoholic who hasn't worked in years. He uses any excuse to get a few dollars for his fix, including the prescription scam. He tried to con a neighbor into giving him money for much needed drugs. Well the neighbor was also going so offered to drive him. He went and when she was going to pay for his drugs, which he didn't have, he told her to give him the money and step away for his privacy. That's when it dawned on her he was faking. He had pulled it on a couple of now ex friends of his and went as far as to put aspirin and even vitamins in a bottle to make it look like he picked something up. I think it was Doc Severson who said that You haven't seen will power until you have seen an alcoholic try to find a drink.
I’d say the guy has a bad track record, and probably not give an inch unless he agreed to do things your way. As to the drugs, who knows what he’s up to there.
I had an interesting scam pulled on me the other day, and I fell for it. I was in downtown traffic, the lady a couple cars up stops dead in the middle of the road (at an area where the road is just one lane.) She gets out of her car and goes car to car saying she’s run out of gas. I had very little cash, mostly change, but I and the driver’s around were giving her cash, and slowly, when traffic permitted going around her parked car. I had to circle the block a few minutes later, and I came back just in time to see her open her trunk, get out a gallon of gas, pour it into her car and take off. She had the gas all along, evidently really ran out of gas on purpose (I guess so if a cop looked at her gas gauge it’d be legit)...but she collected money and then went on. She didn’t really need the money for gas, she had gas in her trunk. That’s a new scam to me...but I won’t fall for it again.
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