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."
You mean they are all politicians?
Please tell us that you’re a liberal. Or perhaps a rino.
I shutter to think that a conservative “Christian” would willingly be this foolish.
I don’t remember Jesus using the words “because they’ll spend it on booze” anywhere in the New Testament.
Thanks for the John Stossel Freeloader Program Reference
Here it is:
Abilene, Texas has a constant presence of beggars at one intersection that leads to Sams Club. It is near the railroad track so some of them could be hobos but a few years ago there was a story about some of these beggars being members of a cult in nearby Clyde. Cult members are dropped off to “work” and picked up at day’s end. That information pretty much ended my desire to donate. There is a wonderful ministry to the homeless in Abilene that people can go to for help. But God knows our heart when we give even if we may be taken advantage of.
You’re not an idiot. I’ve had a similar situation happen with me when our daughter was young. We gave money to a woman and her daughter who said they were stranded and needed bus money home. We later saw them eating at a fast food place. Our daughter was crushed to learn she’d been lied to. I kind of expected it (sorry, not a real funny story).
It always hurts a little bit when someone takes advantage of us, but the truth is, it is on the liars head, not yours. You acted with a good conscience.
Someone mentioned helping the homeless through Goodwill and other organizations. We are involved with a Christian organization that ministers to the homeless on the streets and in the parks of west Phoenix. They do a great service and we have seen street people’s lives change. They are always have needs. Our church is collecting needed items for Christmas gifts. This is another way to help the homeless.
Merry Christmas and blessings on you and your family. Charity lives on in your heart!
There are those who say to the poor that they seem to look to be in such good health: ‘You are so lazy! You could work. You are young. You have strong arms.’ You dont know that it is Gods pleasure for this poor person to go to you and ask for a handout. You show yourself as speaking against the will of God. There are some who say: ‘Oh, how badly he uses it!’ May he do whatever he wants with it! The poor will be judged on the use they have made of their alms, and you will be judged on the very alms that you could have given but havent.
St. John Vianney
My Husband and I stopped at a truck stop and there were 2 young men. I heard them talking to each other about how they only had 2 dollars left and they chose to buy a scratch off lottery ticket in the hopes that they could get more, LOL. They lost.
I told my husband about it in the car and he told me to go back and give them 20 bucks.
Give where you feel led to give. If they are a scammer, that is their problem. I find most people’s instincts are pretty good.
Beggars are scammers. Truest words ever said. A social group I’m in adopted a family for Christmas. Mom and Dad somehow “forgot” to get married. They had 5 kids. He worked part time at the local Good Year plant. Somehow that never got into the paperwork. I didn’t find all this stuff out until the Mom went to work in a cafe where a friend worked. I was really ticked that they used our generosity so badly.
Sounds like a scene from "Dumb and Dumber"
Xmas wasn’t made up by “unbelievers”...it’s been around for quite a while...dating back to the 16th century...X is for Christ...
“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.”
I think you are broadbrushing and judging the hearts of many commenters here. Christians are not perfect. There is a moral struggle we all face - to help the truly needy while not falling prey to the scammers, who actually can blind good people from seeing the truly needy. After all, one could argue that money given to scammers cannot go to the truly needy. Some of the comments here give clues on how to distinguish between the scammers and the needy.
Is your position to give to anyone who asks for money, both scammers and needy alike? If not, how do you personally make that distinction? I ask with sincerity.
I encountered a guy with a sign at a stop light. I forget what it said but he as a panhandler. It was 1/2 mile for the largest mall in the area. I directed him towards the Burger King with the help wanted sign out front.
My husband was off injured and we had 3 little children.I took a cab to center city with my green stamps to buy them presents.We were so broke.A few days later the guys from the firehouse showed up.They had 2 ham’s and all these groceries.They also took up a collection and handed me 200.00.They also brought many toys for the children.A Christmas to remember.
the bible says we entertain angels. we give as we are led to by the Holy Spirit. My husband and I feel that once we feel led to give to a panhandler, our work is done. We answer to God...and so do they. If they claim to be homeless and take our money, then go home to a mansion....not my problem. It will be theirs someday when they have to answer to God. I want to be able to hear God say I answered His call if I gave to an angel.
(now...if you bought into the Wen shampoo stuff....THAT is a scam. THAT is worthy of idiot status, IMHO!) :P
It was! I swear, I was cracking up when I told my husband. His reasoning was that at least they tried to do something other than begging.
I never, ever give anything to those dopes holding signs by intersections. Almost all of them are scammers, people who could work but choose not to. One of them draws sympathy by sitting in a wheelchair with American flags attached. He has been seen folding up his chair after a day’s work, climbing into his car and leaving.
I did break my rule just once, though, when I happened upon a guy holding a cardboard sign by an off-ramp intersection. The sign said, ‘WHY LIE? NEED BEER.’
I gave him a dollar.
There is a black woman that regularly gets free food and goods from a local charity. She lives in an expensive neighborhood, dresses to the nines and drives a jaguar.
We made the mistake of commenting on her nice car when she was picking up a Thanksgiving meal (turkey and all the sides). Mistakenly thought she was picking up for someone else. She got all nasty and said “Don’t judge me”.
Had the same thing happen here only the lady had used her truck to help someone move. They had promised her gas money and then backed out. We tried to fill up her truck for her but she only let us put in enough to get her back home to Tucson.
The other evening I was doing my laundry at the local Laundromat. There was a young woman with a young child doing her laundry - we were the only people in the place. The little girl, Jordan, about 2 years old was very sweet and cute BTW. The mom tried to buy some laundry detergent out of the vending machine but the machine was broken - it took her money but didnt dispense the detergent. I saw this happen; I saw the look of desperation and frustration on her face.
She very sheepishly came up to me asking if she could buy some detergent from me, holding out what I presumed by looking at her, was probably her last few quarters. I gave her a couple of my laundry detergent pods and told her that I didnt want any money for them. She thanked me repeatedly - she was on the verge of tears. Then we got to talking. She told me that her husband had recently walked out on her and Jordan but that it was probably for the best, as she said to me, He wasnt very nice to me and Jordan, then I noticed the very visible bruise on her cheek. She told me she had no car, very little money and they had walked to the Laundromat from their apartment several blocks away but that she had a part time job and was looking for another so that theyd be OK things would get better, that she was praying really hard and believed that God would provide.
I had no doubt that what she was telling me was probably true. After all, she offered to buy some detergent from me, she didnt ask me to give her anything; and she didnt give me some sort of sob story before I gave her some of my extra detergent.
On my way out, as she wasnt looking and I was saying goodbye to Jordan and wishing her a Very Merry Christmas, I slipped a $5 bill into her mothers laundry basket. I remember a time not so very long ago when I was out of work and had to scrounge money to do my laundry. Im in a much better place financially now so giving $5 and some laundry detergent to someone who could probably use it, is not a big deal. I hope that Jordan and her mom make it and that one day when she is in a better place, she will remember a little random act of kindness from a stranger and do the same for someone else.
I will also mention that I am not a Christian - I am not religious and not a believer in God myself, but that I hold to the Christian spirit of charity; at all times but especially at this time of year.
There are plenty of organizations such as The Salvation Army who provide meals, shelter and clothing to "the needy" but less attention is given to smaller organizations who are down in the trenches making a big difference one heart at a time.
My uncle was a pastor, he never had much money to start with, but was always very generous. Whenever he could, if someone came to his church asking for money, he gave out of Christian charity never asking for it in return.
He told me many times, he’d walk down the street and be approached by someone asking for money “to buy something to eat.” My uncle would say “Come on, let me take you in to that restaurant right there, I’ll buy you a nice hot meal.” Nine times out of ten, they’d curse him out and walk away.
Might I add that the Salvation Army is a great org to give to this time of year....low overhead as far as Admin costs so the money goes to the actual folks in need.....Goodwill on the other hand, has huge overhead and high salaries...I ought to know, my idiot brother works for GW!
We all have been scammed by phony homeless people at some time.
I stopped giving to people on the street because, quite frankly, most of them are not really “homeless” or “broke”
Even last Saturday, after a football game, we had a guy in a motorized scooter begging for money as people were walking around campus after the game
I just ignored him
Then, this couple started whining to me “oh you are heartless, you did not give anything”
I replied “the man is riding a motorized scooter....he either has great government benefits, or, has a lot more money than you and me”.
No reply from them after that
Giving through an honest charity or through a religious entity is usually a much better way of helping the less fortunate. They have the experience, and, the economy of scale to make that donation go further. Putting money in a Salvation Army pot is much better than giving it to Otis the Drunk
Little old lady in San Fran when I was 20 on active duty: “please son, I haven’t eaten well in days...” Five dollars later, I hear her mumble as she walks off, “mad dog, here I come...”
When I was overseas stationed in Turkey, it’s illegal to “proselytize”. There were several old lady beggars and for a few months, I looked in their baskets.They’d have a few hundred lira (exchange rate at the time about 2,000 lira to the dollar.) I watched closely enough for awhile to see that the average donation they got was the exchange equivalent of a few pennies.
This is what I started doing. Every time I left base and went into town, I’d stuff an envelope with 20,000 lira ( about ten bucks) and put a cross on the envelope (not to proselytize but to explain my motivation). I made sure a different old lady got the envelope each time.
For these ladies, begging was their income and it wasn’t nearly as profitable as here. For one night, they were heroes at home.
After a few months of this, on every major street in town (Sinop), I was a very well known person. The ladies that normally congregated to beg would bow their heads deeply to me as I passed. They never asked for an envelope, but whether I had given them one or not, they bowed and made a knowing eye contact.
It’s funny, after just a little while, the ladies I hadn’t given to had heard what was likely in that envelope, and from that time on, the excitement when I dropped an envelope couldn’t have been higher if I were running a state lottery.
It was a risk to drop off charity marked with a cross. I could have gotten in big trouble. It was worth it.
By the time I left, there wasn’t a place I could go in town where I wasn’t recognized by a certain segment of the population. Total investment: about $300 bucks over 6 months time.
Bums Inc. LLC
If God moved your heart to help then you did the right thing. If that is her only way to earn enough for gifts for her grandkids, then she earned it by making a sign, pulling at your heart. It is a blessing, to give rather than recieve.
You'll know the ones who need help because they're scared and reluctant, almost embarrassed to ask you for help. Do not give them money. If they say they're hungry get them something to eat. If they need gas, offer to put gas in. No money. As far as they're concerned you carry none. It can be dangerous trying to help these people. Substance abuse and mental illness are rampant and often combined.
The funniest example I can provide would be a wheelchair bound black woman who had lost both her feet, to diabetes apparently. She had an accomplice who would hide behind bushes or down a side alley. Wheelchair lady would position herself near popular nightspots and restaurants downtown, and try her latest wild tale of woe on people as they entered and exited.
After she'd worked that spot for a while, out came the accomplice and away they'd go at a sprint, I kid you not, to the next place. I watched it from my office window, and I also got hit up numerous times. She had poor recall or was buzzed, maybe both.
The craziest story involved her car getting towed to the impound lot with her baby inside. I GOT TO HAVE FIFTY DOLLARS TO SAVE MY BABY SHE NEED HER FORMULA!!!
Stupid as it sounds with all the logical contradictions, people were still giving her money.
Giving them money is wrong, like throwing gas on a fire. You're only feeding their substance abuse.
Never again will I ever be tempted to give any of these con artists a dime.
My brother and I were approached by a bum on the street in Frankfurt Germany.Guy said he needed money for food,but it was obvious he was a drunk.My brother reaches into his wallet and give the guy a 100 Mark note.(It’s 1984,the Eurowas just a socialist’s dream somewhere.)I look at my brother and say What the hell,Bruce-the guy’s a drunken bum.Bruce says,”That’s true,and with 100 Marks to spend,maybe he’ll drink himself to death tonight.
Funny guy. Makes you wonder sometimes though doesn’t it? Most of the politicos are so dysfunctional, they seem to be dumb. But most of them are up there in Washington for one reason. To line their pockets, pad their wallets and get rich, besides the getting the free lifetime benefits they accrue after just one term. With Congress’ public approval rating of only 9%, professional scammers and con artists are probably more popular than the congressmen are.
Was this in Largo, FL? There is a guy at the offramp of 19 & Ulmerton that has the same sign. Somewhere, on one of my camera SD cards, I have a picture of him. Mr. RightField once wanted to give him an old 6-pack of Guiness.
I had this broad ask me to borrow my cell phone but then I got paranoiac of it getting hacked when she was crying on it asking for a western union transfer and trying to explain to me what she was doing out of sympathy. I called bull on this.
Watch the language, people DYING of cancer give everything they have away, they do not beg. It is those who fight cancer that may ask for a bit of help.
Also ask them questions. Tell them you are unemployed too and ask them for advice after giving them a dollar, and see if they are territorial. I asked one if he knew about crime in the area, because they know about this stuff. He looked like a druggy and was asking for work, but sublevel he did not want to work, it was just a scheme to gain sympathy or maybe prostitutive services.
I help those who help me, who tell me about the cops, the criminals, who treat me like a neighbor or a family member in need I would trust and who would trust me. Once someone asks money, either they have to show enough humbleness to let you graduate and minister to each other, even being mastered by you, or they at least must be friend like and explain things.
I never give and go away, always looking for the rude ones I fell uncomfortable with and who give me that tinge of uneasiness and anxiety when around them.
There is in France a famous bum named Max, and he is from Switzerland. He never asks money nor give a cry baby story. He just talks to people casualy and people give him money. The swiss are the best at making it all legal.
Hot food - accepted each time, thanked once.
Single bills - accepted each time, thanked each time.
Change (when it was all I had) - accepted then insulted for it not being enough
Decent walking shoes and clean socks - refused as the person walked away on his purple-brown feet waving his arms and speaking gibberish to pick food out of the nearest trash can.
Declining to give - Followed me to my car threatening violence.
I think people should be mindful that the "homeless" as a group are a mixture of the mentally ill, criminals, addicts and drunks, and bums. I would be quite surprised if the number of people "down on their luck" is not the smallest minority. Live in a beach town for more than a decade and see if your experiences are different.
I believe it is wrong to give money to them directly because we can pretty much be sure what they'll use it for. My wife thinks we should give anyway as it isn't up to us what they do, just that we are told to give. If the guy has a sign that says, "I need $20 for a rock of crack cocaine, please help. God Bless" should I feel compelled to provide the money for it? Taken a step further, if there were a guy with a sign that said "I am selling heroin, please help. God Bless", should buy it from him, if not personally, but by proxy? Isn't this the enabling behavior of a drug using teen's parents?
If you want to feel good about yourself for doing something directly, give them actual food (not gift cards they can sell or use for booze) if they'll take it. I've offered shoes as an obvious need, and was declined for unknown reasons. Don't offer cash and never engage them. Yes, they are human and should be treated with civility. But intentionally living like an outcast (schizophrenics and other mentally ill notwithstanding) should give you pause, just as your friend's Labrador is not the same as a stray dog wandering the streets of Tijuana.
My current policy is "Don't feed the pigeons."
My son was at the parking lot of walmart. A man walked up to him and handed him a card. It said something to the effect of, “I’m deaf and lost my job. Anything will help. God bless you.”
My son handed the guy a dollar.
As the guy was walking away from him, my son said, “Oh, hey! You dropped your wallet.”
The guy turned around and said, “Where?”
My son grinned at him and said, “Gotcha! Now gimme back my dollar.”
The guy sheepishly grinned, said, “Fair enough,” and returned the dollar.
90% are scammers, look for the 10% Having written this, I have need to stop thinking they are all scammers and look for the 10% my self.
90% are scammers, look for the 10% Having written this, I have need to stop thinking they are all scammers and look for the 10% my self.
Yeah, didn’t mean to trash the Salvation Army. They serve a need in communities. They’re just highly visible and a lot of folks give to them. There’s other smaller groups who do different kinds of work who aren’t quite so visible and that is the point I was trying to make.
Your story made my screen go all fuzzy! There are many scammers out there, and we should be wary of them, but it seems that too many people (myself included sometimes) forget that there are many who are truly in desperate situations and just need a little help and kindness. May God bless you for sharing with this lady and daughter!
Had the same thing happen to me. Guy and a gal and a gas can, needing money to get to Montana. Wife had me turn around and give them money. Month later, same couple, same sign, same gas can. Wife is no longer quite so generous. Another time, must have been quitting time for the panhandlers, followed a Caddy picking up the group.
I came out of a Walmart and encountered a 20 something with his wife sitting on the trunk of their car. As I walked by he asked for some money to buy gas as he ran out, conveniently right there in the parking lot by the door of Walmart. I figured it was a scam, but he said he needed gas to get home about 30 miles away...so what the heck, I played along. I had a gas can in my trunk so I drove him to the other side of the parking lot to the gas pumps and put a gallon in his car, then went back to his car and put it in then drove back and I put 10 dollars of gas in his car. I had time on my hands and was feeling generous so what the heck. Then, just when I started having doubts about whether he would really go along with this senerio if he was scamming, he thanked me, then pulled a stack of about 10 gift cards out of his pocket tried to get me to buy the gift cards from him for 50% of their face value. I’m pretty sure those gift cards were worthless as they probably hadn’t been activated but just pilfered - the scammers will find ways !!
So...the “conservative Christian” interpretation of Jesus doesn’t help beggars? The Good Samaritan should have continued on his merry way because the injured fellow was probably just faking his injuries?
I guess we read different Bibles.
The case of the NY police officer who saw a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk, shoeless, and bought him a pair of boots has gotten a lot of attention because a tourist happened to snap a photo of it. Apparently the man later sold the boots and was seen again on the sidewalk shoeless. The cop spent $75 of his own money to help him. I don’t know if they tried to find out what the homeless man spent the money on. My guess is booze.
Now that Obama has been elected Pharaoh, he is the go to guy for these folks. So it is written, so it shall be done.
I went to The King of Burgers one time, with an ultra liberal co worker. Guy comes around to each table, puts a card on each “Please help me, I am deaf and mute, a dollar is all I ask”. Then he circled back, and collected the cards, and contributions. Naturally Lib gives a buck, and chastises me for being heartless. On the way out of the parking lot, I slowly pulled up behind the ‘deaf guy’ and blasted my horn. He nearly jumped out of his socks, and cussed at us. “Better heartless, than brainless”, I remarked. Lib turned bright red, and it was a silent five minute ride back to work.
I do however try to help the truly needy, who especially appear to be too proud to ask for help. I have had good success by being at a checkout and a poor family scrambling to find money to pay to the point of taking necessities out of the checkout. What I will do is take a $20 bill and drop it on the floor. I will then say.... "Maam, I think you dropped that money on the floor."
I will also give a walmart nightmare anecdotal scenario that happened a few years ago though. - When I dropped the $20, the lady picked it up looked at it, and the cashier violently grabbed it out of her hand, and said that came out of my register. When they lady left, I told that cashier that I dropped that bill to help the poor family, and I would like it back. She then in turn called me a liar, and finally I was thrown out by a Walmart manager for the yelling that ensued.
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