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."
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.
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