As I was putting the groceries into the trunk of my car today, a nice looking lady in her mid 40′s approached me. She was well-dressed, at least by Florida standards and considering the temperature was in the low 90′s. I thought she wanted some sort of assistance, when she started with “Sir, sorry to bother you…”
The next string of words that came out of her mouth immediately put me into alert mode: “Can I have a couple of dollars for gas?”
Over the years, I’ve donated a few cool thousands to charities and people in need. Even street beggars. But I would never get suckered by a “dame in distress” who puts on a show like this. Her attempt at faking tears was pathetic.
My response was brief and to the point: “Nope, sorry.”
She took off faster than you can imagine, into her dark green vehicle and away from the lane where I was parked. I could not even see whether she drove off alone or with someone else in the car! Considering how she can keep looping around the parking lot looking for suckers, all it takes is a few fake tears and some sprays of cheap perfume.
By the way, her perfume was nasty.
What happens usually is that once you open up your wallet, these people or an accomplish will present a weapon or forcibly take it away from you. Bye-bye credit cards, driver’s license etc. So even if you are presented with the dilemma of not knowing whether the person in distress is indeed in need of cash, ask them to go to the very entrance of the store, where they can easily be apprehended if needed.
In the same manner, online begging is equally easy to occur. People can assume all types of personalities and even fake their gender, in order to establish the necessary definition of a person in need.
Always suggest a public, well-established means of support such as the church, the local authorities or organizations that cater for the people in financial need, such as the Salvation Army. It’s better than losing your money along with your faith in helping others.