Scammers at the parking lot; scammers online

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.


  1. I’ve had that happen before, but wouldn’t have guessed the steal your whole wallet part. I figured it was just someone scamming their way $4 at a time….

    I’ve had some good stories about needing just $20 more dollars for car repairs so they can get home to (insert faraway place here)

  2. Hey Gordon – the first step they take is to establish that you are willing to offer the two bucks. Once this is done, other tricks come out of their hats. Usually, you’d think that at a busy, public place such as the parking lot of a supermarket you’d be safe. Unfortunately, these people are habitual scammers, liars and thieves. It wasn’t the first time I got approached for the two bucks deal, but it was always a guy and they seemed to hang around some more. This time, the lady took off like Michael Jordan on his way to a slamdunk!

  3. You mean she didn’t offer you a great deal on some house speakers that her “store received too many of” and “weren’t listed in inventory”?

  4. Haha, I completely forgot about that “selling loudspeakers off the back of a truck” scam 😀 Thanks for the laugh.

  5. What we do at our church before we help people is tell them we will have the police department identify them and run a warrent check. If they pass, we help them. Liked this post.

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