Post # 1
UGH! Let me preface this by saying what happened to me was compounded by it being my TOM, the first full day and I’m miserable and in pain with horrible cramps and headachy and cranky, and just had issues at three of five banks I had business with before this happened…
ANYWAY…I walked out of the last bank on my way back to work and a man stopped me. He looked pretty sketchy, missing a lot of teeth and just had a weird demeanor–I knew he was going to hit me up for money.
YUP. He said, all in rush, “excuse me I’m a coach from Flushing HS and…” I kept walking quickly and shook my head and said, “Sorry, I’m in a hurry”.
He followed me and started yelling, “we had a child there WHO DIED, you’re not GONNA HELP??? DON’T YOU CARE???” and I just kept walking, but glanced back and he was getting closer, almost running after me, crossed the street and was following closer. I kept going (I was soooo close to turning around and taking all my hormonal and bank frustrations out on him, lucky for him I controlled myself) and then he yelled, “you won’t help a dead child, well fuck you then” and kept following me in a menacing way, trying to intimidate me into donating, all the way down the block until he must have thought better of it and turned back.
I got back to work and promptly called Flushing HS to see if they had a “coach” collecting money for a “dead child”…NOPE. I knew it! SCUM! Using a “dead child” to try to scam money out of people! The school was PISSED and called the cops to send a car over to find him–I’m sure he wasn’t around by the time the police showed up but at least I tipped them off that some sleaze was using their school to scam money. He was SO aggressive.
Makes me SICK. I tend to give people money frequently but this guy just rubbed me the wrong way off the bat. He should thank his lucky stars I didn’t turn around and get in a confrontation with him because the mood I’m in today, boy he’d be sorry.
Post # 3
It is amazing how low some people will sink. Disgusting.
Post # 4
@sehrler: It’s really awful how many people do this. There were some kids around where I live with a sign that said “Help pay for Katie’s funeral” or something, this little girl was supposed to have died from cancer and her family couldn’t afford her funeral costs. Well it turns out they were caught at a gas station a block away using all that money towards candy, drinks, etc. Just terrible. Preying on people’s goodwill and emotions to get money is one of the lowest things you can do, IMO.
Post # 5
That’s so messed up. I’m glad you called the school to check up on things, definitely the right thing to do!
Post # 6
@FutureMrsJohnson_: we also just had a woman pretend to have cancer and collect hundreds of thousands in donations–her grandmother mortgaged her house and gave her $100,000 alone–and she didn’t have it. She did however, have a horrible heroin addiction. So sad. I feel worse for her than that guy–at least she wasn’t physically menacing people. Addictions make people do terrible things.
No idea about the guy, what he wanted money for though, impossible to tell. I wouldn’t presume to know–but either way I hope he gets caught!
Post # 7
That is why the only people I hand cash to are our local firefighters when they do the “Fill The Boot” on the side of the road- because you can’t fake a fire truck! Everyone else gets a check in the mail when I have researched the charity.
Post # 8
@sehrler: Ack! That is horrible. I can’t believe how aggressive he was.
I have become extremely jaded with panhandlers. It is a well known fact that the “bums” around here have a very strict schedule and location. I have literally witnessed a shift change where one packs up and leaves and the other comes in with his new bicycle, hides it in the grass, stashes his Ipod, changes his clothes and meanders over to the corner. It is insane around here.
Post # 9
@Treejewel19: Ugh, tell me about it! Bumming/panhandling is like a legit career choice in NYC where I work. I’ve gotten so jaded working here where I pretty much ignore everyone and never give money to them – most of them have a higher net worth than me as they don’t have student loan debt and just get by begging people (usually tourists) for money.
Post # 10
@FutureMrsJohnson_: That is terrible. What BAD BAD BAAAD kids.
Post # 11
@MrsNewDay: also I noticed a big increase in the ones at stoplights that harass you at red lights…most recently one with a collapsible cardboard sign about his need for money for his sick son.
Post # 12
When I worked at Crown Bookstore, we had a customer that was notorious for bringing a bag of children’s books into the store without a receipt and trying to return them for cash. She gave a whole sob store of her little boy who died and he just got all these books for Christmas/birthday/whichever holiday was closest and she couldn’t bear to look at them anymore. The books were all stolen, from various bookstores in the area. She always knew to try and scam the new employee who didn’t know better. I must have called the police on her half a dozen times. I’m sure I looked like a total bitch, throwing a “grieving mother” out of the store.
Post # 13
Ugh, that’s so sad that people prey on strangers’ kindness and emotions to try to get money out of them. There’s this one woman who stands at a traffic light at my local mall (in an affluent MD suburb) with a sign saying “4 kids, facing EVICTION, please help, God bless” who I have given money to in the past, but then I realized she’s been at the same mall with the same sign for at least 5 years now! I mean, haven’t they already evicted you at this point?
Post # 14
@sehrler: The panhandlers at stop lights have really increased around where I work. One day, I saw a man at a stoplight with a sign saying he was living in the woods to save money for his sick wife with ovarian cancer. The very next day, I saw a completely different man with the same exact sign in the same location on my commute. I haven’t been able to bring myself to give them money since that. Sometimes I’ll ask what their favorite local charity is and give money to that organization instead.
Post # 15
You’re better off to support a reputable charity that has street teams that help folks get in off the street, get cleaned up and a solid meal. Most also offer employment services.
Good on the OP for reporting it – good, reputable and respected charities often get a bad rap by proxy because of scammers on the street. But please please PLEASE don’t let this discourage you from donating to quality charities doing great work in your communities.
Post # 16
This is why I don’t give people money, ever. I don’t know their story and I don’t get a tax receipt. Nope, no thanks. I work hard for my money and it is not to be given away to people who don’t work at all.