(Closed) Was I taken Advantage of?

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
1526 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I pretty much always give cash if I have it.  I am a total softy.  DH never carries cash but he frequently offers to buy the needy a meal.  

Post # 4
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

@babypearls:  I dont think it is batty at all. I do this and so does Darling Husband (he does more than me) but, I am picky about who I choose. Thank you for doing this for that man! I live in chicago though and there are a lot of “fake poor” people begging for money everywhere. I have a good story to support that. My friend and I were on michigan ave shopping and she is very attractive and gets hit on by almost every black man we walk by between age 20-50 :D. anyway, there was this guy begging for money outside of the water tower, talking with a severe speech impediment. As soon as he sees my friend, he stops shaking his money can, stands up strait, and in a completely normal voice starts hitting on her ‘oh, hey girl, how are you? you are gorgeous”. Like, seriously? we just looked at eachother and busted out laughing so freaking hard! So my joke with her is that she is so beautiful her beauty cured that guy! AHAHAHA! Its a miracle i said! LOL. I mean it was hilarious at the time but later we both realized that guy is just a scam artist! I never give money to people begging by my office (downtime chicago by michigan ave) because half of them I believe are scam artists. Also, this is a year wide scam here, has nothign to do with the holidays, although it is layed on thicker this time of year. I pick the ones who are sleeping on the side streets or hanging out in not high traffic areas. anyway-than you again for sharing your blessing of food and money with this man and his family 😀

Post # 5
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@babypearls:  It’s hard to say.  Unfortunately, it could have easily gone either way.

Post # 6
4272 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012


I don’t think so…if he wanted to scam you, he would have just asked for money and not for groceries….I could be wrong though. That was awfully nice of you in any case.

Post # 7
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I would feel much better coding what you did than just handing out money. At least you know that the kid has food and some warm clothing. 

Post # 8
1416 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I always try to give people asking for money some food I have on me rather than money since you can’t ever know what people really will do with money…I don’t know about paying his electric bill, but the food and gloves was nice.

Post # 9
500 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

That was a very generous random act of kindness! My personal belief is that it’s better to help someone if you can, and take the risk that they might not really need it, than to not help someone that’s truly in need for fear of being taken advantage of. Unfortunately there are lots of people out there living in poverty.

Post # 11
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

@babypearls:  ha, yup. why even bother? 😀 Did he really think she would be interested?

Post # 12
17 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

This reminds me of an investigative article from the St. Pete Times (Now the Tampa Bay Times) in which they found that local panhandlers made an average of $60-$100/day with some pulling in as much as $800/week. 

@babypearls: I’m not saying that you’re wrong for wanting to help that guy–it makes us feel good to think that our money has in immediate, life-changing impact on someone–but you also risk being scammed and reinforcing negative behavior. If you really want to know that your donation is making a difference you should probably go through a legitimate organization or consider donating goods or your time instead.

By the way, before anyone accuses me of being heartless in a season when we should be giving to those less fortunate, let me say that I used to volunteer at a homeless shelter regularly and had the chance to meet very sweet people with children who really had fallen on hard times. Many of them also discouraged volunteers from giving money to panhandlers as the money usually went to substance abuse rather than improving living conditions.

Post # 13
9118 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I learned quickly from my father to never give beggars cash. You don’t know what it’s going to. They could tell you they need it for cash, for food, for their children, for medicine, turn around and they could use it for liquor and/or drugs.

Absolutely not everyone is bad and evil, but money is hard earned and I don’t want to give it away willy nilly.

Would I have helped the guy? No.

Would I have bought him an actual, physical meal and given it to him if that was his request? Yes.

You’ll never know if you were taken advantage of, but I wouldn’t help somebody with that kind of sob story personally.

Post # 14
4035 posts
Honey bee

@babypearls:  Probably not because you didn’t give him cash, but you never really know.

I have worked in the nonprofit sector for a few years and have worked both for funders/foundations and for direct service organizations. I am not 100% against giving cash, but I personally do not and have always encouraged individuals not to. What I do is give donations/money to organizations that support the homeless and those in need. Just from experience, I have seen that organizations are better able to empower indviduals to get the help they need than potentially enable poor habits.

But like I said, it’s a personal choice.

Post # 15
4656 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think if you bought someone food and warm clothes, you’re not being scammed. I think if you just hand someone a wad of cash because they ask for it, you’re probably being scammed…

I’ve lived in a cities and met many a homeless person or person in need. I can’t always tell the scammers from the genuine but my policy is to only buy items/food for someone, never just give them money. I’ve bought coffee and a bagel or somesuch for someone tons of times though.

Post # 16
20 posts
  • Wedding: November 2012

I heard someone say once that if you do your part, it’s up to them to do theirs. This is not at all suggesting that giving people cash is ‘doing our part’ but it has made me feel better about it. If they do something with the money that I wouldn’t necessarily approve of, it’s on them. It feels good to help others – just wish I could do it more often! Good for you for being so generous!

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