Author Topic: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers  (Read 637427 times)

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KarenK

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2220 on: January 31, 2014, 07:06:48 AM »
There are so many panhandlers out on the streets at many traffic lights where you have to wait a long time for the light to turn green.  They all carry foldable cardboard signs that say homeless, or will work for food/hungry, etc.  They then walk down the line of traffic with sad faces asking for handouts.  It isn't that I am against helping someone out, but that they are there everyday and I am very suspicious that they are just scammers.  One intersection has a panhandler in each direction and so I pass by them twice.  They keep an eye out for police and quickly fold their sign when they spot police.  On my way to and from appointments I now pass up to six a day.

People panhandling in the median has been a big problem in my area. So much so that BigCity has passed an ordinance against loitering in the median, citing safety considerations. It's being challenged in the courts by local homeless advocates.

Something else I've seen around lately: Young men, standing in the median, asking for donations for the local children's hospital. The donation cans do have the logo of the hospital on them, but that's easy enough to get off the internet. It may be completely legit, but I question if it's a good way to raise money. I suspect it's another one of those "10 cents for every dollar raised goes to the cause" groups.

o_gal

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2221 on: January 31, 2014, 07:48:55 AM »
There are so many panhandlers out on the streets at many traffic lights where you have to wait a long time for the light to turn green.  They all carry foldable cardboard signs that say homeless, or will work for food/hungry, etc.  They then walk down the line of traffic with sad faces asking for handouts.  It isn't that I am against helping someone out, but that they are there everyday and I am very suspicious that they are just scammers.  One intersection has a panhandler in each direction and so I pass by them twice.  They keep an eye out for police and quickly fold their sign when they spot police.  On my way to and from appointments I now pass up to six a day.

There's a traffic light near my work where I swear the panhandlers have a rotating schedule. You'll see one of them one day, then the next day or later that same day there'll be another one, then maybe another one the next day, then you'll see the original guy/woman back again the next day. On one corner of the intersection, there's a steep dropoff after the guard rail. There is a bag of old, junky, homeless-looking clothes lying there. We joke that they must coordinate their schedules and arrive early in the morning so they can change out of their regular clothes into the "homeless" clothes.

sarahj21

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2222 on: January 31, 2014, 08:02:39 AM »
Next time they called I told them to take my name off their list.  They said they would.  They called back for my father (who had returned home by then.)  I told them to take HIM off their list as well.

It didn't stop them.  They sold our names (and my phone number) to other organizations who call for all kinds of cancer victims, the police and so on.
As soon as they go into their spiel, I just interrupt and say "I'm sorry, but we do not respond to any telephone solicitations at all.  But have a nice day." And I hang up without giving them a chance to reply.  The telephone is for YOUR convenience, something YOU pay for -- why let a telemarketer hold it hostage one second longer than necessary?

I do the same, but I also throw in "This number is on the federal Do Not Call list.  Please do not call again as you will be subject to a $100 fine."  Seems to have worked so far....

We're on the Do Not Call list, but in Australia, charities and other organisations (government/religious/etc) can still call people on the list. I do tell charities that we don't donate over the phone and to stop calling, but they're allowed to call us again. :(

Also we've had a few of those "there is a virus on your Microsoft computer" phone calls. I told the last guy not to call back and they haven't since then, a few weeks ago. Time will tell I guess.

Runningstar

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2223 on: January 31, 2014, 08:56:37 AM »
There are so many panhandlers out on the streets at many traffic lights where you have to wait a long time for the light to turn green.  They all carry foldable cardboard signs that say homeless, or will work for food/hungry, etc.  They then walk down the line of traffic with sad faces asking for handouts.  It isn't that I am against helping someone out, but that they are there everyday and I am very suspicious that they are just scammers.  One intersection has a panhandler in each direction and so I pass by them twice.  They keep an eye out for police and quickly fold their sign when they spot police.  On my way to and from appointments I now pass up to six a day.

There's a traffic light near my work where I swear the panhandlers have a rotating schedule. You'll see one of them one day, then the next day or later that same day there'll be another one, then maybe another one the next day, then you'll see the original guy/woman back again the next day. On one corner of the intersection, there's a steep dropoff after the guard rail. There is a bag of old, junky, homeless-looking clothes lying there. We joke that they must coordinate their schedules and arrive early in the morning so they can change out of their regular clothes into the "homeless" clothes.
Ha!  We joke that they make more money than we do as their jeans and boots are expensive brands.  They sure haven't slept outside and even look fresh and clean - hard to do when you are "homeless".

Teenyweeny

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2224 on: January 31, 2014, 09:13:07 AM »
There are so many panhandlers out on the streets at many traffic lights where you have to wait a long time for the light to turn green.  They all carry foldable cardboard signs that say homeless, or will work for food/hungry, etc.  They then walk down the line of traffic with sad faces asking for handouts.  It isn't that I am against helping someone out, but that they are there everyday and I am very suspicious that they are just scammers.  One intersection has a panhandler in each direction and so I pass by them twice.  They keep an eye out for police and quickly fold their sign when they spot police.  On my way to and from appointments I now pass up to six a day.

There's a traffic light near my work where I swear the panhandlers have a rotating schedule. You'll see one of them one day, then the next day or later that same day there'll be another one, then maybe another one the next day, then you'll see the original guy/woman back again the next day. On one corner of the intersection, there's a steep dropoff after the guard rail. There is a bag of old, junky, homeless-looking clothes lying there. We joke that they must coordinate their schedules and arrive early in the morning so they can change out of their regular clothes into the "homeless" clothes.
Ha!  We joke that they make more money than we do as their jeans and boots are expensive brands.  They sure haven't slept outside and even look fresh and clean - hard to do when you are "homeless".

Well, you can get brand name goods from all kinds of places. Just off the top of my head:

1) Thrift store (I have quite a few high end pieces from charity shops).
2) Gift or donation.
3) The item is old and was bought before the person fell on hard times.
4) It's a knockoff.
5) They stole it.

It certainly doesn't mean that they aren't in difficulty. And as for the cleanliness thing, would you be dirty if you were homeless? Or would you find somewhere to wash? A supermarket bathroom maybe? Would you take a couple of pounds and go to the laundrette? I would, even if I was begging for the money.

In addition, most homeless people don't sleep outside. That's a myth. They sleep in temporary accomodation, like shelters, or churches, or tents, or vehicles. If I were homeless, I'd find the warmest, driest, safest place I could to sleep. Wouldn't you?

I'm not saying that every beggar is 100% legit, but I think that this idea of beggars who actually like the lifestyle, and who live in huge houses with all the latest gadgets is a total myth.

I challenge anybody who has a nice house and a good job to quit their job and go begging for a living. There's a reason you wouldn't.



Psychopoesie

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2225 on: January 31, 2014, 09:19:44 AM »
Agree with teenyweeny.

Also puts a finger on why this line of discussion makes me feel really uncomfortable - because I don't think you (general you) can really assess someone's homelessness or level of need based on how someone looks.

blue2000

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2226 on: January 31, 2014, 11:02:23 AM »

I'm not saying that every beggar is 100% legit, but I think that this idea of beggars who actually like the lifestyle, and who live in huge houses with all the latest gadgets is a total myth.

I challenge anybody who has a nice house and a good job to quit their job and go begging for a living. There's a reason you wouldn't.

There have been beggars who have been charged with fraud for telling people they are in need when they have a nice condo, fancy car, and the latest electronics. There seems to be another one pop up every couple of years or so.

That said, those people make it hard for someone who is living in their car and just wants money for a hot meal. I agree with Psychopoesie on that - it is hard to tell an individual's situation by their appearance. Scammers usually get caught by what they are doing, not what they are wearing.
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medowynd

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2227 on: January 31, 2014, 11:03:08 AM »
There was an exit off a highway near my house that had a rotating shift of sign holders.  They kept a variety of cardboard signs in the bushes and rode their bicycles to the exit.  I saw the same group of 4-5 people for several months at that location. 

Teenyweeny

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2228 on: January 31, 2014, 11:12:32 AM »

I'm not saying that every beggar is 100% legit, but I think that this idea of beggars who actually like the lifestyle, and who live in huge houses with all the latest gadgets is a total myth.

I challenge anybody who has a nice house and a good job to quit their job and go begging for a living. There's a reason you wouldn't.

There have been beggars who have been charged with fraud for telling people they are in need when they have a nice condo, fancy car, and the latest electronics. There seems to be another one pop up every couple of years or so.

That said, those people make it hard for someone who is living in their car and just wants money for a hot meal. I agree with Psychopoesie on that - it is hard to tell an individual's situation by their appearance. Scammers usually get caught by what they are doing, not what they are wearing.

The rate of one every couple of years though...I mean, that's hardly anything. That's a smaller percentage than the number of professional sportsmen with criminal records, for example, and nobody goes on about a shocking wave of crime in professional sport.



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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2229 on: January 31, 2014, 12:06:00 PM »
There are so many panhandlers out on the streets at many traffic lights where you have to wait a long time for the light to turn green.  They all carry foldable cardboard signs that say homeless, or will work for food/hungry, etc.  They then walk down the line of traffic with sad faces asking for handouts.  It isn't that I am against helping someone out, but that they are there everyday and I am very suspicious that they are just scammers.  One intersection has a panhandler in each direction and so I pass by them twice.  They keep an eye out for police and quickly fold their sign when they spot police.  On my way to and from appointments I now pass up to six a day.

People panhandling in the median has been a big problem in my area. So much so that BigCity has passed an ordinance against loitering in the median, citing safety considerations. It's being challenged in the courts by local homeless advocates.

Something else I've seen around lately: Young men, standing in the median, asking for donations for the local children's hospital. The donation cans do have the logo of the hospital on them, but that's easy enough to get off the internet. It may be completely legit, but I question if it's a good way to raise money. I suspect it's another one of those "10 cents for every dollar raised goes to the cause" groups.

Our school had a charity drive requiring each student to take a (sealed) can and beg for donations. It was a great cause, but not well executed on the school's part. Additionally we had to go to at least one business in walking distance of our home.

The only businesses fitting that near a good friend were a payday loan place that everyone knew sold drugs, and a biker bar.

She actually did really well in the bar, but I think the school board memeber who decided we could fail if we didn't do this should've been fired. (I went to a reptile lover's swap meet, on the logic that anywhere my family is, is home. And since it was one of the few animal shelters that would take herps and find them good, knowledgeable homes, I did pretty well. But my Spiel was "I'm failing 9th grade if I don't do this, so how would you like to improve the lives of animals AND prevent me from repeating 9th grade? If not, its cool, i always wanted to be a 25 year old high school student like on Dawson's Creek.")
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blue2000

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2230 on: January 31, 2014, 12:28:29 PM »

I'm not saying that every beggar is 100% legit, but I think that this idea of beggars who actually like the lifestyle, and who live in huge houses with all the latest gadgets is a total myth.

I challenge anybody who has a nice house and a good job to quit their job and go begging for a living. There's a reason you wouldn't.

There have been beggars who have been charged with fraud for telling people they are in need when they have a nice condo, fancy car, and the latest electronics. There seems to be another one pop up every couple of years or so.

That said, those people make it hard for someone who is living in their car and just wants money for a hot meal. I agree with Psychopoesie on that - it is hard to tell an individual's situation by their appearance. Scammers usually get caught by what they are doing, not what they are wearing.

The rate of one every couple of years though...I mean, that's hardly anything. That's a smaller percentage than the number of professional sportsmen with criminal records, for example, and nobody goes on about a shocking wave of crime in professional sport.

Sometimes they do. Say the words "Lance Armstrong" on a sport forum and see how many rants you get. ;D For a while there, you couldn't open a newspaper without seeing an editorial on drugs and cycling, who was, who wasn't - it was insane. I think everyone who had ever ridden with him got dragged into it. Did they all deserve that? No, of course not. There are plenty of cyclists out there who have nothing to do with drugs or criminal activity.

And I'm not saying every homeless person is a scammer. Just that there are as many scammers in the homeless population as there are in any other part of society, and it tends to ruin things for both the legit people and the ones who would like to help them.
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Luci

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2231 on: January 31, 2014, 12:51:49 PM »
Our school had a charity drive requiring each student to take a (sealed) can and beg for donations. It was a great cause, but not well executed on the school's part. Additionally we had to go to at least one business in walking distance of our home.

The only businesses fitting that near a good friend were a payday loan place that everyone knew sold drugs, and a biker bar.

She actually did really well in the bar, but I think the school board memeber who decided we could fail if we didn't do this should've been fired. (I went to a reptile lover's swap meet, on the logic that anywhere my family is, is home. And since it was one of the few animal shelters that would take herps and find them good, knowledgeable homes, I did pretty well. But my Spiel was "I'm failing 9th grade if I don't do this, so how would you like to improve the lives of animals AND prevent me from repeating 9th grade? If not, its cool, i always wanted to be a 25 year old high school student like on Dawson's Creek.")

If I am reading this correctly, you will fail the school year if you don't participate?

That is not possible as far as I know, even in a private school. Did no one challenge this? Sounds like a really good support for home schooling (as if it needed any more good reasons!), the GED to get the diploma and go on to college at the age of 17, or online high school.

I would not let our kids participate in anything like this. I used to just toss in some cash or a check and say we did our share. Lucas and I were both educators - he was a high school teacher, I taught a bit then went to the school library - and we had 2 children go through school system.

Please, oh please, tell me I am misreading your post!

Hopefull

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2232 on: January 31, 2014, 01:08:43 PM »
Ummm yeah if my child's school told me my child would fail if the didn't do some sort of begging/ fundraiser I would raise a lot of hell. Now as far as fundraisers we don't know a lot of people so I give a donation to the PTA in the beginning of the year and consider it my donation.
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Olena

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2233 on: January 31, 2014, 01:23:20 PM »
I've been getting a few missed calls on my phone lately, no message has ever been left so I've never felt inclined to call back. I do so last night though....

I mention to the woman who answered the phone that I had received numerous missed calls, but no voicemail. She informed me that they've been having a problem with their messaging system (?? right...) but she would be more than happy to help me. Apparently at the mall some time back I entered a drawing for a luxury car. I remember this vaguely, but I am pretty sure I checked "no" in the little box where it asked me if I wanted to hear about any promotions, deals, etc.

So guess what! I, along with a select other few, have been chosed to receive $6000 in airfare tickets, good for two years, totally transferable, etc. Sales pitch, blah, blah, blah. In order to redeem this prize I must head to a certain hotel to hear about a promotion going on within the organization. I was assured I was under no obligation to purchase anything or join anything.

I believe this is one of those Timeshare promotions.

So, while I don't think this is a scam, because the organization promoting this is legit, certainly I don't want to be pressured or badgered into purchasing something I don't want. I hear they are very good at that.

Even on the phone the rep was quite insistent that I book my time slot NOW to be assured that my prize didn't slip through my fingers. It was difficult to get an word in edgewise, finally I placated her by telling her to call me back at a later time that evening (she didn't).

Who knows? Maybe I did miss out on free tickets but it isn't worth the risk to me.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2234 on: February 03, 2014, 10:56:40 AM »
Posted to a travel message board.

I am trying to raise money for a trip to Costa Rica for next summer! I have never been outside of the country and this is the first opportunity I have had to do so. My biggest problem is, you guessed it, money. Im in college right now and having a hard enough time paying for tuition and all my bills, considering I am going through college without the help of my parents. Having a sense of wanderlust and being a broke college student dont exactly go hand in hand, but I am dying to have my first cultural experience. I know there are better causes to throw money towards, but anything helps and I would be eternally grateful. Even if it is one or two dollars. That adds up! This means a lot to me, so I shall see how this goes. Thank you. :)  [Link removed]

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